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Govt task force sets criteria in determining countries to be included in travel ban

in News/Tabloid PH News
Govt task force sets criteria in determining countries to be included in travel ban

More countries, including Japan, could be included in the country’s travel ban depending on the criteria that will be set by the government in determining future travel restrictions to contain the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the new criteria is set for release on February 28 once finalized by the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Duque, in an interview with radio stations DZMM on Thursday (February 27), said among the considerations being looked at in including a country in the travel restrictions are the number of local transmission of COVID-19 and the volume of travelers that go in and out of that country.

Latest reports said there were already 186 cases of COVID-19 in Japan, with 8 fatalities.

The government has already banned travels to and from China and the South Korean province of North Gyeongsang.

If Japan is included in the ban, the Philippines’s tourism sector will surely suffer a big blow, as South Korea, China and Japan are three of the top 4 tourism markets of the country.

In 2019, there were 1.98 millions arrivals from South Korea, followed by China with 1.74 million, the US, 1.06 million, and Japan, 682,788.

These markets recorded hikes in tourist arrivals in 2019.  Korean arrivals went up by 22.48 percent, China by 38.58 percent, US by 2.90 percent, and Japan by 8.07 percent.

Overall, the Philippines received 8.26 million international visitors in 2019, up 15.24 percent from 2018.

“Depende, kung ito (Japan) ay pumasok (sa criteria)…Magde-decision ang task force,” Duque said.

Radio talk show host Jobert Sucaldito gets flak for suicide joke versus Nadine Lustre

in Entertainment/Tabloid PH Showbiz
Radio talk show host Jobert Sucaldito gets flak for suicide joke versus Nadine Lustre

Netizens are urging Nadine Lustre to sue fellow Kapamilya talent and radio talk show host Jobert Sucaldito over his suicide joke against the actress.

In their DZMM program “Showbuzz”, Sucaldito made harsh comments against Nadine for her rebuttal of a column of Ricky Lo in the Philippine Star about her rumored separation with live-in partner James Reid, the other half of the JaDine star couple. 

Sucaldito said he did not like how Nadine disputed the contents of Lo’s column. The DZMM host said Nadine has herself to blame for her reported breakup with James.

Sucaldito apparently made fan of Nadine when he commented: “Di ba ‘yun naman ang gusto nila? Kuno kuno may mga labas ang pwet, naka t-back pa doon sa building tapos may nakalagay na mga caption na parang gustong tumalon. Sana tumalon na lang, kung ganun lang din naman pala.”

This joke gave birth to the hashtag “#SuicideIsNotAJokeJobert”, where netizens countered with nasty comments.

@dklustre said: “Having a toxic, insensitive and entitled journalist like Jobert Sucaldito is such  a shame. U insulted someone (Nadine)  because of her mental illness and told her to jump off the building. Srsly, ang bobo mo. U just encouraged someone to commit suicide++”.

@tomflordeliza commented: “The year is 2020 and Nadine Lustre may be wearing her first suit when she finally decides to submit a libel case and sue Jobert Sucaldito’s whack ass. Now that’s an OOTD I can’t wait to see lmaoooo #SuicideIsNotAJokeJobert.”

This was seconded by @jethgregorgeous: “Remember Erik Santos and his management also filed a Libel case against him two years ago. Willie Revillame left ABS because of him. He embarassed Morissette in public  television. He also called Maymay Entrata “Ilusyonada”.”

Some of the netizens said Sucaldito’s suicide joke goes beyond Nadine, as it is an issue involving mental state that needs to be addressed seriously and should not be made a subject of a joke.

ABS-CBN News head Ging Reyes, in an official statement via Twitter, said: “We in ABS-CBN News take the issue of mental health very seriously. This was even the subject of a recent documentary that was produced. We are investigating reports that DZMM host Jobert Sucaldito uttered inappropriate and insensitive comments regarding actress Nadine Lustre’s state of mental health. Our journalists and other members of our team are accountable for their on-air statements.” 

As of 3 p.m. on Wednesday (January 8), the hashtag #SuicideIsNotAJokeJobert already had over 134,000 tweets.

Moral integrity is top consideration in choosing Faeldon’s replacement

in News/Tabloid PH News
Moral integrity is top consideration in choosing Faeldon’s replacement
Image Credit: Twitter

Amid the controversies surrounding the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor)—from the perennial problem of illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison to the early release of heinous crime convicts that has been on the national spotlight since last month—Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra is now putting more emphasis on moral integrity in determining who will replace Nicanor Faeldon as the new head of the agency.

Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said Guevarra will be looking at moral integrity and sound judgment in his evaluation of the candidates for the BuCor chief. “The most important factor for the Secretary (Guevarra) is integrity issues. That is his yardstick; integrity is very important,” Perete said in an interview with radio station DZMM on Wednesday (September 5).

He said under Republic Act (RA) 10575 (An Act strengthening the Bureau of Corrections), the DOJ secretary is tasked to recommend to the President the candidate for the head of BuCor, which is under the supervision of the DOJ.

Perete said: “We know how very important the position is, especially now, so we are fast-tracking the process.”

In the meantime, Guevarra will designate an officer-in-charge from the current deputy chiefs of the bureau. Perete said the DOJ secretary will make the announcement today.

Faeldon was fired by President Duterte on Tuesday over the early release of heinous crime convicts due to erroneous implementation of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) provisions of RA 10592, including three of the seven persons convicted in the rape-slay of the Chiong sisters. 

The Senate convened today the Blue Ribbon and Justice committees for the third of its probe of the GCTA mess. The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission is also conducting its parallel investigation, with end view of filing criminal charges against current and former BuCor officials who had a hand in the early release of close to 2,000 convicts of heinous crimes since 2014.

Duterte said he wants the DOJ and the police to re-arrest these freed convicts if they would not voluntarily surrender to authorities.

Faeldon said he accepts the decision of the President “without any hard feelings”.

“My commander-in-chief/appointing authority has spoken. I am a marine and a marine does as he is told,” Faeldon said in a statement released by his legal team. “I most humbly bow to commander-in-chief’s order without any hard feelings.”

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