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HSBC to cut 35K jobs over falling profits

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ISTANBUL — United Kingdom-based financial group HSBC plans to cut its staff from 235,000 to 200,000 worldwide due to profit losses related to the coronavirus outbreak and protests in Hong Kong, it announced Tuesday.

HSBC’s performance last year was “resilient” and it decided to revise its plans to boost returns and sustainable growth, Noel Quinn, the group’s chief executive, said in the bank’s annual report.

“Reported profit attributable to ordinary shareholders down 53 percent to USD6 billion,” the report noted.

Quinn said the bank aims to cut operating costs 10-15 percent and focus on mobile clients, digital investments and unsecured lending.

In an interview with Financial Times, Quinn said bank plans to shed 35,000 jobs over the next three years.

Quinn noted in the report: “Since the start of January, the coronavirus outbreak has created significant disruption for our staff, suppliers, and customers, particularly in mainland China and Hong Kong.”

He added: “Group reported profit before tax was down 33 percent compared with 2018, due to a goodwill impairment of USD7.3 billion.”

He said the bank also wants to reduce gross risk-weighted assets by USD100 billion and also cut costs by USD4.5 billion within three years.

Mark Tucker, the group’s chairman, also pointed the finger at protests in Hong Kong in the report, saying: “Social unrest in Hong Kong has weighed on the local economy and caused significant disruption.” (Anadolu)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Group of cable TV operators sustains OSG’s case vs ABS-CBN’s pay-per-view operations

in News/Tabloid PH News
Group of cable TV operators sustains OSG’s case vs ABS-CBN’s pay-per-view operations
Image Credit: ABS-CBN

A group of cable TV operators echoed the allegation made by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) that ABS-CBN is illegally operating pay-per-view channels to the detriment of small to medium cable operators.

Estrellita Juliano-Tamano, chair of the Federation of International Cable TV Associations of the Philippines (FICTAP), said the franchise of the country’s largest broadcast network is only for free TV and test broadcasts.

This is why the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) ordered ABS-CBN in 2015 to stop offering pay-per-view channels through its TV Plus. 

This is also the reason FICTAP opposed ABS-CBN’s application for franchise renewal in 2014—or during the 16th Congress—when the network tried to obtain license for multiple channels, instead of just one.

Congress did not approve ABS-CBN’s application that time, which came as a relief to the FICTAP members.

Tamano stressed: “Kung na-approve ‘yun (franchise) noong 16th Congress, it will justify their pay-per-view.”

This, she noted, would have jeopardized the jobs of around 24,000 employees of the 600-member FICTAP. “Ang maaapektuhan ng ginagawa nila ‘yung employees namin, mawawalan ng trabaho. Bakit ganun, sila lang ang may 11,000? Kami ang mawawalan ng hanap buhay.”

Also, Tamano said ABS-CBN is now trying to force the renewal of its franchise in just so short a time, when the network did not bother to get congressional approval in the 17th Congress (or from 2016 to 2019).

“Bakit sila gusto nilang mag-shortcut? Kami, six years sa NTC para lang magkaroon ng license ang operators. Tapos sila shortcut lang?” she asked.

The OSG, in seeking the forfeiture of ABS-CBN’s franchise via the quo warranto case it filed before the Supreme Court, outlined four major violations of the network.

One of these is its “illegal” pay-per-view operations.

Quezon now negative from COVID-19 cases

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LUCENA CITY —- The six suspected carriers of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or those classified as patients under investigation (PUI) in Quezon have tested negative, health officials said Wednesday.

The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) in a public advisory released at 5 p.m. Tuesday, revealed that the laboratory test results on the last PUI showed no infection from the virus.

The five PUIs recorded last week had also been tested negative of the virus and were already discharged from hospitals.

The PUIs are those who recently traveled to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau after the COVID-19 broke out and showed symptoms of cough, cold, or fever when they returned to t…

Keep on reading: Quezon now negative from COVID-19 cases

Mission impossible for disabled Hong Kong residents hunting face masks

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HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s disabled residents and their carers say they feel increasingly trapped in their apartments and abandoned by authorities as the coronavirus-struck city is engulfed with panic-buying and face mask shortages.

For the last fortnight, queues have sprung up across the densely-packed business hub as Hong Kongers jostle for the latest delivery of face masks, toilet rolls and cleaning products.

It is a free-for-all that Steven Yan dreads.

Diagnosed with muscular atrophy 14 years ago, Yan uses a wheelchair to get around.

He has tried to find face masks near his apartment but has only succeeded once in the last month, queuing for six hours to get his hands o…

Keep on reading: Mission impossible for disabled Hong Kong residents hunting face masks

DOST chief eyes improved PH global index ranking by 2022

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IMPROVED RANKING. DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña at the sidelines of the GII High-Level Conference held in Manila on Tuesday (Feb.18, 2020) says he is hopeful the Philippines would rank 42nd in the Global Innovation Index (GII) ranking by 2022. The country ranked 54th last year, a significant improvement from its previous ranking of 73 in 2018 and 2017. (PNA photo by Cristina Arayata)  

MANILA — Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Peña eyes the Philippines to rank 42nd in the Global Innovation Index (GII) by 2022, three years after placing 54th in 2019.

GII is a ranking of world economies based on innovative capabilities. The country’s 2019 ranking was up 19 notches from its previous ranking of 73 in 2018 and 2017.

In an exclusive interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday, dela Peña said he is hopeful such ranking would improve in three years.

“I am hopeful. But just like what the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) representative said (yesterday), it is okay if the ranking stays on the same level, or if it goes down a little bit,” he said.

Dela Peña said he is positive that the ranking improvement is possible, considering the DOST has enlarged its research pool and has been doing more collaborations with industries and enterprises.

“(I) don’t expect that the ranking would go up every year,” he clarified.

Dela Peña said he realized that his goal of having the country rank 42nd from the 54th may not be impossible. “Rank 42 also means being included in the top 33 percent of world economies. That is my goal,” he added.

On Monday, the DOST held a closed-door meeting with other government agencies as well as with WIPO to discuss the GII.

The 19 notches leap from the previous ranking was not just due to DOST’s efforts, he noted.

Apart from agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic and Development Authority, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology, dela Peña noted that export companies have also contributed to the rise in GII ranking.

Specifically, these companies include those that export electronics, he said.

“The DTI Secretary and I have agreed to present to the Cabinet the observations of WIPO, which it presented during our closed-door meeting yesterday,” he shared.

Dela Peña reiterated that the GII ranking does not just rely on the efforts of DOST, but of other agencies as well.

“Among WIPO’s observations was that the expenditure on education and science was very low. (Increasing the expenditure) does not only rely on the DOST and DepEd (Department of Education). There is also the Department of Finance and NEDA,” he explained.

“We (officials present in the closed-door meeting) will jointly make the presentation to the Cabinet, so we could better discuss the things that need to be addressed,” he said. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

MRT-7 underground construction to continue: DOTr

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NO BAN ON UNDERGROUND CONSTRUCTION. Tracks of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) under construction near the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. The Department of Transportation said the recent suspension order issued by the Quezon City government would only affect above-ground construction and not underground works of the MRT-7. (PNA file photo)

MANILA — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified on Tuesday the underground construction for the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) station at the Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) is not affected by the cease and desist order issued by the Quezon City government.

In a message, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said the temporary order issued by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte concerned only the rail line’s above-ground construction.

“We understand that the concern is about the above-ground structure and that the construction of underground areas may proceed,” Libiran said.

She said the DOTr would discuss the matter immediately with the local government of Quezon City to find a “win-win solution.”

In a statement released on Monday, Belmonte said the temporary suspension order against the construction of the MRT-7 station was issued after historians and environmentalists decried its effects on the national heritage park.

She called for a review of the project after it was found that it exceeded the agreed area for its construction.

“Based on the project’s permit and clearance, the contractor indicated 4,997 square meters as its floor area. However, the proposed floor area is more than five times the approved figure,” Belmonte said.

She added that the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the descendants of the late Manuel L. Quezon — the Quezon-Avanceña family — must be given a say on the matter due to its status as a symbol of national heritage.

As of January 15, the DOTr said the construction of the MRT-7 was 50.69 percent complete — civil works of nine out of its 14 stations underway, 108 of its train cars built, and installation of tracks ongoing.

Once operational, the MRT-7 is expected to service 300,000 to 850,000 passengers daily, with room for expansion to accommodate an increase in ridership.

The rail line, connected to the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), MRT-3, and the Metro Manila Subway through the Common Station currently under construction in North Avenue, is expected to be partially operational by 2021. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Locsin orders immediate repatriation of Filipinos on Diamond Princess cruise ship

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Published February 19, 2020, 12:56 PM

By Noreen Jazul

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. has ordered the immediate repatriation of Filipinos aboard the M/V Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit / MANILA BULLETIN)

“I have ordered our Tokyo Embassy to immediately repatriate our people in the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohoma Japan,” Locsin said in a tweet.

“It’s our duty to take care of our Overseas Filipinos wherever they are. I want them home now!” he added.

On Tuesday, the government of Japan said it has finished testing all persons aboard the cruise for the coronavirus disease (COVID-2019).

The DFA earlier said there are 531 Filipino crew members and 7 passengers aboard the virus-hit cruise ship. A total

Read More Locsin orders immediate repatriation of Filipinos on Diamond Princess cruise ship

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

BREAKING: Private firms, coops in power sector owe gov’t nearly P100B

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MANILA, Philippines — The government still has overdue receivables of over P95 billion from private corporations and cooperatives in the power sector, two lawmakers said Wednesday.

 

In a press briefing, Anakalusugan Rep. Michael Defensor and Bulacan Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado said the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) still has the following uncollected fees from private corporations and cooperatives:

Power and Universal Charges (UC) – P35.44 billion
Independent Power Producer Administrator (IPPA) – P33.62 billion
Others – P26.35 billion

Defensor is the chair of the House committee on public accounts whi…

Keep on reading: BREAKING: Private firms, coops in power sector owe gov’t nearly P100B

Never a crime to defend the State: NTF ELCAC

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MANILA – The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) on Tuesday described as a pitiful case the recent complaint filed by research group IBON against three government officials over alleged red-tagging.

In a statement, the NTF ELCAC said the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), had lost miserably and repeatedly in the legal forum of their allegations of red-tagging, thus, they now try their luck before the Office of the Ombudsman in the hope of finding favorable judgment and awfully begging for the immediate dismissal of Southern Luzon Command chief Major General Antonio Parlade, Jr., Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon.

“As those previous (cases) before it, is perfectly bound to fail. It is never a crime to defend the State. In fact, the impleaded officials will be remiss of their sworn duty and obligation if they fail to inform and save the People from the enemies that lurk within their jurisdiction,” the statement read.

It added that the NTF ELCAC, which was crafted through the issuance of Executive Order No. 70, is once again being vilified and disparaged by the CPP-NPA-NDF and its legal fronts for supposedly weaponizing the law by using the laws of the Land to suppress dissent and critics.

The communist groups’ usual spokespersons, it said, are at their old deceitful tricks again with arguments that are loud but pitifully empty.

“It is the CPP-NPA-NDF and their legal fronts that are weaponizing the law, and in the process, abusing the resources of the government, and bringing into ill-repute the judicial process of the country if their cases are found to be without cause and eventually dismissed,” the statement said.

The statement added that this is evidenced by their continuous filing of cases over alleged red-tagging, against the President of the Philippines, and other high ranking officials, but were repeatedly dismissed by the courts, the statement added, referring those dismissed by the Court of Appeals, for utter lack of merit such as NUPL et al., vs. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, et al. CA GR SP No. 00067; and KARAPATAN et al., vs. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, et al. CA- GR SP No.00066, WRA, to mention a few.

“Without a doubt, these cases are designed to harass the government officials and hamper the dutiful exercise of their government functions,” it said.

No sense of triumph

Meanwhile, the NTF ELCAC said there is no sense of triumph, but immense sadness and sorrow from the government when cases of grave offenses are filed against young activist turned armed communists.

“These cases are reminders that the State must be consistently vigilant in steering its youth from the virus that is the CPP-NPA-NDF. Seemingly, not much is gained from these cases, only due process taking its natural course with the hope that these deceived youth changed their ways and go back to the fold of the law,” the statement read.

It lamented that despite the lawful arrest of these young combatants, the government will be attacked once more by communist groups on the following fronts: the arrest will be used as illegitimate cause to again vilify, attack, and slander the government; Will exploit and use the incarceration of these young activists turned armed combatants into justifying their illicit donation drives and again duping well-meaning people of their hard-earned resources; and will again use their detention as platform for their nefarious recruitment and radicalization of the youth.

“The Republic, as an invigorated attempt to restrain these CTGs (communist terrorist groups) from recruiting its youth into the communist armed conflict, had filed a historic case against the CTGs legal fronts, their top officials, and their recruiters for kidnapping, violation of international humanitarian law, and serious illegal detention, among others, in the courts using the theory of radicalization to show criminal complicity on the part of these people,” the statement said.

It defined radicalization as a form of brainwashing – a method used by violent extremist organizations like ISIS and the Abu Sayyaf to recruit youth into their violent propaganda.

“This is an evil tactic perfected by the CPP-NPA –NDF. This radicalization cases only prove the desire of the State to save its youth from the violent communist movement,” it added.

The government, the NTF ELCAC said, welcomes activism from its youth and expects nothing less, for it is the youth’s solemn vow and duty to call on the government to institutionalize powerful changes and ensure societal justice.

“But it draws the line when one raises arm against the State as the same is an assault to the People and the principles it stands for. If this course is inevitable, the Rule of Law is supreme,” the statement said. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Joma: Rody as ‘greatest president’ is satirical

in Latest News

LUCENA CITY —- Exiled communist top rebel leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison clarified that his praises to President Duterte’s declaration to scrap all military treaties between the Philippines and the United States was only meant as a “satire.”

In a statement sent to the Inquirer on Wednesday, Sison said that in an earlier news report, there was a misrepresentation to his statement that resulted in him portraying Duterte as the “greatest President.”

“They quote but miss the satirical and challenging intent of the following sentence: ‘If Duterte would adopt all the necessary measures to assert and exercise national sovereignty against both US and Chinese imperialism, then he would de…

Keep on reading: Joma: Rody as ‘greatest president’ is satirical

‘Di dapat kayo nag-senador’: Agot Isidro hits ‘Bato’ on pro-Duterte bias remark

in Latest News

Actress Agot Isidro called out Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa after the latter admitted being biased toward President Rodrigo Duterte amid the ABS-CBN franchise renewal issue.

Isidro yesterday, Feb. 18, stressed via Twitter that the neophyte senator should not have run for office if his loyalty is to a person and not to his country.

“Sir, allegiance to country first! Dapat di kayo nag-senador kung biased kayo (You should not have been a senator if you are biased),” the actress said.

“Nakakapanlumo. Paano na, Pilipinas. Tayo-tayo lang ito (This is depressing. What are we going to do now, Philippines? We only have each other),” she added.

https://twitter.com/agot_isidro/st…

Keep on reading: ‘Di dapat kayo nag-senador’: Agot Isidro hits ‘Bato’ on pro-Duterte bias remark

Central Luzon cops lauded for arrest of ex-NPA leader

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ARRESTED. Brig. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia, director of the Police Regional Office-3 (left) and Brig. Gen. Rex dela Rosa, PRO-3 deputy regional director for administration (right), present to the media former NPA leader Rodolfo Canda Salas, also known as “Kumander Bilog” who was arrested in Angeles City, Pampanga on Tuesday (Feb. 18, 2020). Salas was arrested on the strength of a warrant of arrest issued by Manila Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina on Aug. 28, 2018, for 15 counts of murder before the Regional Trial Court of Manila. (PNA photo by Marna Del Rosario)

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday commended the Police Regional Office (PRO) 3 for the arrest of a former leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) in a subdivision in Angeles City, Pampanga.

“We will continue to implement legal offensive actions against the communist-terrorists groups, and all the criminal, economic and organizational support systems that sustain its terrorist activities,” PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said in a statement.

Gamboa, in particular, lauded PRO 3 chief Brig. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia for the strong implementation of the Executive Order 70 or “End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) following the arrest of Rodolfo Salas aka “Kumander Bilog”.

The PRO-3 said Salas was arrested on the strength of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina on Aug. 28, 2018, for 15 counts of murder before the Regional Trial Court of Manila.

Salas headed the NPA in 1976 after the capture of Bernabe Buscayno alias ‘Kumander Dante’ and chaired the CPP Central Committee after the capture of its founding chair Jose Maria Sison in 1977.

Sermonia said the former NPA leader was brought to the Regional Intelligence Division-Special Concern Unit (RID-SCU) for further investigation.

Salas was arrested in 1986 and granted amnesty in 1992 by former president Fidel V. Ramos.

“Today, we are showcasing another accomplishment in our efforts to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) in the region,” Sermonia said.

Gamboa also emphasized that the PNP is actively pursuing national government efforts to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) through a multi-sectoral undertaking. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Hong Kong reports second coronavirus fatality

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Published February 19, 2020, 12:20 PM

By Agence France-Presse

An elderly Hong Kong man who contracted the new coronavirus died on Wednesday, authorities announced, the second fatality from the outbreak in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

“A 70-year-old male patient who was infected with the novel coronavirus deteriorated and succumbed in Princess Margaret Hospital this morning,” the Hospital Authority said in a statement.

Officials said the man was taken to hospital on 12 February after a fall at home. He had a fever and tested positive for the virus, dying a week later.

In mainland China, where the virus first emerged, more than 2,000 people have been killed and 74,000 infected.

Hong Kong has confirmed the virus in 62 patients, two of whom have died. The first infections

Read More Hong Kong reports second coronavirus fatality

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

Hong Kong authorities tracking down 10 friends of OFW infected by COVID-19

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Published February 19, 2020, 12:15 PM

By Noreen Jazul

Hong Kong health authorities said they are tracking down 10 persons who had been in contact with the Filipino domestic worker infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID 2019).

Women wearing protective face masks chat on a bridge in Hong Kong on February 9, 2020, as a preventative measure after a coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan. (Photo by DALE DE LA REY / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwa, head of the Communicable Disease Branch of the Center for Health Protection, said the Filipin woman “met 10 friends” outside Hong Kong City Hall in Central.

“[They] stayed there in the outdoor area with everyone wearing masks for around one hour. They did

Read More Hong Kong authorities tracking down 10 friends of OFW infected by COVID-19

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

DBM: 51.8% of 2020 budget released in January

in Latest News

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released more than half of the P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget in January, a slower pace compared to previous years.

The latest DBM data showed that P2.1 trillion or 51.8 percent of this year’s budget was already handed out to government agencies and other automatic appropriations last month.

In January 2018, the DBM was able to release 78.8 percent or P2.9 trillion out of that year’s nonetheless smaller P3.767-trillion budget. Last year, the government-operated using reenacted 2018 appropriations in January due to late budget approval.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed this year’s general appropria…

Keep on reading: DBM: 51.8% of 2020 budget released in January

Filipinos in cruise ship who tested positive for COVID-19 now at 41

in Latest News

MANILA, Philippines — Forty-one Filipinos aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship that docked off Yokohama, Japan are infected with the COVID-19, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) disclosed Wednesday.

“Sa ngayon, we have 41 positive cases already for our crew sa ating Diamond Princess,” Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press conference at DOH main office.

(For now, we already have 41 positive cases within our crew on the Diamond Princess.)

Vergeire said they are constantly coordinating with the Japanese government and hospitals where the infected crew members are confined.

The Philippine Embassy in Japan announced earlier that it will …

Keep on reading: Filipinos in cruise ship who tested positive for COVID-19 now at 41

Espenido faces PNP probe for ‘violating gag order’ on drug link 

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MANILA, Philippines — Police Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido will be investigated for speaking out and commenting in public concerning his inclusion in the list of police officers allegedly involved in the drug trade, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said Wednesday.

Gamboa said he issued a gag order, or a directive to restrict information from being made public, to the 356 police officers included in the government’s drug watchlist. He added, though, that this was a “general instruction.”

But moments before Gamboa entertained an interview with reporters at Camp Crame, Espenido held a press conference at the Bacolod City Police Office, deny…

Keep on reading: Espenido faces PNP probe for ‘violating gag order’ on drug link 

Girl, 6, was killed by neighbor who then killed self — police

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — A 6-year-old girl who disappeared from her front yard after school was killed by a neighbor who then killed himself, authorities said Tuesday.

Faye Marie Swetlik died of asphyxiation just hours after she was abducted, Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher told reporters Tuesday, refusing to say if she was strangled or suffocated.

Faye’s body was found nearly three days later in woods near her home and had been put there just hours earlier, Fisher said.

Between that time, investigators had spoken with the suspect. Coty Scott Taylor let them search his home a few doors down from the girl. They saw nothing to suggest the girl was ever there, Cayce Public S…

Keep on reading: Girl, 6, was killed by neighbor who then killed self — police

South Korea: Transgender soldier files petition against discharge decision

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SEOUL — A former noncommissioned officer forcibly discharged from the military after sex reassignment surgery has filed an appeal seeking reinstatement, sources said Wednesday.

Byun Hee-soo, 22, filed the petition with the Army Headquarters, the sources said, after a military committee ruled last month based on a medical examination that the staff sergeant is unable to continue to serve.

Byun underwent the transition surgery late last year in Thailand and has expressed a desire to keep serving in the military as a female soldier.

“In accordance with related regulations, Byun could raise such an objection within 30 days of the committee ruling, and the authorities…

Keep on reading: South Korea: Transgender soldier files petition against discharge decision

‘Bato’ fires back at radio DJ: Is loyalty to Duterte reason enough to resign?

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MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Wednesday fired back at a radio personality who called for his resignation after he remarked that he will “live and die” with President Rodrigo Duterte.

 

“Sabihan mo si DJ Chacha baka ang alam lang nya ay magchacha,” Dela Rosa said in a text message, referring to radio jock Czarina Balba, better known as DJ Chacha.

 

(Tell DJ Cha Cha that maybe what she only knows is how to dance cha-cha)

 

“Mali ba ang maging loyal sa isang (Is it wrong to be loyal to a) duly elected President who is after the welfare of his people and who is willing confront the oligarchs who have been bastardizing this country f…

Keep on reading: ‘Bato’ fires back at radio DJ: Is loyalty to Duterte reason enough to resign?

House panel postpones voting on proposed charter amendments

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MANILA, Philippines — The House committee on constitutional amendments on Wednesday postponed voting on the executive department’s proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

Committee chair Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said Wednesday the proposal of the Department of Interior and Local Government-Inter-agency Task Force on Federalism and Constitutional Reform (IATF)’s proposal for charter reforms needs further studying by the members of the House panel.

The provisions that will be approved will be included in the constitutional amendments committee’s report which will be submitted to plenary for debate.

However, several lawmakers said they needed more time to di…

Keep on reading: House panel postpones voting on proposed charter amendments

S. Korea reports 15 more cases of novel coronavirus, total at 46

in Latest News

SEOUL — South Korea confirmed 15 more cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday, bringing the total number of infections here to 46, amid growing concerns that the respiratory illness is spreading across the country despite tighter quarantine measures.

According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), 13 new patients reside in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul and adjacent areas. They are presumed to have contracted the illness via contact with a 61-year-old South Korean woman who was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus infection Tuesday.

The country’s 31st patient, probably a coronavirus “super spreader,” also lives in the city. She started to com…

Keep on reading: S. Korea reports 15 more cases of novel coronavirus, total at 46

Binay to PNP: End all forms of profiling

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Updated February 19, 2020, 11:46 AM

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay on Wednesday appealed to the Philippine National Police (PNP) to end all kinds of profiling targeting specific individuals or groups based on appearance, political beliefs, religion, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Sen. Nancy Binay
(Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Binay made the call following the reported “profiling” of a transgender woman in Makati by cops in the guise of “Oplan X-Men.”

The senator noted police profiling has been very prevalent nowadays and is already bordering on grave abuse, saying even innocent law-abiding citizens have been wrongly arrested or accused of crimes.

“Medyo bordering on grave abuse yung pagpo-profile. Yung pipilitin kang sumama sa presinto at kukunin ang personal na impormasyon mo na wala

Read More Binay to PNP: End all forms of profiling

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

Experts ponder why cruise ship quarantine failed in Japan

in Latest News

TOKYO — As an extraordinary two-week quarantine of a cruise ship ends Wednesday in Japan, many scientists say it was a failed experiment: The ship seemed to become an incubator for a new virus instead of an isolation facility meant to prevent the worsening of an outbreak.

The viral illness that emerged last last year in central China has sickened tens of thousands of people, but the 542 cases confirmed among the ship’s 3,711 original passengers and crew are the most anywhere outside of China.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship is also the only place where health officials have seen the disease spread easily among people beyond China.

The question is: Why?

The Japanese gov…

Keep on reading: Experts ponder why cruise ship quarantine failed in Japan

Cops in ‘narcolist’ to face Duterte’s judgment next month

in Latest News

 

 

 

MANILA, Philippines — The fate of the 356 police officers in the so-called “narcolist” will be decided upon soon as the Philippine National Police (PNP) prepares to submit its recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte on March 5.

PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said Wednesday that the adjudication process for the police officers has already started.

“We will be having a joint command conference with the President and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) on March 5 and I intend to submit my recommendation on March 5,” he said.

“As a matter of fact, there’s an initial recommendation, but of course this will be contained in the final recomm…

Keep on reading: Cops in ‘narcolist’ to face Duterte’s judgment next month

Philippines prepares to repatriate Filipinos from cruise ship

in News

 

 

 

THE Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday, February 19, said the government is ready to repatriate all asymptomatic and coronavirus-free Filipino passengers and crew of cruise ship MV Diamond Princess.

The 14-day quarantine period for the passengers and crew of the cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan ended Wednesday.

As of Tuesday, a total of 542 people on board the ship, including 35 Filipinos, have been found positive for the novel coronavirus, a new strain that causes Covid-19.

In a press briefing in Manila Wednesday, DOH Assistant Secretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire said all those who will request repatriation will be accommodated by the Philippine government.

Talks with the Japanese government for the repatriation of more than 500 Filipinos on board the ship started last week, she said.

She stressed that the process is purely voluntary and only those who are asymptomatic and have tested negative for coronavirus prior to boarding the chartered flight will be repatriated.

“We want to repatriate our kababayans as soon as possible. Inaayos na (ang clearances). We are coordinating (with the Japanese government) and hopefully soon, mauumpisahan na natin ang repatriation,” Vergeire said.

Repatriates and those who will accompany them will have to undergo another quarantine period, just like the repatriates from Wuhan, China and the team who accompanied them who are still under quarantine at the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

Vergeire said that although the repatriation from Wuhan was successful, the DOH is working on several improvements to ensure the seamless repatriation of Filipinos the cruise ship.

Whether the repatriates from Japan will also be brought to New Clark City has not been finalized, she added.

Vergeire said the DOH is bracing for the possibility of local transmission.

“Our priority is to equip our hospitals and health facilities in dealing with such eventuality,” she said.

Meanwhile, she reported on the resolution passed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, which amended the exemptions to the travel ban related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Aside from Filipinos and holders of permanent resident visas in China, Macau, and Hong Kong, foreign spouses of Filipinos and their children as well as holders of diplomatic visas will also be now allowed entry into the Philippines subject to the required 14-day quarantine.

The task force also agreed to authorize travel to Hong Kong and Macau for permanent residents of the respective Special Administrative Regions, Filipinos leaving abroad for study, and overseas Filipino workers, provided that the travelers sign a declaration signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1844977/Manila/Local-News/Philippines-prepares-to-repatriate-Filipinos-from-cruise-ship?ref=rss&format=simple&link=link

Geniusto brings full digital banking services to Camalig Bank

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The Camalig Bank, Inc. (A Rural Bank) has partnered with dominant financial technology firm Geniusto Philippines Inc., to bring full digital banking services in Bicol that could be a game-changer in the region’s banking space.

Currently, Camalig Bank offers a diverse selection of credit facilities including agricultural, salary, business loans for small and medium enterprises, real estate, microfinance, and personal consumption loans. With its partnership with Geniusto, the rural bank is now capable of offering all the mobile and digital banking services provided by most universal banks.

“This is a game-changer in the rural banking industry,” Shane Hermans, founder and CEO of Geniu…

Keep on reading: Geniusto brings full digital banking services to Camalig Bank

BI detains Chinese in spitting incident with policeman

in News

Published February 19, 2020, 11:09 AM

By Jun Ramirez

Bureau of Immigration (BI) agents have arrested a Chinese national who was caught on camera spitting at a Manila policeman who apprehended him for several traffic violations.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said 50-year-old Zhou Zhiyi is now detained at the bureau’s detention facility in Bicutan, Taguig City following his arrest by BI agents at the Manila police district (MPD) headquarters along UN Avenue, Manila.

He was rearrested for violation of immigration laws after the court granted his bail petition for alleged resisting arrest and assaulting a traffic policeman.

“I immediately dispatched a team of operatives to effect his immediate arrest so he could also be charged for violating our immigration laws,” the BI chief said

According to BI

Read More BI detains Chinese in spitting incident with policeman

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

Senate set to start debates on motorcycle taxis

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Published February 19, 2020, 11:08 AM

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola 

The Senate is set to start the debates on the bill that will legalize motorcycle taxi operations in the country.

Senate of the Philippines building (Senate of the Philippines official Facebook)

Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday sponsored to the plenary Senate Bill No. 1341, the proposed “Motorcycle-for-Hire Act” allowing and regulating the use of motorcycles for public transport.

Poe, chair of the chamber’s Committee on Public Services, said it is high time for the government to recognize the rising demand for motorcycles-for-hire amid the worsening traffic conditions.

Legalizing motorcycle taxi operations, she added, will also help address safety risks present in both registered motorcycle-for-hire and the “colorums” or habal-habal. It will also improve commuter welfare by

Read More Senate set to start debates on motorcycle taxis

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

7 Makati City jeepney drivers test positive for illegal drugs

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MANILA, Philippines — Seven Makati City jeepney drivers tested positive for drugs, days after a jeepney driven by another drugged driver rammed and killed a 14-year-old student and injured several others in Barangay Poblacion.

 

READ: 14-year-old student dies, 7 others hurt as jeepney hits them in Makati
In a text message to reporters on Wednesday, Makati City police chief Col. Rogelio Simon said the result of the drug tests on 58 jeepney drivers were released by the Makati Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Madac).

 

Simon said the seven jeepney drivers who tested positive for drugs will be detained will face charges for violation of Anti-Drunk and…

Keep on reading: 7 Makati City jeepney drivers test positive for illegal drugs

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