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Updated: 47 min 28 sec ago

Man arrested for molesting 5-year-old girl

Tue, 2022-07-26 16:41
A 38-YEAR-OLD man accused of sexually molesting a five-year-old girl was arrested by police in Albor town, Bohol past 10 p.m. Monday, July 25, 2022.

The girl was brought to the Pink Room of Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City for an examination.

Senior Master Sergeant Roselle Olar of Albor Police Station said that Amber (not her real name) was left alone in their house in Barangay Cantiguib, Albor around 8 p.m. Monday as her parents were busy attending to the participants of youth camp activity in their area when the 38-year-old suspect, only identified as Junrey, came in, brought the girl to a room and then started caressing her.

Junrey reportedly served as marshal in the youth camp activity.

The parents immediately asked for police assistance after knowing about the painful experience of their child.

"Matod sa parent sa victim nga gihagkan daw ang bata, gihuboan ug gipasulod ang ‘ari’ sa suspek ngadto na sa bata, apan tungod siguro nga dili masulod, murag ang gibuhat sa suspek, murag gi ugsok-usok ang iyaha ngadto na sa vagina sa bata," Olar said.

(According to the parent of the victim that the suspect kissed the child, stripped her naked and inserted his organ into the girl's genital, but because he could not penetrate the suspect, he decided to rub his sex organ into the girl's vagina).

Junrey was later arrested by Albor police during a hot pursuit operation at 9 p.m. on Remolador Extension, Tagbilaran City.

The suspect will face a case of statutory rape. (BBT, TPT)

Categories: Philippines News

EcoOil-La Salle leans on Kevin Quiambao to turn back Wangs-Letran in PBA D-League

Tue, 2022-07-26 16:39
Gilas big man Kevin Quiambao showed off his prodigious skills in the fourth canto to help the EcoOil-La Salle turn away the Wangs Basketball-Letran, 94-87, in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup on Tuesday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The incoming rookie, who is coming off an excellent showing for the national team duty in the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup, scored 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, including two three-pointers, to help La Salle come away with the win.

He flirted with a triple-double, padding his stat line with 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Quiambao's standout efforts buoyed the Green Archers as they rallied from a 10-point first half deficit, and his freebies in the last 1:38 sealed the game at 88-81.

"We know what Kevin can bring to the table. He will make things happen for us and when he needed to score the basket, he made big shots," said coach Derick Pumaren as his squad improved to 3-2.

JC Macalalag had 18 points and five rebounds to topscore for EcoOil-La Salle, while also drawing solid games from Penny Estacio, who had 14 points from three treys, and Michael Phillips, who nabbed a double-double with his 13 points, 11 boards, and five steals.

On the other side, Wangs-Letran dropped its first game in four matches with Pao Javillonar showing the way with 19 points and six rebounds.

In the first game, Juan Gomez de Liano exploded for 31 points as Marinerong Pilipino crushed the still-winless AMA Online by 38 points, 87-49, to book its seat in the playoffs.

The University of the Philippines guard made three treys as he anchored the Skippers' second straight win with his all-around game of 16 rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and one steal to rise to a 4-1 card.
Categories: Philippines News

Carl Tamayo, UP Fighting Maroons seek third win in Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup

Tue, 2022-07-26 16:39
Talented Cebuano forward Carl Tamayo will be at the forefront once again as his University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons seek a third straight win when they battle the University of the East Red Warriors in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup on Wednesday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

The Gilas Pilipinas forward has been relentless in the Fighting Maroons' campaign in so far, averaging 19.0 points and 12.5 rebounds as they gained the early lead in Group A with their 2-0 record. However, Tamayo's performance really shouldn't come as a surprise as the Cebuano has made it a point to give it his all whenever he takes the court.

"Kailangan ako ng team namin, so ibibigay ko lang yung best ko every time may chance ako na maglaro," said the 6-foot-7 forward who hails from Talisay City, with him seizing the baton for UP which is still missing the likes of Zavier Lucero and Malick Diouf.

Guards JD Cagulangan, Harold Alarcon, and Gerry Abadiano have also proven themselves for the Goldwin Monteverde-coached crew and the trio is expected to spearhead UP’s attack in the 5 p.m. main event.

Emilio Aguinaldo College (1-0) also has the same plans in mind when it battles Perpetual (0-1) in the 9 a.m. matinee, with coach Oliver Bunyi looking to build on the solid performances of Adam Doria, JP Maguliano, and Nat Cosejo.

Meanwhile, the L-Jay Gonzales-led Far Eastern University side is determined to snap a two-game losing skid when it takes on the debuting San Sebastian at 11 a.m. in Group B action.

National University, which will take on Arellano (0-1) at 1 p.m., and defending NCAA champion Letran, facing Jose Rizal University at 3 p.m., are both making their debuts in another loaded quintuple-header.
Categories: Philippines News

Magnolia guard Mark Barroca named PBA Player of the Week

Tue, 2022-07-26 16:37
Magnolia’s veteran guard Mark Barroca was named the PBA Player of the Week for his role in helping the Hotshots win eight games in a row including a 98-89 win over NLEX in the best-of-three quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup.

Proving his stature as one of the best guards in both the Magnolia franchise and the entire league, Barroca became the latest member of the 5,000-point club after a steady showing for the third-seeded Hotshots. But the 11-year-veteran did more than just score as he contributed in almost all departments as Magnolia now stands a win away from making it to the semifinals.

The 36-year-old former Far Eastern University stalwart scattered averages of 13.3 points on 40-percent field goal from downtown, laced by 4.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 3.0 steals in three games all won by Magnolia at the tailend of the elims and start of the playoffs.

His stellar outing was highlighted by a 24-point eruption against the Road Warriors in Game 1, where he officially reached 5,000 points and became only the eighth player in Magnolia franchise history to mark the milestone.

The Zamboanga City native also became the 94th player in PBA history (90th local) and only the fourth from the loaded 2011 Rookie Class to achieve the scoring feat, thus earning himself the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period July 20-24.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon sa career ko at ngayon nga, nakaabot ako ng 5,000 points. Pasalamat ako kay coach (Chito Victolero) at sa mga teammates ko. Kung hindi naman dahil sa kanila, hindi ko rin maaabot it. Bonus lang ‘yung mga award. Ang goal namin is manalo talaga ng championship,” he said.
Categories: Philippines News

Cebu City cops who have poor shooting skills may lose allowance

Tue, 2022-07-26 15:15
POLICE personnel in Cebu City who have poor shooting skills may lose their allowance if they fail in the gun proficiency training that will be revived by the Cebu City Government.

The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) was once recognized as Cebu's Finest due to its good shooting ability.

City Councilor Philip Zafra, chairman of the Committee on Peace and Order Council, said the construction of CCPO's firing range is expected to be completed next week.

As this developed, the City Government will bring back the shooting competition among the CCPO personnel and those who will lose in the activity will be deprived of their allowance.

The City Government will also shoulder the bullets that will be used in the training.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy director for operations of CCPO, however, appealed to Zafra not to withhold the allowance of police personnel with poor shooting skills in order not to degrade their morale but allow them to undergo seminar on gun proficiency as well as provide them bullets that they can use in their shooting practice to improve their shooting ability. (AYB, TPT)

Categories: Philippines News

Girl found dead a day after being swept by flood

Tue, 2022-07-26 12:17
THE 12-year-old girl who went missing while swimming in a river in Barangay Can-asujan, Carcar City, southern Cebu on Monday afternoon was found dead on Tuesday morning, July 26, 2022.

Jendie Paran of Sitio Oliveros, Can-asujan was swimming in the river with four other companions when she was swept by the flood caused by heavy downpour in the upland area around 3 p.m. Monday, July 25.

Personnel from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Bantay Dagat, and the Philippine Coast Guard who conducted a rescue operation found the victim’s body stuck on a tree branch along the waterway at 2 a.m. Tuesday in Sitio Inayagan, Barangay Tuyom, Carcar, which is about 10 kilometers from the area where the girl had gone swimming.

Lt. Col. Ardiolito Cabagnot, chief of Carcar Police Station, told SunStar Cebu that Paran’s body was retrieved at 6 a.m on Tuesday.

Cabagnot said it took the emergency responders long before they could find the victim as she was covered by debris that were swept by the flood.

Advise to parents

Cabagnot advised parents not to allow their children to swim in the river to avoid similar incidents from happening again.

The date (July 25) when Paran was swept by the strong current was observed as the World Drowning Prevention Day, which was declared by the United Nations in April 2021 to bring coordinated multisectoral action to prevent drowning.

More than 3,000 Filipinos die each year from drowning, with children particularly vulnerable to this preventable occurrence, according to the Department of Health.
Categories: Philippines News

Girl who went missing while swimming found

Tue, 2022-07-26 12:17
THE 12-year-old girl who went missing while swimming in a river in Barangay Can-asujan, Carcar City, southern Cebu on Monday afternoon was found dead on Tuesday morning, July 26, 2022.

The victim identified as Jendie Paran, of Sitio Oliveros, Barangay Can-asujan, was swimming with her friends in the river when she was swept by the strong water current around 3 p.m. on Monday.

Personnel from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Bantay Dagat, and the Philippine Coast Guard who conducted a rescue operation found the victim's body stuck on a tree branch along the waterway at 2 a.m. on Tuesday in Sitio Inayagan, Barangay Tuyom.

Lieutenant Colonel Ardeolito Cabagnot, chief of Carcar Police Station, told SunStar Cebu that the child was finally retrieved later at 6 a.m. (GPL, TPT)

Categories: Philippines News

Buildrite takes down Modern Windows in Cebu Architects Basketball Club

Tue, 2022-07-26 10:52
Buildrite scored a 55-54 win over Modern Windows to bolster their bid for a twice-to-beat advantage in the next round of the Cebu Architects Basketball Club 2022 last Sunday at the PAREF Springdale gym.

Playing without leading scorer Kim-Kim Rebosura, Buildrite showed its depth and raced off to a 12-0 lead. Modern Windows tried to rally in the game’s late stages but Buildrite hung on to get the hard-earned victory to even their win-loss record at 2-2 and send their opponents tumbling to 1-3.

Wily guard Darren Morandante led the team with 16 points and five rebounds, while Alexander Vidal swished in five triples for 15 points. Montecristo Salvador also lorded over the shaded lane, amassing a double-double of 12 points and 18 rebounds.

The top two teams at the end of the elimination round will gain outright entry to the semifinals while the third and fourth-ranked teams will have a twice-to-beat advantage over the fifth and sixth-seeds.

Meanwhile, Boysen Paints remained unbeaten as they slipped past AEG, 62-60. Boysen pulled away in the fourth period, rattling off 10 straight points to surge in front, 56-42. AEG countered with a 14-0 run but fell short as time ran out of their comeback attempt.

Criz Matunog led Boysen—which now holds a 4-0 card—with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Abet Ceniza had 13 points, six boards, and four assists. Chester Hinagdanan had 10 points, 14 boards, and five assists.

Lastly, Unitec rallied past Island Premium Paint, 59-56, for their second win of the competition. Ferdinand Tiro had 14 markers and six rebounds, while Mark Paradero added 13 points to lift Unitec to the win.
Categories: Philippines News

Delivery driver loses P50,000 collection to robbers in Bohol

Tue, 2022-07-26 10:15
A delivery rider lost his P50,000 collection in a robbery hold-up incident in Barangay Talenceras, Tubigon town, Bohol on Monday at 9:10 p.m., July 25, 2022.

Pilarino Paparon Jr., 33, a delivery rider of J&T, from Barangay Baang, Catigbian, Bohol, was driving his Honda XRM motorcycle on his way to their office in Tubigon proper when two motorcycle-riding men blocked his way prompting him to stop, according to the Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) in their investigation.

The backrider, who was wearing a jacket and short pants, approached Paparon, aimed a gun of undetermined caliber at him, and declared a holdup, it added.

The victim was even brought to a secluded place where his P50,000 collection and cell phone worth P14,000 were taken by the suspects, who then tied his both hands with a rope and abandoned him.

The suspects fled towards Tubigon proper.

The incident was only reported to the police when Paparon was able to free himself but the former failed to catch the suspect during a follow-up operation.

This is the ninth robbery incident in Bohol in a span of two weeks.

Last week, the BPPO also recorded eight robbery incidents in the province. (AYB, TPT)

Categories: Philippines News

1999, 2006, nab top seeds heading to playoffs of USPF Panthers Cup Season 2

Tue, 2022-07-26 10:00
Batches 1999 and 2006 notched victories last Sunday to earn the top seeds of their respective brackets in the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Alumni Association Panthers Cup Season 2 Inter-Batch Basketball Tournament at the Capitol Parish Gym.

Batch 1999 cruised past 1991, 89-73, with Melvin Bacalla tallying 21 points. Meanwhile, Batch 1998 trounced the reigning champions 1992, 59-48, as Keith Andaya scored 16 markers.

Both 1999 and 1998 ended up with the same win-loss record at 6-1, but the former gained the top spot in Bracket A by virtue of their win over the latter in the elimination round.

Batch 1995 also routed 1997, 71-40, as Ramel Tambolero notched 21 points. Batch 1996 also closed out their campaign in the tournament with a 59-51 victory over 1994. Junjie Aclan scored 13 markers to power 1996 to the win.

Batches 1999 and 1998 will hold a twice-to-beat advantage over 1992 and 1995 in the crossover semifinals.

Over in Bracket B, 2006 ended the elims on a high note, as they picked up two victories to send them to the top spot. They first defeated 2008, 60-44, with Jam Ferraren producing 15 points and five rebounds, before putting down 2002, 76-64. Ferraren once again shone for his batch, scoring 20 points in the win.

2006 finished the elims with a 7-1 card and will face 2011 in the semifinals. They will have a twice-to-beat advantage. The other semis showdown will see 2008 taking on 2001, with the former holding a twice-to-beat bonus.

Batch 2011 also got two wins on Sunday to get the last ticket to the playoffs. They defeated 2003, 62-55, and then put down 2014, 64-47, to get to 6-2.

Batch 2001 also bested 2008, 52-49, to get the win and nab the third seed.

Batch 2003 finished their stint in this tournament with a rousing 73-69 win over 2000.
Categories: Philippines News

bai Hotel Cebu reopens its Lobby Lounge

Tue, 2022-07-26 03:11
KNOWN for its cozy atmosphere and comforting aesthetic, bai Hotel Cebu's Lobby Lounge has always been a place of solace; a meeting place for businessmen and leisure-seekers alike. Finally, after months of hiatus, the favorite lounge is back, and it’s better than ever.

The Lobby Lounge is offering a new menu that's meant for social gatherings. Among the items in this menu are cheeses and meats that are perfect for wine-and-cheese dates or meetings. Each item is sold at 100g each, with products that range from fresh goat cheese to pecorino, brie to blue cheese, and meats like salami, prosciutto, mortadella, and beef pastrami. It also sells accompaniments like bread, jams, and nuts to complete the fancy set-up.

With a well-curated wine list and specialty blends, guests are in for a real treat as they can pair these with their choice of cheeses and meats.

There's nothing quite like spending one’s weekly catchups and hangouts with a fancy set-up like charcuterie and wine. So, if guests still looking for the perfect place, they can look no further than bai Hotel Cebu's Lobby Lounge⁠.

The Lobby Lounge is open daily from 3 p.m. to 12 midnight. For table reservations, guests can contact bai Hotel Cebu at (032) 888 2500, message its socials at bai Hotel Cebu or email at fbreservation@baihotel.com.ph. SPONSORED CONTENT.
Categories: Philippines News

Marcos vows tax reform, more infra, airports

Mon, 2022-07-25 22:57
PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. laid down his administration’s plans to further boost the country’s economic recovery following the effects of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

In his first State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, July 25, 2022, Marcos said his government will implement “sound fiscal management tax administration reforms” that will increase revenue collection of the government and make the country an attractive investment destination, examine the power transmission and distribution system to lower energy prices for consumers and industry, as well as expand health services and infrastructure development.

Marcos said the country’s rail transport system would be developed, including those beyond the National Capital Region, like the Cebu railway system, the Panay Railway Project, and the 102-kilometer Mindanao Railway Project.

Road and transportation system improvement in key cities would also continue, including through the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Davao High Priority Bus System, Ilocos Norte Transportation Hub, and the El Nido Transport Terminal.

To boost tourism, Marcos said the country’s airports would be upgraded and more international airports would also be created to help decongest the Manila Airport.

In the area of foreign policy, he said he would not “abandon even one square inch of territory of the Republic of the Philippines to any foreign power. With respect to our place in the community of nations, the Philippines shall continue to be a friend to all, an enemy to none.”

There was no mention on the fight against criminality or corruption in his speech.

Marcos started off his Sona by talking about tax reform.

“Our tax system will be adjusted in order to catch up with the rapid developments of the digital economy including the imposition of value added tax on digital service providers. The initial revenue impact will be around P11.7 billion in 2023 alone,” he said.

He said tax compliance procedures will be simplified to promote ease of paying taxes, while priorities will be realigned and spending efficiency will be improved to immediately address economic impacts of the pandemic, as well as in preparation for other future crises.

Marcos said tax incentives for enterprises will make the country attractive as an investment destination.

“Ecozones will be fully supported to bring in strategic industries such as those engaged in high technology manufacturing, health and medical care and all emerging technologies. This is also seen to facilitate economic growth outside Metro Manila,” he said.

“We will pursue measures to determine possible undervaluation and/or trade mis-invoicing of imported goods through information and communications technology. The Bureau of Customs (BOC) will implement streamlined processes,” he added.

Poverty, GDP

Marcos said they are determined to bring down the country’s poverty rate to nine percent by 2028, the national deficit to Growth Domestic Product (GDP) ratio to three percent by 2028, the national government debt to GDP ratio to less than 60 percent by 2025, and at least $4,256 income per capita and the attainment of upper middle-income status by 2024.

He said that based on forecasts that are consistent with guiding principles of coherence of strategies, policy discipline and fiscal sustainability, GDP is expected to grow by 6.5 to 7.5 percent in 2022 and 6.5 to eight percent annually from 2023 to 2028.

Marcos attributed the economic growth to the reopening of the Philippines following the loosening of restrictions due to the pandemic.

Marcos said the average inflation for 2022 is projected to range from 4.5 to 5.5 percent, but it will return to the target range of 2.0 to 4.0 percent by 2024 until 2028.

He attributed the inflation rate to the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

Marcos said exports of goods are expected to grow by seven percent in 2022 and to six percent from 2023 to 2028, while imports may grow by 18 percent in 2022, six percent in 2023 and eight percent from 2024 to 2028.

He said he has already instructed the National Economic and Development Authority to coordinate with other agencies for the establishment of the country’s development plan for 2023-2028 and to submit it to him before yearend.

Marcos also assured that there will no more lockdowns despite the increasing cases of Covid-19, as he vowed to put balance on health, economy and the welfare of the people.

He highlighted the importance of Covid-19 booster doses to ensure that Covid-19-related hospitalizations will remain low.

Health

Marcos sought the assistance of Congress for the establishment of the country’s own Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and a vaccine institute.

He pushed for the passage of a National Disease Prevention Management Authority bill for the creation of the CDC, which will be attached to the Department of Health.

Marcos also vowed to build more health centers and hospitals under his administration not only in Metro Manila but most especially in provinces.

“Bukod dito, upang mailapit natin ang health care system sa taumbayan nang hindi sila kailangang pumunta sa sentro ng kanilang bayan, lalawigan o region, ay maglalagay tayo ng mga clinic, mga RHU na pupuntahan ng mga doktor, nurse, midwife, medtech, isang beses, dalawang beses sa isang linggo — nang sa gayon, magiging mas madali sa may karamdaman na magpapagamot nang hindi na kailangang magbiyahe nang malayo,” he said.

“One of the cornerstones of a strong healthcare system is the provision of competent and efficient medical professionals. We will exert all efforts to improve the welfare of our doctors, our nurses, and other medical frontliners,” he added.

Marcos said he is also working to make prices of medicines in the country low, particularly by inviting more manufacturers in the country.

He said he directed the Philippine Competition Commission to ensure equality and to end the cartel among the pharmaceutical companies in the country.

“This is one of the hard lessons that we learned when the pandemic struck, and therefore, we must act on that shortcoming,” he added.

Agriculture support

To address the looming food crisis in the country, Marcos Jr. said he will issue an executive order for the imposition of a one-year moratorium on land amortization and interest payment for farmers.

Marcos, the concurrent secretary of the Department of Agriculture, highlighted the need for stronger support to the agriculture sector to achieve the country’s food security in the coming years.

“We will provide loans, while we will bring the less expensive farm inputs that the government will buy in bulk closer to the agricultural sector. This includes fertilizer, pesticides, seedlings, feeds, fuel subsidy and aid for eligible beneficiaries,” he said in Filipino.

He said loans and financial assistance to farmers and fishermen would be an institution and policy of his administration.

Agrarian reform

Marcos also urged Congress to pass a law that will emancipate the agrarian reform beneficiaries from the agrarian reform debt burden, thereby amending Section 26 of Republic Act 6657.

“In this law, the loans of agrarian reform beneficiaries with unpaid amortization and interest shall be condoned,” he said.

“Agrarian reform beneficiaries who are still to receive their awarded land under the comprehensive agrarian reform program shall receive it without any obligation to pay any amortization,” he added.

The country has 52,000 hectares of unused agricultural lands, which will now be used for distribution to the landless war veterans, their kin, as well as retirees of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in accordance with Section 40 of the Republic Act 6657, as amended.

Marcos said he will prioritize modernization in the agriculture sector through the use of new technologies and science resilient in the face of climate change, and make farmers’ products more accessible by building farm-to-market roads.

Ahead of the Sona, legislators from the two chambers of Congress elected Monday Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri as Senate President of the 19th Congress and Leyte First District Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, a cousin of Marcos, as House Speaker.

Zubiri said the 19th Congress will have a Senate that will provide a payload of solutions instead of fault-finding, while Romualdez promised a “fair and equitable distribution of resources for the development of our regions regardless of political affiliations.” (CTL, SunStar Philippines)
Categories: Philippines News

Cebu leaders cheer railway push, ‘no lockdowns,’ OFW aid in Sona

Mon, 2022-07-25 21:33
CEBU leaders praised President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for his first State of the Nation Address (Sona), which they said was comprehensive and offered concrete plans.

“PBBM’s first Sona was very comprehensive,” said Rep. Daphne Lagon (Cebu, 6th district), hours after Marcos delivered his Sona on Monday, July 25, 2022. “It covers every pressing need of the country at this time from the health crisis to economic recovery, independent foreign policy, job creation, infrastructure development, improving government services, agriculture and land reform and education, among others.”

Lagon said what was important to her was Marcos’ concern for the overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

“The law creating the Department of Migrant Workers has only recently been approved, and yet he was not satisfied,” Lagon said in Cebuano. “He wants to create a One Repatriation Command Center so that our OFWs oppressed in other countries can immediately be given assistance. This is very important, especially in life and death situations when just a little delay in our response can result in death.”

“Aside from this, he also wants to give appropriate attention and assistance to the families of OFWs to minimize also the adverse effects and social costs of families being separated from each other because we really can’t avoid this since many go abroad for greener pastures,"Lagon added.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia described Marcos’ Sona as “very comprehensive, short on motherhood statements and long on concrete plans. Candid about our situation but hopeful and focused on the way forward.”

“More importantly, for Cebu, we are topmost in his mind in terms of infrastructure. The President's overall plans are in synch with Cebu's direction. Finally, I applauded the loudest when he stated emphatically: ‘No more lockdowns,’” the governor said.

Cebu City South District Rep. Eduardo “Edu” Rama told SunStar Cebu that the Sona gave a clear path to move towards the economic development of the country.

Rama praised Marcos Jr. for mentioning projects that can improve the traffic situation of the city and the entire Cebu Island.

In his Sona, the President had instructed the Department of Transportation to get the implementation of various projects to improve the country’s transportation system going at full speed as a means to develop the economy.

Marcos Jr. mentioned the construction of a railway system in Cebu and the Bus Rapid Transit in Cebu City.

“I feel enthusiastic that the President supports the BRT and the establishment of the Cebu Railway System. These initiatives are a step in the right direction for Cebu City,” Rama said.

“As I’ve shared before, to solve our traffic situation we need to explore and implement a basket of solutions. The President’s Sona gave us a clear path to move towards,” said Rama.

Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas was just as excited over the plans of Marcos for the country during his six-year term.

Gullas, who attended the Sona with his wife, First District Rep. Rhea Gullas, pointed out the “no more lockdowns” and the infrastructure programs of the President that will benefit the agriculture and tourism sectors.

In his social media post, the reelected mayor said he would ask the City Council to pass a resolution outlining their priorities that will align with those of the national government.

“Will be asking them to pass a resolution documenting all our farm-to-market roads, roads leading to tourist destinations and other tourism spots that need funding,” he added.

To realize these projects, Gullas said, he would seek the assistance of his wife in Congress, as well as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Tourism, and the Department of Public Works and Highways, to prioritize such in the national budget. (JKV, ANV, IRT, MKG)
Categories: Philippines News

Ex-drug sellers, 52 couples tie knot in Mandaue mass civil wedding

Mon, 2022-07-25 21:33
RAMON Magallon, 59, and his live-in partner of 34 years Railyn Bores, 53, had a hard life before they decided to tie the knot.

Magallon and Bores, who are residents of Barangay Cambaro, Mandaue City, told SunStar Cebu that they had been arrested for selling illegal drugs.

But after availing themselves of the plea bargaining agreement with the court, the couple shunned the unlawful life for good for the sake of their six kids and seven grandchildren.

To cement their love for one another, Magallon and Bores joined 52 other couples who who availed themselves of the Mandaue City Government’s free civil wedding held at the Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Complex on Saturday, July 23, 2022.

The mass civil wedding was organized by the Mandaue City Government as part of the city’s 53rd Charter Day, which will be celebrated on Aug. 30.

Aside from Magallon and Bores, Juniever Tee and Michelle Judilla, both 38 years old, availed themselves of the City’s free mass wedding program to get married after living together for 14 years.

Tee and Judilla, who are from Barangay Mantuyong, admitted to SunStar Cebu that they initially wanted to get married back in 2012, but the lack of financial resources and time hindered them from doing it.

The couple have four children.

All expense paid

The couples who participated in the activity were treated to an all-expense paid celebration courtesy of the City.

After the event, each of the couples also took home a sack of rice as a wedding gift.

During his speech, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes reminded the couples to love and understand each other.

“Fights are always normal,” Cortes said, adding the argument between a husband and a wife should not lead to the end of marriage.

“Remember, the first to say sorry is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest,” he added.

The city mayor also administered the exchange of vows of the 53 couples.
Categories: Philippines News

LCP members condemn killing of ex-Lamitan mayor

Mon, 2022-07-25 21:14
MEMBERS of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) has condemned the killing of former Lamitan City Mayor Rose Furigay during a graduation ceremony in Quezon City on Sunday, July 24, 2022.

In a statement issued on Sunday night, July 24, LCP president and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said that he and the 145-strong members of the league condemned “in the strongest possible terms the brutal murder” of the former mayor.

Furigay was gunned down inside the Ateneo de Manila University in Katipunan, Quezon City on Sunday afternoon, July 24, 2022.

Furigay was in the university to attend her daughter’s law school graduation.

The suspect, Dr. Chao-Tiao Tumol, was arrested by authorities after the shooting.

Two more individuals, including Furigay’s aide and a university employee, were killed in the shooting.

Hannah, Furigay’s daughter, was wounded.

“This cowardly act executed in broad daylight is a sobering call for vigilance and a cry for restoring peace and order,” said Rama.

Rama added that he was told that Furigay was an active member of the LCP in which the former mayor served in 2019 in the LMP’s national executive board as regional representative for the Bangsamoro Administrative Region for Muslim Mindanao.

“The life of Furigay may have ended abruptly but her legacy of public service will continue to inspire her fellow civil servants,” said Rama.

Rama further said the LCP will continue its advocacy to actively pursue efforts against criminality and lawlessness in order to keep the cities and people safe and secure.

The LCP also offered its condolences to the families of the other victims who died during the shooting incident.

Not involved in illegal drugs

In a related development, Furigay’s legal counsel has denied the allegation of the assassin, Dr. Chao-Tiao Tumol, that Furigay’s family has been involved in illegal drug operations and corruption activities.

Lawyer Quirino Esguerra Jr. said there is no truth in the statements made by Yumol.

“His story is untrue,” he said.

Yumol, who was arrested immediately after the incident, admitted perpetrating the crime, saying he did it for the sake of his fellow residents of Lamitan who are denied privileges as a Filipino citizen due to the corrupt practices of Furigay and her family.

He said he has already collected several “evidences” to prove that Furigay and her family have been involved in the illegal drug trade.

Esguerra said the conflict between Yumol and Furigay started in 2018 when the Lamitan City Government, under the leadership of the latter, implemented a cease and desist order issued by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao government against the suspect’s infirmary clinic.

He said Yumol’s clinic was located just across the street from the Lamitan City Hall.

After his clinic was ordered closed, Yumol started posting malicious insinuations against Furigay and other City Government officials and employees that led to the filing of more than 70 cyber libel charges against him.

Yumol earlier told the police that he cannot practice his profession due to the charges filed against him by Furigay.

In a statement, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said he was shocked and saddened by the incident.

He ordered the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly and swiftly investigate the incident and bring all involved to justice.

He expressed sympathy to the bereaved families of the victims. (IRT, TPM / SunStar Philippines)
Categories: Philippines News

City mayors condemn murder of ex-Lamitan mayor

Mon, 2022-07-25 21:14
MEMBERS of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) has condemned the killing of former Lamitan City Mayor Rose Furigay during a graduation ceremony in Quezon City on Sunday, July 24, 2022.

In a statement issued on Sunday night, July 24, LCP president and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said that he and the 145-strong members of the league condemned “in the strongest possible terms the brutal murder” of the former mayor.

Furigay was gunned down inside the Ateneo de Manila University in Katipunan, Quezon City on Sunday afternoon, July 24, 2022.

Furigay was in the university to attend her daughter’s law school graduation.

The suspect, Dr. Chao-Tiao Tumol, was arrested by authorities after the shooting.

Two more individuals, including Furigay’s aide and a university employee, were killed in the shooting.

Hannah, Furigay’s daughter, was wounded.

“This cowardly act executed in broad daylight is a sobering call for vigilance and a cry for restoring peace and order,” said Rama.

Rama added that he was told that Furigay was an active member of the LCP in which the former mayor served in 2019 in the LMP’s national executive board as regional representative for the Bangsamoro Administrative Region for Muslim Mindanao.

“The life of Furigay may have ended abruptly but her legacy of public service will continue to inspire her fellow civil servants,” said Rama.

Rama further said the LCP will continue its advocacy to actively pursue efforts against criminality and lawlessness in order to keep the cities and people safe and secure.

The LCP also offered its condolences to the families of the other victims who died during the shooting incident.

Not involved in illegal drugs

In a related development, Furigay’s legal counsel has denied the allegation of the assassin, Dr. Chao-Tiao Tumol, that Furigay’s family has been involved in illegal drug operations and corruption activities.

Lawyer Quirino Esguerra Jr. said there is no truth in the statements made by Yumol.

“His story is untrue,” he said.

Yumol, who was arrested immediately after the incident, admitted perpetrating the crime, saying he did it for the sake of his fellow residents of Lamitan who are denied privileges as a Filipino citizen due to the corrupt practices of Furigay and her family.

He said he has already collected several “evidences” to prove that Furigay and her family have been involved in the illegal drug trade.

Esguerra said the conflict between Yumol and Furigay started in 2018 when the Lamitan City Government, under the leadership of the latter, implemented a cease and desist order issued by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao government against the suspect’s infirmary clinic.

He said Yumol’s clinic was located just across the street from the Lamitan City Hall.

After his clinic was ordered closed, Yumol started posting malicious insinuations against Furigay and other City Government officials and employees that led to the filing of more than 70 cyber libel charges against him.

Yumol earlier told the police that he cannot practice his profession due to the charges filed against him by Furigay.

In a statement, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said he was shocked and saddened by the incident.

He ordered the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly and swiftly investigate the incident and bring all involved to justice.

He expressed sympathy to the bereaved families of the victims. (IRT, TPM / SunStar Philippines)
Categories: Philippines News

COA questions delay of CCMC’s Phase 2 project

Mon, 2022-07-25 21:12
THE Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged the delay in the construction of the P299 million Phase 2 project of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).

In its audit report, COA said design and detailed engineering issues, slow decision making, giving of unreasonable time extensions, and confusing computation of contract time have deprived the constituents of the much-needed facility, especially in this time of health crisis.

In 2019, the contract to build Phase 2 of CCMC was awarded to C.E. Padilla Construction Inc., which was given 180 calendar days to finish the project. Thus, the project should have been finished on Sept. 30, 2019.

However, COA’s report said that as of Dec. 31, 2021, or two years and eight months since the start date, the project was still only 75 percent accomplished.

“The project would have been very timely because a year after the project was started (in 2019), an unprecedented health crisis erupted and a reliable health facility has immediately become one of the major public concerns,” read a portion of the report.

The state auditors found that the city’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) had issued several suspension orders and time extensions on the project.

Faulty engineering

Upon examination of records by COA, it was revealed that several conditions point to faulty detailed engineering in the construction of the hospital.

First, “the actual site condition of the location of the low voltage switchgear and generator set cannot accommodate the actual size of both items.” The report also said there was a problem with the spare allocation for medical equipment in the hospital’s radiology area.

According to the state auditors, these lapses have led to instances wherein the construction had to be suspended or extended.

COA said during the construction of the project’s Phase 1 in 2015, the project also took four years before its completion and this should have already taught the contractor a “good lesson.”

“But as the data shows, it seems that those were ignored, hence, the same troubles and disruptions are faced by the management which has grossly contributed to the delay of the project,” COA said in its report.

Too much

COA further said too much liberty in giving contract time extensions would give the contractor the impression that it can be easily obtained and it would not be pressured to accelerate completion of the remaining work.

The state auditors also observed that the issuance of suspension and the corresponding resumption orders were issued by the DEPW and not by the mayor.

Then-mayor Tomas Osmeña was identified by COA in its report as the head of the procuring entity and the one who signed the notice to proceed on March 28, 2019, but Osmeña lost to the late mayor Edgardo Labella in the May 2019 election.

“It sounds inappropriate if the order of the head of the office like in this case can just be reversed or put on hold by his subordinate,” said COA.

COA also pointed out that the contractor did not give full and detailed particulars of the P16,179,099 extra cost for the project.

Since this mandatory requirement of Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, was not complied with, state auditors said “the claim for any variation order is deemed waived by the contractor.”

Consequently, the portion of about P6 million of the variation order that was paid in 2021 has been deemed “irregular.”

COA asked the DEPW and the contractor to explain why the P6 million was not returned by the contractor to the government considering that it was deemed waived by the contractor by operation of law.

In an interview with SunStar Cebu on Sunday, July 24, 2022, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he would check on the findings of the state auditors.

Rama promised to monitor CCMC every week and check on the construction’s progress.

In its audit report, COA recommended that the DEPW prepare and submit to its office a vivid presentation of the contract time both during the period of suspension orders and time extensions.

COA also directed the city accountant to thoroughly evaluate the DEPW’s computation of contract time and impose liquidated damages to the contractor.

Categories: Philippines News

EXPLAINER: COA slams hiring of casuals by Cebu City Hall and ‘cycle of open violations’ dating back to Tomas Osmeña’s term in 2008. Sharp rise in 2021: 3,740 hired as 2,320 plantilla positions stay vacant.

Mon, 2022-07-25 21:02
KEY ISSUES. 1. The Commission on Audit’s (COA) review of Cebu City transactions in 2021 flags the violation involving casual employees: the City hired almost 4,000 casuals when it should have filled instead almost 3,000 vacant regular positions.

2. The violations have become serial, with COA citing irregularities from 2018, with CSC warnings not heeded by different mayors.

WHY COA IS MIFFED OVER CASUALS. In 2021, COA says in its audit report on transactions made in that year, the Cebu City Government “still issued casual appointments” to 3,740 employees who performed duties of plantilla positions.

City Hall, through the mayor, did that, COA says, despite these facts on record: a) 2,320 regular positions were then available and unoccupied at City Hall and (b) the Civil Service Commission (CSC) had made repeated reminders and eventually disapproved the appointments that violated rules on appointments.

COA says the City must have the funds for the regular positions since it had money to pay the casual employees it hired.

THE VIOLATED RULE. Under the CSC’s Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Human Resources Actions, a casual appointment is issued “only for essential and necessary services where there are not enough regular staff to meet the demands of the service and for emergency cases and intermittent periods not to exceed one year. “In no case” shall a casual fill a vacant plantilla position or perform the duties of the vacant plantilla position, the CSC rules say. Note the exceptions: during emergency and not to exceed one year.

COA, in its audit of Cebu City transactions in 2021, turns to the Supreme Court decision in Munez vs. Jomo, which said, citing various CSC Regional Office rulings, that the Constitution has adopted the merit system to ensure that appointees are competent and “to eradicate political considerations and partisanship and personal favoritism.” The SC said the “massive” hiring of casuals does not “speak well of good faith both in economy and efficiency.”

AGAIN AND AGAIN. In 2008, under then mayor Tomas Osmeña, the COA report says appointments of 1,420 casuals were disallowed by the CSC Field Office-South.

After that, COA says, “numerous disapprovals of appointments” were handed down by CSC, with “repeated reminders” to fill up the vacant regular positions instead of hiring casuals. That period of time must include -- though not mentioned by COA -- the terms of Michael Rama who served as mayor from 2010 to 2013 and 2013 to 2016 (and some parts of the late Edgardo Labella’s term) and of Tomas Osmeña who was mayor from 2016 to 2019.

COA specifies the 2,522 casuals appointed from January. 1 to June 30, 2020 by then mayor Labella. The CSC Field Office disallowed them but CSC Regional Office reversed the decision on appeal, accepting the City’s justification that “hardship” of the pandemic in the first half of the year prompted the violation. The CSC Regional Office, though, in ruling for the City, warned “in strong and categorical terms that a repetition of the shall not be countenanced.”

That warning, COA says in its report, didn’t deter Rama’s predecessor from hiring “another set” of casuals for the July-December 2020 period. A total of 979 cases in the second half of 2020 were disapproved by the CSC Field Office and affirmed by CSC Regional Office, COA says.

In other words, the pandemic card was no longer acceptable. Yet the City Government didn’t change behavior in 2021.

‘INADEQUATE’ EFFORT TO COMPLY. In answer to a COA inquiry of February 7, 2022, the City reported having filled 232 out of 2,320 vacant plantilla positions at City Hall. That’s only 10 percent of the total, COA notes, describing the effort as “insignificant” and “inadequate.”

At about that time, Mike Rama -- who had been serving as full-fledged mayor since Labella’s death on November 19, 2021 -- wondered more than once, usually when he addressed City Hall employees at flag ceremony on Mondays, about the actual number of casuals and job-order employees, where they were assigned and what they were doing.

When Rama took over last June 30, under his fresh mandate as mayor, he talked of not rehiring casuals who were dishonest and undesirable and gave the figure of 500 as possible number of workers rejected by July 1.

That may reduce the casuals workforce but the number of unfilled regular posts will remain high. COA has the words for it: “inadequate,” “insignificant.” And “a violation of the rules and the law.”

WHY THE RULE ISN’T FOLLOWED. The reasons must be obvious:

(1) COA barks but does not bite. It keeps emphasizing that “the appointing officer/authority shall be personally liable for the salary an appointee paid after CSC has finally disapproved/invalidated the appointment” (underscored in COA report).

In other words, the mayor pays from his pocket or refunds the salaries of wrongly hired casuals. The continual violations should tell COA that its warnings have not worked. And has any mayor or governor been sanctioned financially or administratively for the violations?

(2) The SC ruling, which COA cites in the 2021 audit, is right of course about the use of casuals for politics and personal ends. But the high court could’ve been direct and blunt. City Hall is itself a big employment agency, with the casuals comprising the bulk of voters whom sitting officials may tap each election. Why they don’t fill the plantilla vacancies: Once employees are protected by Civil Service, it would be tougher to use the City Hall jobs in bargaining for votes.

Past mayors promised to “downsize” or “right-size” the City Hall work force but never got around to doing it. In the 2022 election campaign, Margot Osmeña promised to “fix” City Hall, which must include the problem about casuals. But then, given her husband’s record on that, which COA cited in its report, city voters must have doubted the pledge and picked Rama instead.

Categories: Philippines News

Lim: Sports tourism is very well and alive

Mon, 2022-07-25 20:44
Yes. Sports tourism is alive and well! In a span of just a week, I was grinning silly, hopping from Bohol to Manila, then to Cebu, witnessing and planning some of the greatest sports events that will land in the annals of the Province of Bohol, the Philippine Football Federation and the Municipality of Cordova, Cebu.

Boholanos, especially in the idyllic island of Panglao, were simply awed by the staging of the Sunlife 5150 Triathlon and the Go For Gold’s Sunrise Sprint, all so professionally organized by Sunrise Events of the Ironman Group.

Descending in Panglao for a two to three day stay were some 630 athletes from 23 countries with a few hundred more supporters and friends. Residents living in the vicinity of Doljo in Panglao, immersed in a fiesta-like atmosphere for at least two days, with a brain script of wishing to indulge in competitive swimming, biking and running in the near future.

Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite who represented Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado throughout the weekend was elated with this sporting event as a catalyst to tourism and the island economy. Significantly, this event came just 10 days into their administration.

In Manila, football took center stage for once over basketball this week, as our national ladies football team historically clinched the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Championship—the equivalent of the men’s Suzuki Cup which our Azkals never came close to winning. But that is a different story from what we have written volumes of. Maybe, one day soon, we will also win the Suzuki Cup.

For the two week tournament held in Manila and nearby Cavite, 11 teams (including Australia) participated with Burma, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines reaching the semi-finals. Eleven teams with at least 40 members in each contingent and a horde of AFF officials. Eleven teams that would have at least dozens of supporters and family members. Eleven teams accompanied by sports writers and TV crews from each country.

Add that all up. Conservatively, this event would have brought in close to a thousand tourists to a recovering tourism industry, benefiting hotels, restaurants, souvenir vendors and transportation companies.

I was teary eyed while watching thousands of fans at the Rizal Memorial Stadium cheering on our newly adopted daughters of Filipino parentage from far beyond our borders. Welcome home, Anak. It was surreal with great emotions bundled to create a historic night. Finally, the beautiful game has reached Philippine shores with the kind of magnitude that is needed. And it took these beautiful lasses to bring it home.

For decades I was dreaming of seeing the Old Rizal filled with football fans cheering the home team. Sunday, July 17 was the closest to my dream. Never mind my school days weekend Premier League atmosphere of yesteryears, but I liked what I saw and I realized there is still hope for this beautiful game.

We wonder if the Department of Tourism will launch a niche marketing campaign in the home town residences of these Filipinas, wherever they are presently living, targeting their classmates, neighbors, relatives, office mates, club mates, etc. You will be surprised how many will follow them here the next time around. To these Soccer Babes of ours, playing football is more fun in the Philippines!

The 3-nil win over Thailand is no fluke. Our Soccer Babes have also qualified for next year’s Fifa’s Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand.

Cebu is the next big venue for sports tourism. Set to take place on Aug. 7 is the Megaworld 70.3 Ironman, after an absence of two years due to the pandemic. As of writing, nearly 2,000 athletes have registered, coming from at least 46 counties.

Moving with trends, Sunrise Events of The Ironman Group has made sure the newly opened Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway or CCLEX is part of the race route. Imagine the FB and Instagram posts of the soon to be iconic backdrop of all things Cordova. Imagine what a snapshot of the bridge, with 2,000 bikers pedaling up and down, would create to generate interest for a sleepy town like Cordova.

Taking advantage of the publicity can be a blessing for Cordova to create its position as a tourist destination with its rustic rural charms. A bridge carrying your name is mentioned thousands of times a day!
Categories: Philippines News

Taiwanese fighters train at Big Yellow Boxing Gym

Mon, 2022-07-25 20:43
TAIWANESE pugs Myung Hung Lee and Chan Ping Yang are honing their skills at the Big Yellow Boxing Gym under the guidance of Christopher “Ping-Ping” Tepora.

“Yes. They will be training here in the gym for a month. They have asked for my help,” Tepora told SunStar Cebu.

Lee and Yang started training at the Big Yellow Boxing Gym last week. Both boxers have been sparring with Big Yellow mainstays Clyde Azarcon and Carlo Demecillo.

Azarcon is deep in training for his World Boxing Foundation minimumweight title fight against veteran Lito Dante at The Flash Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Parañaque City on Aug. 7.

Lee has been fighting in the Philippines since 2017. He made his pro debut in the 2017 in Masbate, in which he stopped Wilbert Rota via a second round stoppage. He won his next six bouts all in the Philippines before suffering his first career loss in 2019. He lost to Matthew Fondales by unanimous decision.

Lee bounced back with a unanimous decision over Jong Sabellina later that year Zamboanga Sibugay.

Lee hasn’t stepped inside the ring since. Lee has a record of 8-1 with five knockouts.

Yang, on the other hand, is still an amateur pug that plans to turn pro according to Tepora. Tepora will be giving both Lee and Yang fights here in the Philippines.
Categories: Philippines News

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