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Updated: 22 min 34 sec ago

Last suspect in rob-slay of Baringui-an couple falls

Sat, 2022-08-13 10:55
THE fifth and last suspect in the robbery and killing of the Baringui-an couple in Sitio Tapok-tapok, Barangay Panadtaran, San Fernando town has been arrested by the police.

Police Regional Office (PRO 7) Director Brigadier General Roque Eduardo Vega announced in his press statement that his subordinates arrested Police Master Sergeant Alvin Enad after serving the warrant on Thursday, August 11, 2022, which was issued by Presiding Judge Bracero Redoble of Carcar City Regional Trial Court Branch 77 for his robbery with double homicide case.

Enad was arrested by the operatives of the Regional Intelligence Division in Central Visayas and Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group Visayas Field Unit.

Vega considered the case solved following Enad's arrest.

Enad's colleagues have already surrendered to the police days after the incident.

They are Police Staff Sergeant Rene Abella Catamora, Police Staff Sergeant Junrey Papaya Ypil, and Police Staff Sergeant Junrey Batobalonos, and former police officer Esmeraldo Obleanda Quillosa.

Maria Louela Baringui-an, councilor of Barangay Balungag, San Fernando and her husband Peter were gunned down in their house on the night of February 13, 2022.

Their children and bodyguards were unharmed.

The suspects carted away the couple's valuables. (BBT, TPT)
Categories: Philippines News

EXPLAINER: Cebu City Council OKs P50-million aid to quake-struck local governments in Luzon. Amid questions of haste, wrong document and wisdom in giving away funds, the City itself has to cope with its share of disasters.

Sat, 2022-08-13 00:08
WHAT JUST HAPPENED. At the special session Friday, August 12, members of the Cebu City Council, including two from the minority Bando Osmena Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), said they were in favor of helping the cities and towns in northern Luzon that suffered damages from the July 27 magnitude-7 earthquake.

The minority only questioned the size of the aid, given Cebu City’s own needs during disasters, and alleged failure to follow procedure and requirement for the cash-out.

But as everyone expected, the majority Barug got what it wanted: the Sanggunian approved the grant of P50 million, intact and unscathed.

MINORITY ARGUMENT. Minority Floor-leader Nestor Archival Sr. used the city treasurer’s certification of availability of funds (CAF) for only P10 million as reason for opposing the grant of P50 million.

Archival’s Bando Osmeña – Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) colleague Councilor Mary Ann de los Santos cited “conflicting” figures in documents sent to the Sanggunian. Both also raised the issue of the City not having enough funds for itself. They didn’t say it but only two days before, on Monday, August 8, the mayor’s secretary, Atty. Colin Rosell, told the public the City is cash-strapped, having spent more than it earned during the last two years . Would the City have funds to cover disasters during the rest of the year? De los Santos used clichés “charity begins at home” and “haste is waste” to support her point, to no avail.

Majority Partido Barug, through Councilor Noel Wenceslao, chairman of the committee on finance, said the treasurer already “corrected the error.” The revised CAF was delivered to the Sanggunian secretariat past 4 p.m., towards the end of the special session and during a recess called by Vice Mayor Raymond Garcia, the presiding officer.

The important thing, Wenceslao said, is that they now had the right document. He didn’t address the issue of the city’s depleted resources and preparing for emergencies that may strike Cebu City the rest of 2022.

MAYOR’S COMMITMENT. Atty. Gerardo Carillo, the city’s disaster council chief – more precisely, the mayor’s representative in the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) – said the City would still have about P50 million, after deducting the P50 million that would go to the Luzon earthquake victims, in its “quick response” or QR fund.

But from that balance in the QR fund would be paid what it still owed in cash aid to victims of recent disasters in a number of places in the city. Would the remaining P25 million or so be enough to respond to disasters in Cebu City in the next four months?

Whatever, Carillo, a former city councilor, told the Sanggunian twice that it’s the call of the legislature on how much to give as cash aid to the Luzon earthquake victims. He didn’t say the administration was committed about the P50 million since Mayor Michael Rama already announced it nine days earlier, in an August 2 press conference. And Carillo didn’t have to say the Rama administration controlled the City Council.

.CORRECTED CAF. Despite the almost two-hour debate, the Sanggunian handily passed the P50-million cash aid, with only two expressed objections, from Archival and de los Santos.

The majority didn’t heed (a) the suggestion of Archival that the City approve only P10 million that day and add more in a succeeding session or (b) de los Santos’s caution to slow down. It approved Archival’s corollary motion, though, to require the city treasurer to inform the City Council next week on the actual status of funds for disaster relief. Not an unusual appeasement to the minority, which would often ask for documents even though the opposed measure was already approved.

ABSENT PESQUERA. “Conspicuously” absent was Majority Floor Leader Jocelyn Pesquera who would’ve led the steering of the appropriation measure and explained the “error” in the CAF.

An interesting note was that the city treasurer sent the certification to her office and it was only for P10 million. Did Pesquera favor and ask only for the reduced amount; thus, the treasurer’s P10 million CAF, which had to be revised later to P50 million and sent to the Secretariat “at the last minute”?

CEBU’S SAMARITAN ACTS. Cebu, notably Cebu City, has built a reputation of helping other local governments in times of disaster and other emergencies.

For the City particularly, there’s an added motive for the Samaritan acts. Mayor Rama, recently elected president of the League of Cities, now has an extended constituency, particularly the country’s other cities whose people suffer from disasters. More than ever, to Mayor Rama, charity cannot be confined to home.
Categories: Philippines News

Future of tourism: cashless payments, digital operations

Fri, 2022-08-12 23:06
HARNESSING modern technology—such as cashless payment systems and digitalization—is the future of the travel and tourism industry in the Philippines, stakeholders said.

Carl Bryan Enerio, regional business head for enterprise sales at Maya Business, said e-wallet and other cashless modes of payment are the future of the tourism industry.

Enerio said it is much easier for merchants and business owners to shift from physical transactions to e-commerce especially in the mode of payment.

He said most Filipinos are already active e-wallet users. To date, Maya Business, powered by digital payments company PayMaya Philippines and Maya Bank, has over 15 million registered users, a growth attributed to the lockdown and restrictions brought by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“When one goes to a flight to Boracay from Manila, he can pay his ticket via Maya card with our airline industry partner. Then upon arriving in the Caticlan airport, he takes a tricycle, paying with a QR Code, then one checks in the hotel for his stay upon arrival paying with his debit card or credit card, one can also pay his hotel via QR Code, or some restaurant, or some services in Boracay,” Enerio shared during the Go Explore Cebu: Tourism Summit held at the SMX Convention Hall of the SM Seaside Cebu on Thursday.

Enerio said going digital is more convenient and rewarding; it allows safer transactions by eliminating cash handling; and it establishes a financial and digital footprint that means more presence for a business.

For her part, Christine Marie Gohetia, regional sales head for enterprise Visayas at Converge ICT Solutions, emphasized the important role of internet connectivity to the country’s tourism recovery.

“It (digitalization) is not the future but it is happening now. The internet connectivity has changed the landscape of everything, it has become the way of life,” Gohetia said.

Gohetia emphasized that internet connectivity has also improved the tourism industry in providing connectivity and convenience to the travelers.

One example is booking airline tickets or hotel accommodation online that can be done with an internet connection.

Gohetia said digitalization has also increased online revenue and website traffic for businesses, reduced their operational costs and the use of paper, and improved customer service.

Categories: Philippines News

Globe to sell over 7K towers to fund capex

Fri, 2022-08-12 22:35
AYALA-LED Globe Telecom announced Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, that it will sell its 7,000 towers across the country whose proceeds will be used to fund capital expenditures and pay maturing debts through 2023.

Of the total tower assets up for sale, 66 percent are located in Luzon, 19 percent in Mindanao and 15 percent in the Visayas. These are made up of 79 percent ground-based towers and 21 percent rooftop towers.

These assets have been grouped into three portfolios assigned to three different tower companies representing local and internal groups “with deep experience and expertise in telecom infrastructure, and engineering and construction,” the telco said in its disclosure to the local bourse.

Upon completion, Globe Telecom vice president for financial planning and analysis Juan Carlo Puno said, the transaction will represent “the largest ever tower sale and leaseback deal in the country.”

He said the sales and leaseback of the transaction will allow Globe to efficiently raise capital; redeploy capital from passive infrastructure to active equipment; improve balance sheet health; and leverage expertise of tower companies. Such initiative is also in support of the government’s tower sharing policy.

Puno specifically said 75 percent of the proceeds will be spent on capex while the balance of 25 percent will be used for debt maturing payments.

Three portfolios

The first portfolio consists of 2,180 telecom towers and related passive telecom infrastructure for over P26 billion. These towers are located in Luzon, and will be acquired by MIESCOR Infrastructure Development Corp. (MIDC), and leased back to Globe for an initial period of 15 years.

Globe estimates the pre-tax transaction gain to be over P10.6 billion.

MIDC is a joint venture between MIESCOR, a subsidiary of Manila Electric Company and Stonepeak. The transaction documents were signed on Aug. 11 with first closing targeted in September this year.

The second portfolio consisting of 3,529 towers, will be sold to Frontier Tower Associates Philippines Inc. (Frontier Towers) for P45 billion, and also leased back over an initial period of 15 years. Globe estimates the pre-tax transaction gain to be P15 billion. The deal was signed on Aug. 11 with first closing targeted in the late third quarter of the year or in early fourth quarter.

Globe is also in “advanced discussion” with one other tower company for the potential sale and leaseback of an additional 1,350 telecom towers and related passive telecom infrastructure. This last portfolio is made up of towers located in Visayas and Mindanao.

Puno said the telco expects to sign the sale and leaseback agreement with this tower company within the third quarter, with first closing happening within the fourth quarter of the year.

With the sale of these tower assets Globe is left with around 4,000 to 5,000 towers with a sizeable chunk considered as strategic to the telco’s business.

First half earnings

Globe closed the first half of 2022 with a consolidated revenue of P78.9 billion, up four percent year-on-year.

The strong revenue performance was above the growth rates before the pandemic, fueled by the solid contribution of data-related products and services across mobile and corporate data.

The firm spent P50.5 billion in capex, surpassing last year’s spending by 17 percent.

A large portion of the capex or 84 percent was allocated for data requirements to meet consumer’s growing demand for data.

The telco’s net income reached P19.7 billion, 51 percent higher than the P13 billion reported in the similar period in 2021.
Categories: Philippines News

Carbon vendors group demands aid, 10-year rental moratorium

Fri, 2022-08-12 22:21
AN ALLIANCE of Carbon Public Market vendors has demanded that the Cebu City Government provide financial assistance to affected vendors and offer a moratorium on rentals for 10 years.

The Carbon-hanong Alyansa released a statement Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, calling the attention of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to the supplemental memorandum of agreement (MOA) to the joint venture agreement (JVA) of the Cebu City Government and Megawide Construction Corp. on the Carbon Market modernization.

The group lambasted Rama for signing the supplemental MOA last July 31 without consulting the stakeholders, which is the main reason they continue to oppose the project.

“We have still been denied participation in the drafting of the supplemental MOA. It, therefore, remains the principal reason why Carbon-hanong Alyansa, especially vendors in Warwick Barracks and Freedom Park and residents of Sitio Bato, continue their opposition to the JVA,” read a portion of the statement.

The alliance of vendors also said there is no guarantee that no vendor, helper, or those making a living in the market will lose their livelihood once the new market will stand.

The developer has given the vendors its word that “there shall be no displacement of all vendors registered with the Market Authority.”

However, the Carbon-hanong Alyansa said the Cebu City Market Authority has yet to forward to the city council the promised master list of registered vendors.

“Until we see our names on that list, we will fear losing our families’ means of living,” they said.

In a press briefing last July 30, Manuel Louie Ferrer, president of Cebu2World Development Inc., the subsidiary of Megawide undertaking Carbon market’s redevelopment, said the leaders of the various market associations in Carbon had verified C2W’s list of vendors as the lists were signed by the association leaders.

Adverse conditions

The group also said Friday that after the demolition operation in the old market, “not one vendor failed to complain about the big drop in income.”

“How much more will their income go down if all ambulant vendors are moved, as planned, to the viaduct where customers will hardly go?” the group said.

“Under such adverse conditions, how many of us will still be around after two years or until the private market of SM-Megawide is done. We have reasons to suspect we are being slowly and gradually eliminated from the list,” the group added.

SM is not a party to the Carbon Market modernization.

The alliance of vendors also alleged that they have reliable information that some vendors have three to 12 stalls in the interim market and this is a flagrant violation of the “one family, one stall” policy of the Market Code of 2017.

The supplemental MOA did not also change the fees and charges in the public market and no moratorium was imposed on the increase in rent, and entrance, maintenance and parking fees.

There is also no stipulated limit to the percentage of increase in rent and other fees, which will allow the developer to increase at will, the group said.

The group also pointed out that Sitio Bato is still included in the project “in spite of the fact that it has been declared part of a Slum Improvement and Resettlement Program and a Socialized Housing Site per Proclamation No. 2441 and Ordinance No. 1866 of the Cebu City Council.”

With the reasons provided by the group, they alleged that the supplemental MOA is an instrument of deception intended to frustrate those who are against the privatization of the Carbon Public Market.

Demands

As their demands, they urged Rama to provide financial assistance to the “vendor-victims of demolition” for two years and to enforce the “one family, one stall” policy.

Rama should also produce the master list of all vendors who have stalls in the market and produce a floor plan of the new market that will show the stall number of every vendor.

A moratorium on rentals and other fees for a period of 10 years should also be imposed.

The increase in rent and other fees should not be totally entrusted to Megawide after the moratorium period, they added.

“Do not ignore us, but arrange to dialogue with Megawide and stakeholders, especially Carbon-hanon, on what can be done about our rightful demands,” the group said.

In a statement sent to SunStar Cebu Friday, Megawide Construction Corp. (MCC) said everything about the project is being done to make sure that the livelihood of the vendors will not be sacrificed.

“We have already explained on many occasions in the past our goal in providing a better Carbon without sacrificing the livelihood of the vendors. Everything that we are doing is for the good of Cebu,” MCC said.

No cure

Carbon-hanong Alyansa said the supplemental MOA was supposed to cure the defects in the original JVA that they had complained about, among them, the failure to conduct a public hearing before the JVA was signed, the insufficiency of required documents, the inclusion of lots that the City does not own, the City’s small share in the market revenues, and the demolition and conversion of the Carbon Units 1, 2 and 3 buildings into a commercial hub.

“However, we see no essential difference between the contents of the Supplemental MOA and the original JVA,” the group said.

The group belittled the increase in Megawide’s annual guaranteed payments to the City to P50 million stipulated in the supplemental MOA, from the former P5 million, saying the money would still be taken from the collection of rent from vendors, and that control of the project would still be with Megawide for 50 years with Megawide still collecting and receiving all the revenues from the project.

Megawide officials have said the new main public market will occupy a portion of what was Freedom Park and Warwick Barracks, Unit 1 and Unit 2. Unit 3, on the other hand, will be turned into a transport terminal.
Categories: Philippines News

Consul Li: China to uphold peace

Fri, 2022-08-12 21:31
CHINESE Consulate-General in Cebu Jia Li assures that China will uphold ‘peaceful reunification’ with Taiwan while blaming the United States and its allies for “inciting” tension and division in the contested region.

In a media briefing explaining the stand of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on the issue of rising tension, Li assured China will not use force or violence but instead promote peaceful and diplomatic measures in the re-unification and rejuvenation of mainland China and Taiwan.

Li gave the assurance when asked about Filipinos working in Taiwan who are likely be trapped in the rising conflict.

He explained that by history and blood, Taiwanese people are Chinese and the use of force is out of the table in settling the decades-long conflict.

“The cause of this tension, this problem is not China, but US, using Taiwan as a card to control China. We have these countermeasures in place to stop outside forces of Taiwan and not target Taiwan,” Li said.

Following last week’s visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, the Chinese Navy, Army, and Airforce showed its force with military drills and missile strikes across the six zones surrounding Taiwan.

Five of the missiles fired by China landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone off an island far south of Japan’s main islands.Li described the recently conducted military exercises as legitimate and in line with China’s domestic Laws and International practices.

“This is just a political farce, and a dangerous, malicious provocation. Speaker Pelosi made this provocative visit in disregard of China’s warning,” Li said.

Lu said Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan infringed on the PRC’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, violated the One-China Policy and the three China-US joint communiques, affected the political foundation of China-US relations, and undermined the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

“The incident is also a lesson, revealing to the world, US motives to contain China with Taiwan and the intention of the Taiwan authorities to seek American support for independence,” Li added.

Li said China has the highest regard for the Philippine Government for respecting the ‘One China Policy’.

Status quo

Li blamed the US and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces for changing the status quo.

“Over the years, the US has been colluding with the Taiwan authorities, and elevating its substantive relations with Taiwan,” Li said in a statement.

China claimed the US sold a large number of weapons to Taiwan emboldening separatist forces.

Li urged the US Government, ‘do not act recklessly and stop going further down on the doomed path,’ that the US must give up using Taiwan to contain China.

“Play no games but return to the one-China principle and the three joint communiques, and do the right things and take concrete steps to facilitate the steady development of China-US relations” Li said in a statement.
Categories: Philippines News

Vehicle of gunman in Mandaue road rage partially tracked

Fri, 2022-08-12 21:27
THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Mandaue City Cebu District Office has secured a video footage of the car believed to have been used by the person behind the shooting on August 8, 2022 of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City.

NBI-Mandaue agent-in-charge Arnel Pura told SunStar Cebu they were able to obtain the color, partial information of the vehicle's plate number, and the direction the vehicle took after the shooting.

He said they talked to the partner of Roberto Estandarte, 45, a resident of Gentle Breeze in Barangay Subangdaku who was shot in the left chest after an argument with the gunman, a driver of a four-wheeled vehicle.

The partner (identity withheld for security purposes) was with the victim onboard a motorcycle when the shooting happened around 11 p.m. Monday, August 8.

The partner was unharmed, while the gunman quickly drove away after shooting Estandarte.

Estandarte’s partner said that the car was a 2019-2021 Toyota Vios model with a faded metallic gray color and with a plate number that starts with 5, 1 in the middle, and 3 as the last digit.

Pura said they are now tracing the vehicle using these pieces of information.

He asked the gunman to surrender, saying the NBI will “really trace his vehicle no matter what.”

"There is only one lacking number as the plate number should be four. So, mas maypag mu surrender nalang sa NBI Mandaue kay eventually ma trace man japun sya," Pura said.

Those who may have identified the gunman through the video footage, which was released to media Friday, August 12, are advised to get in touch with the NBI-Mandaue by calling 4366819 and 09178951080, said Pura.
Categories: Philippines News

2 cops, detainee hurt after vehicle falls off cliff in Talisay City

Fri, 2022-08-12 21:21
TWO police officers and their detainee were hurt after the vehicle they were on accidentally fell off a 20-foot cliff in Barangay Manipis, Talisay City on Friday, August 12, 2022.

Corporal Joshua Omison, 28, and Patrolman Albert Neil Ante, 24, who are assigned at the Criminal Investigation Detection Group Cebu Province, and their detainee Joen Lorrie Caserial, 29, were onboard their white patrol car and were proceeding towards Toledo City to attend a court hearing when the accident happened.

According to investigators, the vehicle was passing Purok Bamboo in Manipis at 12 noon when its driver suddenly lost control and it suddenly fell off a cliff.

The three men suffered minor injuries as trees growing in the cliff cushioned the vehicle’s fall, said Jonathan Tumulak, head of the City of Talisay Traffic Operations and Development Authority (CT-Toda).

Tumulak said the driver may have lost control of the vehicle due to the road condition in the area which became slippery due to the rain that had poured onto the city a few hours earlier. The CT-Toda report did not identify the driver.

Tumulak said officials in the barangay were the first to respond to the accident and were able to rescue the three men.
Categories: Philippines News

BSP to stop accepting new virtual asset service provider applications on Sept. 1

Fri, 2022-08-12 21:20
THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will stop accepting new applications on Sept. 1, 2022 for virtual asset service provider (VASP) licenses which allow financial firms to engage in cryptocurrency exchange.

“The Bangko Sentral will no longer entertain nor accept new applications beginning 01 September 2022,” the central bank said in a statement Friday.

The BSP said the move is part of its approved modified approach to the grant of VASP licenses.

It involves closure of the regular application window for new VASP licenses for a period of three years and the granting of new VASP licenses only to existing BSP supervised financial institutions (BSFI), the central bank said.

The BSP said existing BSFIs with strong risk management systems, client suitability assessment, and customer onboarding practices as well as intensified financial consumer education may still apply.

“Recent market developments have necessitated the adoption of a modified VASP licensing approach, which strategically shifts the focus to assessing the existing Bangko Sentral-registered VASPs’ overall performance and risk management systems, their impact on financial services and financial inclusion agenda, and their contribution towards the achievement of the Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap objectives,” BSP Gov. Felipe Medalla said.

According to BSP, applications that have passed Stage 2 of the licensing process on or before Aug. 31 will be processed and assessed. Incomplete applications will be considered closed.

It can be recalled that UnionBank earlier announced it would slowly roll out a cryptocurrency exchange service to select consumers to become the first universal bank to offer virtual assets on its mobile app.
Categories: Philippines News

Cebu Landmasters net income soars to P1.55 BILLION in first half OF 2022

Fri, 2022-08-12 21:19
CEBU Landmasters Inc. (CLI) achieved its highest first half net income performance of P1.55 billion, an increase of 40 percent compared to the same period last year, buoyed by strong sales and project completions.

Without the adjustment from Create law, CLI grew its earnings attributable to parent by 18 percent from the reported P1.1 billion of the same period last year.

Real estate sales also grew by a robust 45 percent from P5 billion to P7.36 billion year on year.

All other business units continued to improve performance as the firm fast-tracked construction and strengthened operations.

CLI’s economic housing brand Casa Mira accounted for the largest share of H1 2022 revenues indicative of the significant housing backlog in key VisMin cities.

A hefty 40 percent of H1 2022 revenues came from Cebu; with Davao following at 16 percent; Cagayan de Oro, 15 percent; Iloilo, 12 percent; and the balance from Ormoc, Bacolod, Dumaguete and Bohol.CLI’s capital expenditures rose by 42 percent to P5.5 billion from last year’s P3.88 billion, with most of the amount earmarked for project development while 22 percent was spent on land banking including the purchase of a 17-hectare expansion site in Butuan City.

CLI is also gearing up for its large-scale townships in Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Minglanilla in Cebu as these are now moving strongly at different stages of development.

Jose Soberano III, CLI chairman and chief executive, disclosed: “We are on track to achieve another record year and there are several strong indicators for CLI to achieve its growth guidance of 20 percent this year.”
Categories: Philippines News

Metro Retail nets P218.9M in first half, remains hopeful of retail recovery

Fri, 2022-08-12 21:16
METRO Retail Stores Group Inc. (MRSGI) sustains its strong 2022 performance amid supply chain disruptions and elevated commodity prices induced by the ongoing threats of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Covid-19 pandemic.

MRSGI capped its second quarter of 2022 with a net income of P185.6 million, which is reflective of the significant upward trend in the company’s sales.

This brings the net income in the first half of 2022 to P218.9 million, a significant reversal from the net loss of P181.9 million a year ago.

The company posted P8.9 billion net sales in the second quarter of 2022, which is higher by 29 percent than the P6.9 billion net sales from the same period in 2021.

To further strengthen the company’s footprint, MRSGI opened two new stores: Metro Paseo Supermarket in Cebu City and Metro Hilongos Supermarket in Leyte, bringing its current store network to 62.

“The positive results in the first half of this year set Metro Retail Stores on a strong trajectory as the Company celebrates forty years in retail operations this year,” said MRSGI president Manuel Alberto.

“While we remain cautious of the current domestic and global risks, we continue to be hopeful for a better outlook in the coming months as opportunities for recovery and growth present themselves.”
Categories: Philippines News

Pabustan faces fellow former world title contender Williams in US

Fri, 2022-08-12 21:16
PINOY veteran Jetro Pabustan looks to upset fellow former world title challenger Tramaine Williams in a 10-rounder on Aug. 13 at the Findlay Toyota Center, Prescott Valley in Arizona.

The 32-year-old Pabustan is looking to log his second straight win by beating Willams in his US debut. He’s coming off a split decision win over Bryan Tamayo after losing his last two fights before that.

Pabustan has already fought in the elite level, losing to Panya Uthok in a world title fight and recently retired Hiroaki Teshigawara.

Pabustan challenged then World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight champion Uthok in 2016 and lost via a seventh round technical decision in Thailand after the fight was stopped due to a cut on his left eyebrow. He would win the vacant WBO Asia-Pacific bantamweight strap after beating Japanese Tatsuya Takahashi via technical decision in 2017. He immediately lost his belt that same year, in his first title defense, after losing to Teshigawara via a 10th round technical knockout.

The 29-year-old Williams is coming off a two-year layoff since his loss to a world title fight with Angelo Leo in 2020 in Uncasville. Williams lost via a lopsided unanimous decision to Leo for the vacant WBO super bantamweight strap.

Williams owns wins over veterans Christopher Martin, Yenifel Vicente, Christopher Martin, Neil John Tabanao and Jose Alfredo Rodriguez.

Pabustan is 31-9-6 with nine knockouts while Williams is 19-1 with six knockouts.

Also seeing action is the same card is Pinoy Jeronil Borres (11-7-1, 6 KOs).

Borres takes on unbeaten Ghanaian prospect Mohamed Aryeetey (7-0, 5 KOs).
Categories: Philippines News

Editorial: No garage, no registration?

Fri, 2022-08-12 19:53
Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco has introduced House Bill 31, which requires “parking space from motor vehicle buyers in metropolitan areas as a prerequisite for the purchase of a motor vehicle and registration with the Land Transportation Office.” If enacted into law, the former House Speaker’s legislation would be referred to as the “No Garage, No Registration Act.”

The aims of the bill are good: “lessen traffic congestion, curb the number of private vehicles, provide safe and uncluttered pathways, where people may freely walk to their destinations, and maintain a clean and healthy environment by clearing the streets of parked motor vehicles and other similar clutter that reduce the space intended for human and vehicular traffic.”

Cebu is among the metropolitan areas included in the legislation’s scope and application; if the bill becomes a law, it could solve the problem of overnight parking in low-end subdivisions where several car owners who do not have a garage park their cars on narrow roads.

Parking along narrow barangay roads is also prevalent here, hindering vehicle traffic flow. Another common sight is the sidewalks that have become parking areas of motorcycles. If Velasco’s measure becomes law, these common sights could disappear.

Those people who can afford to buy a new car or take out a car loan from a bank may think twice if HB 31 is already a law, and this scenario certainly has a negative impact on the thriving automobile industry.

Representative Velasco’s proposed law still has to pass through the eye of the needle. It is expected that the auto industry will protest, or lobby against the bill.

Some of the questions that arise from the Velasco bill are these: Why were small subdivisions with narrow roads and no parking spaces for each unit approved? Why does the Philippine government allow the importation of second-hand cars?

The illegal parking problem seems simple but it’s not.

The problem of illegal parking or houses with no garage is very real, and lawmakers and experts must look at the situation with probing eyes in order to create a comprehensive law.

Granting the legislation becomes law today, it would be a big help if Cebu already has a mass transport system as it could encourage people to take public transport and the well-off people to decide against buying cars.

There’s the Bus Rapid Transit project in Cebu City, but people do not know when it will be completed, and the city is not the entire Metro Cebu. The metro, which has a total land area of 1,100 square kilometers, comprises Danao City, Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Cordova, Cebu City, Talisay City, Minglanilla, Naga City, San Fernando and Carcar City. It would be nice to see an interlinked mass transport system for the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, and Cordova and Talisay City.

If Cebu has a reliable mass transport system, private car ownership could dwindle and the traffic here would not be so bad anymore.
Categories: Philippines News

Tell it to SunStar: History and legal facts of Taiwan

Fri, 2022-08-12 19:51
Taiwan has been an inalienable part of China’s territory since ancient times. The history and legal facts are very clear. There are plenty of historical records and documents that show how the Chinese people developed Taiwan in earlier periods. The world’s earliest account of Taiwan could be found in the Seaboard Geographic Gazetteer compiled in 230 A.D. by Shen Ying of the State of Wu during the Three Kingdoms period. In 1335, the Yuan dynasty set up a patrol and inspection agency in Penghu to administer civil affairs in Penghu and Taiwan, and the Chinese central government has since exercised effective jurisdiction over Taiwan. “Taiwan” was first used in official documents during the reign of Emperor Wanli (1573-1620) in the Ming dynasty, and has become the established name ever since. In April 1895, Japan forced the defeated Qing government to cede Taiwan and the Penghu Islands. Chinese people, including our fellow countrymen in Taiwan, began their fight against Japanese colonial rule.

During the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, the Communist Party of China and the Nationalist Party both put forth the goal of recovering Taiwan. The Cairo Declaration released by China, the US and the UK on 1 December 1943 stated that it is the purpose of the three countries that all the territories Japan had stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Taiwan and Penghu, shall be restored to China. The Potsdam Proclamation signed by China, the US and the UK on 26 July 1945 reiterated that “the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out.” On 15 August 1945, Japan accepted the terms of the Potsdam Proclamation and surrendered unconditionally, marking victory in the World Anti-Fascist War and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. Taiwan was recovered on 25 October of the same year. Since then, Taiwan and Penghu have been put back under China’s sovereign jurisdiction and recognized as a part of China legally and politically as well as in reality.

As a result of the Chinese civil war from 1945 to 1949, the defeated Nationalists retreated to Taiwan, set up a regime on the island, and created a special situation of prolonged political antagonism between the two sides across the Taiwan Strait, from which the Taiwan question arose. However, China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity have never been divided, and the fact that the two sides of the Strait belong to one and the same China and that Taiwan is part of China has never changed. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 adopted in 1971 made it clear that there is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. As many as 181 countries, including the US, have established diplomatic relations with China on the basis of the one-China principle. The US side has made solemn commitments to China on the one-China principle and in the three China-US joint communiques. Therefore, from both historical and legal perspectives, it is clear that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.
Categories: Philippines News

Diving into dizi: The growing appeal of Turkish drama

Fri, 2022-08-12 19:48
With the pandemic still very much lurking around, and every other day still carrying that threat of overshadowing the little hope that the world has that everything will soon be okay, watching a television series is an excellent way to escape the annoying realities of life.

Since 2020, people have been consuming different kinds of content on the internet to pass time. Korean dramas were all the rage and became a global phenomenon that nobody saw coming.

However, other international dramas are starting to gain global recognition thanks to the help of social media platforms, most especially TikTok. TV shows that one might never see or hear about nor even think about watching are given the chance to shine as users show snippets of them along with their English subtitles.

From there, one is given a glimpse of another world; another culture. This is exactly the case with Turkish dramas.

Called “dizi” in Turkey, Turkish dramas are slowly gaining traction outside of its homeland and making its way across various parts of the globe, including the Philippines. It is not as watched compared to Korean dramas, but they have unique storylines that are sure to hook you in along with its very talented and insanely attractive actors and actresses.

Turkish dramas are a league of their own. Similar to K-dramas, they are steeped in tradition and are very expressive in showing their love for their culture. The run time per episode is not for the faint of heart as it is about two hours long or more, giving viewers more compared to Western shows that don’t usually go beyond the one-hour mark.

With the use of local talents such as directors, actors and the Turkish culture itself, it is no surprise how dizi is starting to grow increasingly popular in different parts of the world.

One of the biggest appeals of Turkish dramas, or perhaps its most gravitating factor, is its ability to entertain and tap on the audience’s emotions.

Divi’s widespread popularity that is slowly sweeping across the globe is showcasing a drastic reform of mass culture and challenging the domineering influence of American pop culture in the 21st century.

Compared to American shows that seem to glorify excessiveness to the point of almost gluttony, dizi focuses more on the heartfelt aspects of the story and is more communal than one would expect to see in a Turkish drama.

Everyone can hop on the train of loving dizi as it is not as intimidating as one may perceive it to be. Two hours can sound grueling but once the story hooks you in, it is hard to lean away and not fall in love with the story along with its characters.

With the rise of international TV shows and movies, Bong Joon Ho, director of the Academy Award winning film “Parasite,” his words ring truer than ever before: “Once you have overcome that one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will introduced to so many more amazing films.” This might be the time where the world will finally get to see more of each other than ever before.
Categories: Philippines News

Lapu, Cebu Province dads choose new PCL leaders

Fri, 2022-08-12 19:43
THE Philippine Councilors League (PCL) chapters of Cebu Province and Lapu-Lapu City have formally welcomed their new officers during separate elections held this week.

On Friday, August 12, 2022, members of PCL-Cebu Chapter elected Toledo City Councilor Ricardo “Kuya Nick” Pepito as their new president.

Pepito, who received endorsements from Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and her brother, Rep. Pablo John “PJ” Garcia (Cebu, 3rd), ran unopposed during the local chapter’s elections held at Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Provincial Director Ian Kenneth Lucero proclaimed the winners after the election, which was witnessed by PCL National President Handy Lao of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

Call for unity

In a statement, Pepito urged members of their federation to remain united.

“We again have proven once again the power of unity. The famous quote ‘united we stand, divided we fall’ truly captures the essence of unity. If we want to have [a] stronger PCL, we need to be always united. Unity means work in a unified way,” Pepito said.

Aside from Pepito, also elected as new officers of PCL-Cebu Chapter are Mandaue City Councilor Marie Immaline Cortes- Zafra as vice president, Dumanjug Councilor Stanley Aldemita as secretary general, Tabogon Councilor Jojessa Hortelano as treasurer, San Remigio Councilor Jay Olivar as auditor, Liloan Councilor Chary Cañete as public relations officer and Pinamungajan Councilor Marvin Miralles as business manager.

The members of the PCL Cebu’s board of directors were drawn by lot for their respective rankings. They are Medellin Councilor Harold Salimbangon, Minglanilla Councilor Oscar dela Calzada Jr., Alcoy Councilor Jonathan Abajon, Madridejos Councilor Venice Cyrus Rebadomia, Argao Councilor Jonathan Villegas, Toledo City Councilor Amuerfino Perales, Poro Councilor Ashley Otadoy, and Tuburan Councilor Dason Lorenz Lagon.

They are set to take their oath on Monday, August 15, before Governor Garcia at 1:00 p.m. Afterwards, Pepito will attend the Provincial Board session as an ex-officio member an hour later.

Lapu-Lapu City

Last Thursday, August 11, Lapu-Lapu City’s PCL chapter also elected City Councilor Jan Vincent “Janvi” dela Serna as its new president during the group’s elections held at the Sanggunian Panglungsod session hall at City Hall.

Dela Serna, a second-term city councilor, is an ally of Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan.

Dela Serna expressed his gratitude to his partymates for their trust and support.

“I am over the moon. I feel extremely honored for the trust that my fellow City Councilors have in me, electing me as president of the Philippine Councilor League-Lapu Lapu City Chapter. I will take on this role seriously, with the welfare of all the Oponganons constantly in mind (and heart),” Dela Serna told SunStar Cebu on Friday, August 12.

Dela Serna currently chairs at least three committees in the City Council, namely: committee on games and amusement, committee on sports development; and committee on police, penology, fire, and civil military relations.

Aside from Dela Serna, City Councilor Emilio Galaroza Jr. was elected as vice president, while Councilors Annabeth Cuizon and Linda Susan Baring were elected as secretary general and treasurer, respectively.

Councilor Jorgen Book was elected as the PCL chapter’s auditor, while Councilors Celestino Aying and Councilor Eugene Espedido were elected as PRO and business manager, respectively.

While members of the PCL-Lapu-Lapu City Chapter also elected Councilors Marciano Alforque, Efren Herrera, Joseph Pangatungan, Climaco Tatoy Jr., and Nelson Yap as chapter directors.

Chan administered the oath of the newly elected PCL officers.
Categories: Philippines News

Quibranza: 13 ways to enjoy good wine at El Viento

Fri, 2022-08-12 19:40
Insalata Caprese (mozzarella). Fritto misto di mare (seafood). Arugula, shrimp and bean salad. Minestrone di verdure (vegetable soup). Trance di tonno (tuna). Pollo di piccata (chicken). Braciola di maiale (pork chop). Ossobuco alla Milanese (beef). Pasta alle vongole. Gnocchi å la Norma. Tiramisu. Crisp cannoli filled with lemon ricotta cream and pistachio. Gelato with biscotti.

Holy moly. What a feast. Think savory forkfuls. Think playful textures. Think masterful culinary pairings with some of the best wines available in the city.

We were treated to 13 flavorful creations prepared by Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s first Filipino executive chef, Juanito Abangan. And to think I had arrived late to the party and missed the cocktails!

The hotel recently invited media personalities and guests during the re-opening of El Viento Restaurant and Pool Bar in July, six months since it paused operations after Typhoon Odette wreaked havoc on Metro Cebu.

“Chef! You were like a mad man tonight,” I fist bumped the humble chef who simply smiled back in approval.

Event partners D+B Wines and Spirits expertly paired all the dishes with four handpicked wines from their cellar: La Châsse Sauvignon Blanc (France, 2020); Fat Bastard Rosé (France, 2020); La Raia Barbera Piemonte (Italy, 2019); and the Deakin Estate Moscato (Australia, 2021).

Aside from exchanging air fryer recipes with D+B’s Corinne Joseph, I’ve taken to heart her simple tips on how to enjoy wine: There’s no rush. There are no rules. There is only a lifetime of learning that awaits those who are willing to slowly embrace the mysteries and offerings of a vineyard.

Verbosity aside, the food, wine and company at the table—Marco Polo general manager Roel Constantino, D+B’s Dondi and Corinne Joseph, Carlo and Sheryl Borromeo, lawyer Julius Neri and SunStar LIVE! consultant and columnist Nelia G. Neri, and SunStar lifestyle columnist Chinggay V. Utzurrum—all made up a dynamic trifecta which pointed us in the direction toward a night of fun and flavor.

Who misses a good time wining and dining by the pool? Marco Polo Plaza Cebu does, and apparently, so did I.

Categories: Philippines News

Number of curfew violators in Cebu City dwindles

Fri, 2022-08-12 18:10
THE number of minors rescued on the third day of implementation of "Oplan Bulabog" has dwindled.

On the third night of Oplan Bulabog from 10 p.m. of August 11 until 4 a.m. of August 12, 28 minors were rescued by the police and the barangay tanods.

The number is lower compared to 34 on day 1 and 68 on day 2.

The rescued minors were turned over to the barangay where they belong.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy city director for administration of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), believed that some minors are already aware about the curfew ordinance being implemented in the city.

The ordinance states that minors are not allowed outside their homes between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Parilla, however, said that those minors who are still outside of their homes during curfew hours will not be apprehended if they are accompanied by their parents.

He said they are now focusing on rounding up internet cafes, where minors often play games even during the wee hours, as well as beer houses.

Parilla said business establishments that will be found accommodating minors may face closure just like what they did to some entertainment joints that violated the 50 percent indoor capacity when the city was placed under Covid-19 Alert Level 2 status.

The police official said they will make a report and submit a letter of request to the Cebu City Hall to cancel their business permits.

“Ato nani iapil just like sa una nga tanang establishment like internet café nga ilaha gihapong gi tolerate ang mga minors nga magpabilin sa ilang establishment so we will make necessary reports sa city,” said Parilla.

(We will include internet cafes and all the other establishments that tolerate minors so we will make necessary reports to the city.)

Meanwhile, the police will also conduct roving patrols in the interior barangays of the city in connection with the order of Police Brigadier General Roque Eduardo Vega, head of the Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO 7), to reprimand residents who will be caught singing karaoke beyond 10 p.m.

According to Parilla, the city has an ordinance against making noise late at night, which causes disturbance to their neighbors, especially since classes are about to begin.

But Parilla admitted that the police cannot do this alone without the assistance of the barangay tanods.

“Naa may limitation ang videoke until 10 p.m., pero ang barangay sila gyud ang unang mobadlong unless kung dili na mopatuo nila. Kung naa gani

establishment nga nag saba-saba, nag videoke nya dili na mopatuo sa barangay, so ang atong kapulisan ang mokuyog,” said Parilla.

(There is a limitation on videoke, which is until 10 p.m., but the barangay will be the first to reprimand unless they don't believe them. If there is an establishment that makes noise, such as videoke and they won't believe the barangay, so our police will interfere.)

Drinking in public places such as along the roadside is also prohibited as ordered by PNP Chief Police General Rodolfo Azurin to prevent crimes from happening. (AYB, TPT)

Categories: Philippines News

Mandaue councilor proposes community-based mental health program

Fri, 2022-08-12 17:45
THE Mandaue City Council passed on first reading a proposed ordinance establishing a Community-Based Mental Health Program and the delivery of Integrated Mental Health Services to help residents suffering from drugs and non-substance-related mental health issues, as well as victims of violence against women and children.

Councilor and Chairman of the Committee of Health Nerissa Soon-Ruiz authored the drafted ordinance DO 112-2022, which will be called the Mandaue City Mental Health Program of 2022.

In her proposed measure, Soon-Ruiz said she wanted to establish a comprehensive general health care approach that ensures a well-balanced mental health program and integrates mental health services into the general health and social care delivery system.

Soon-Ruiz added that the proposed ordinance aims to rationalize the function of the City Health Office (CHO) and the City Social Welfare Services (CSWS) in information dissemination, distribution of medications, and gathering data concerning mental health cases in the city.

The passage of the proposed ordinance is timely after the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized the impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic on mental health, as stress due to the quarantine and lockdown heightened the feeling of isolation and loneliness, leading to the increased risk of mental health and commission of violence against women and children.

It also mandates that government employees have mental health trainings and seminars for maintaining a harmonious workplace, and the City Government provides infrastructure and coordinates with non-government organizations advocating mental health significance.

The proposed ordinance would possibly undergo second reading in the city's next City Council regular session on August 15, 2022. (HIC)

Categories: Philippines News

Group to hold addiction recovery forum on August 14

Fri, 2022-08-12 17:16
HUNDREDS of former drug dependents who rediscovered their faith in God are expected to attend the Recovery Forum and Celebration of Success in Recovery at the IEC Convention Center in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City on Sunday, August 14, 2022.

The activity, with the theme "Breakthrough," is organized by Surrender to God (SuGod) Foundation Inc. headed by executive director Fe Barino.

Sugod Foundation provides drug recovery intervention and prevention program using faith-based and scientific methods.

Guest speakers include Dr. David Baron from the Department of Health (DOH), Judge Mac Hadjirasul from the Department of Justice, and Dr. Jasmin Peralta from the DOH.

In celebration of SuGod's 6th anniversary, the activity will start with a praise and worship at 1 p.m., followed with a forum involving the recovery and testimonies of drug addicts at 2 p.m., Holy Mass to be presided by Archbishop Jose Palma at 4 p.m. and a dinner and fellowship to be facilitated by Fr. Rene Francisco from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Barino said SuGod was conceptualized in 2016 at the height of Tokhang (tuktok-hangyo) anti-drug campaign under the Duterte administration.

The group was created to provide drug rehabilitation services to the drug surrenderers.

"Ubay-ubay na nga programa ang atong nahatag pinaagi sa atoang mga trained staff, so moabot na sa 2,000 ka mga tawo ang atong natabangan nga mga drug addicts apil natong ana-a dinha sulod sa bilangguan," Barino said.

(Many have already benefited from our programs through our trained staff. We have already helped around 2,000 drug addicts, including those inside the jail.)

Amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, SuGod continues to help drug addicts through their community-based drug recovery and renewal program.

All recovering individuals and their families are invited.

The registration fee is P300 per participant, inclusive of snacks and dinner. (BBT, TPT)

Categories: Philippines News

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