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Embassy_philippines.mofat.go.kr

NEWS UPDATE
December 11, 2012
UN: Help ‘Pablo' Victims
By AFP, ELENA L. ABEN, and GENALYN D. KABILING
The Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines --- The United Nations is set to launch a global appeal for aid for millions of
Philippine typhoon victims as the death toll surged to 647, with nearly 800 people still missing.
Despite the devastation left by typhoon "Pablo" (international name: Bopha), the Filipino nation can rise
above the tragedy by spreading some aid and compassion to the victims, especially this Christmas,
President Benigno S. Aquino III said yesterday at a gift-gifting activity launched by the Philippine
Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) in Pasay City.
UN spokeswoman Imogen Wall said UN Humanitarian Coordinator Luiza Carvalho will outline plans for
an immediate aid package as well as long-term support for Mindanao, the hardest hit by typhoon
"Pablo."
"Five million people were affected and they need express assistance," Wall, spokeswoman for the UN
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told AFP.
"Their priority needs are food, water and shelter but there's also a big emphasis on helping people's
livelihood," she said.
"So many farmers have lost their crops and it's such a poor area. People need to earn money
immediately and agriculture has to be rehabilitated," she added.
She declined to give an estimate of the needs of the hard-hit region, the centre of both the country's
banana as well as gold mining industries.
But she said a number of villages were still completely cut off and not receiving any aid, a week after the
typhoon struck.
The region would need sustained assistance for at least six months, she added.
Carvalho is due to outline the aid plans at 0730 GMT in Davao city, near the area worst hit by the
typhoon.
The National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in Manila said 647 corpses had been
recovered after landslides and floods obliterated entire communities in the typhoon's path.
A total of 780 people are still missing, including about 312 fishermen from General Santos, the country's
tuna capital, who had put to sea ahead of "Pablo's" landfall.
The Philippine Coast Guard said Monday that search and rescue operations were ongoing for the 312
fishermen and their 45 fishing vessels that sank in the waters off Southern Mindanao last week due to
typhoon "Pablo," Commodore George Ursabia, district commander of PCG Southeastern Mindanao, said. Ursabia said some 16 survivors were already rescued in various parts of Mindanao while four others were confirmed dead. NDRRMC Executive Director Benito Ramos has said many of those missing could be among the hundreds of unidentified bodies, many of them bloated beyond recognition. Latest report from the NDRRMC also showed 1,482 were injured and 109 have been rescued. The NDRRMC likewise said damage caused by "Pablo" went up further to P7.116 billion with P3.47 billion in infrastructure, P3.61 billion in agriculture, and P18.38 million in private properties. The number of affected population was also placed at 587,364 families or 5,412,140 people in 1,928 barangays (villages) in 259 towns and 38 cities in 30 provinces. Of the total affected population, 29,390 families or 133,892 people are currently being served in 172 evacuation centers. "Pablo" likewise totally destroyed 32,817 houses and partially damaged 38,053 others. More Assistance Yesterday, the Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) said the Indonesian government has donated four tons of relief good and $1 million for the typhoon victims, particularly those in major islands and provinces in Mindanao worst hit by the typhoon. The check for the $1-million donation from the Indonesian was handed over to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa by Admiral Agus Suhartono, the Chief of the Indonesian National Defense Force, at the in symbolic presentation of humanitarian aid and assistance that include 1,000 units of military blanket; 3,000 packs of ready-to-eat meals; and 50 boxes of instant noodles at the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) headquarters in Davao City. The financial aid and the relief packs were then turned over to Liza Mazo, director of Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region 11. On Monday, Dellosa formally welcomed Suhartono at the Eastmincom headquarters where the two officials also signed the "Terms of Reference of the Joint Understanding of Philippines-Indonesia Military Cooperation" (PHILINDO MC). Suhartono was also awarded the Philippine Legion of Honor – the highest award the President can bestow without the need for approval of Congress. This is for his strong commitment in deepening the military cooperation between the Philippines and the Indonesian military. The United States and Japan have also announced more humanitarian aid for the typhoon victims. US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. said on his Twitter account early Monday the US government is giving $3 million more for the victims, in addition to the $100,000 it has initially provided for the victims of Pablo.
The US Department of Defense had earlier also said, "At the request of the government of Philippines,
Secretary (Leon) Panetta has directed U.S. Pacific Command to support U.S. government humanitarian
relief operations in the Philippines in the wake of typhoon Bopha."
The Japanese embassy also announced over the weekend its government is providing an emergency
assistance of Y45 million (about P22 million) for the victims of "Pablo." The assistance, which will be in
the form of relief items such as tents, jerry cans, sleeping pads and plastic sheeting, will be coursed
through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
NDRRMC head Ramos said the British government and Malaysia governments, as well as, the United
Nations through the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) have likewise
sent assistance to the Philippine government.
In his remarks at the Pagcor gift-giving rites, President Aquino admitted he was sad to see the holiday
spirits were doused in the storm-affected areas but expressed optimism that Filipinos will continue to
serve countrymen in need and overcome this difficult period.
Meanwhile, "Pablo" has dissolved as northeast monsoon, locally called "hanging amihan," affects
Northern Luzon, state weather forecasters said.
It finally dissipated Monday, after it turned around toward the country over the weekend.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said
"Pablo" dissipated due to the strong northeast monsoon affecting the country.
It is forecast that Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and the Ilocos Region will have
cloudy skies with light rains.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will be partly cloudy with brief rain showers, while the
rest of the country will have brief rain showers or thunderstorms. (With reports from Raymund F.
Antonio and Ellalyn B. de Vera)
AFP Taking Lead Vs Loggers In Mindanao
By ELENA L. ABEN
The Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines --- The military has stepped forward in support of President Benigno S. Aquino III's
directive to stop logging activities and announced yesterday that, beginning Jan. 1, 2013, it will take the
lead in the campaign against illegal loggers in Mindanao.
Lt. Col. Eugenio Julio Osias IV, the 4th Infantry Division (4 ID) spokesman, said this is in response to
Aquino's issuance of Executive Order No. 23: "Declaring a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of
timber in the natural and residual forests and creating the Anti-illegal Logging Task Force."
Osias said it was agreed at the special meeting with the National Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force at Camp
Aguinaldo last September that strategies in operating against illegal loggers in Mindanao will be
modified in view of the presence insurgents and armed groups in the area.

With this, the "Anti-illegal Logging Task Force Resolution No.005 Series of 2012: A resolution converting
the Anti-illegal Logging Operations in Mindanao from a civilian to an active military operation" will be
implemented, he said.
Present in the meeting were the secretaries of the Departments of Defense (DND) and Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR).
Maj. Gen. Nestor A. Añonuevo, 4ID commander, who is also one of the proponents of the plan when he
was still in the AFP General Headquarters, already gave instructions to all units under his command to
prepare for the eventual handover of operations against illegal logging to Army units under the 4ID area
of responsibility.
In Caraga Region, Col. Ronald N. Albano PA, 402nd Infantry Brigade (402IB) commander, conducted a
series of meetings with DENR-Region 13 officials on preparations for the anti-illegal logging operations
and the strategies that will be employed upon the implementation of the resolution.
The 402IB is also a member of the newly created "Multi-sectoral Forest Protection Committee" under
the Regional Development Council in Caraga that aims to supplement EO 23 of the President.
"We are very pleased on how much the people are putting their trust in the AFP to lead in the anti-
illegal logging campaign of the government. This is another challenge for us to do better than what we
are already doing in terms of environmental protection," said Abano. "That is why we are also
employing the aid of the DENR and other agencies in providing us with the technical assistance we need
to educate our personnel on this new undertaking."
"Rest assured that we, together with the other government agencies, will do our part and we will do it
the best way we can," he added.
Over 230,000 Overseas Voters Face Delisting
By LESLIE ANN G. AQUINO
The Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines --- More than 230,000 registered Filipinos abroad may soon be delisted from the
official voters' list for the May, 2013 elections.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said these overseas absentee voters (OAV) failed to vote in two
previous elections, thus, warranting removal from the list.
"Pursuant to the foregoing, a total of 238,557 OAV who failed to vote during the 2007 and 2010 national
elections should now be removed or deleted from the NROAV (National Registry of OAV)," read Comelec
Resolution 9567 dated December 4.
The law provides that the failure to vote for two consecutive national elections can be a ground for the
removal in the voters' list.
The Comelec, however, gave the Filipinos abroad one final chance to participate in next year's polls by
filing a manifestation of intent to vote in the May 13 polls until December 21.

"Only after the failure of the concerned OAV to submit the required application by December 21, 2012
shall he or she be removed from the NROAV," said the poll body.
In the manifestation, it shall state the Philippine post abroad where they are registered as well as their
maternal middle name and birth date for identification purposes.
The manifestations can be filed in the concerned foreign posts that have jurisdiction over the
individual's location, at the Comelec-OAV office in Manila or even online (www.comelec.gov.ph/coav) or
fax at (632) 5212952.
There is an estimated 915,000 registered absentee voters in several countries abroad.
Philippines Backs Rearmed Japan
The Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines --- The Philippines would support Japan dropping its pacifist constitution to become
a fully fledged military force and act as a balance against a rising China, a government spokesman said
Monday.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the Philippines
would strongly support a rearmed Japan – its World War II foe – as a counterweight to what it sees as
Chinese provocation.
"We are looking for balancing factors in the region and Japan could be a significant balancing factor," he
told the paper amid growing tensions over the South China Sea, almost all of which is claimed by China.
The Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez confirmed the government's view that
Japan should upgrade its military from a self defense force so that it has more freedom to operate in the
region.
"(Del Rosario) said we are in favor of Japan's gaining strength," Hernandez told AFP.
Japan occupied the Philippines for more than three years from December 1941, during which suspected
guerrillas were tortured and executed, and some local women forced into prostitution to serve the
occupying army.
The war claimed at least a million civilian Philippine lives, according to historians.
The newspaper interview comes shortly before a general election in Japan where the front-runner,
opposition leader Shinzo Abe, has said he wants to revise the country's pacifist constitution, imposed by
the US after the war.
China claims most of the South China Sea, including waters close to the shores of its neighbors. These
areas include major sea lanes and are believed to hold vast mineral and oil resources.
China's claim is contested by the Philippines as well as Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, which
have overlapping claims to some or all of those same areas.

In April, Chinese patrol vessels prevented the Philippine Navy from arresting a group of Chinese
fishermen at the Scarborough Shoal, which is close to the main Philippine island of Luzon and which
Manila says is part of its territory.
Manila says China has continued to station patrol vessels in the area even after the Philippines withdrew
its vessels and called for a peaceful resolution to the dispute according to international law.
Earlier this month, the Philippines asked China to clarify press reports Chinese authorities had
authorised its forces to interdict ships entering what Beijing considers its territorial waters.
China and Japan are also in dispute over islands in the East China Sea that are controlled by Tokyo.
Resist Pressure, CBCP Tells Solons
By LESLIE ANN G. AQUINO
The Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines ---- "Stand your ground."
This was the admonition by an official of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to
lawmakers opposing the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.
Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, issued the
appeal to lawmakers amid the alleged arm-twisting being done by Malacañang.
"For the anti-RH legislators, stand your ground, and for everyone who will be voting I hope you'll vote
according to your conscience," he said in an interview.
"It's sad because the President said it should be a conscience vote – and I expect them to deny that they
are doing any arm-twisting – but the information came from the congressmen themselves. Actually
Malacañang even assigned somebody to do the phone calls and pressure (the lawmakers)," Castro
added.
The CBCP official also reminded lawmakers that voting on the RH bill is not an ordinary act due to its
impact on future generations.
"This will have a long-term effect on the next generation, so let's hope they'll really use their conscience
and wisdom," said Castro.
"If we will vote on a well formed conscience, I think we will win against RH, but if they are going to be
swayed by the pressure of the powers that be, then we will lose," he added.
When asked what they'll do next in case they lose the fight against RH, Castro said this is something that
they do not really think of.
"In all honesty, we are not planning anything. We leave it to God. We've done everything that is
humanly possible. It's now up to Him," he said.
Earlier, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said both supporters and opponents of the RH bill had
agreed to put the measure to a vote on second reading on Wednesday, December 12.
Castro earlier disclosed that Catholic prelates will be in Congress this Wednesday, to see how lawmakers
will vote on the RH bill.
He said the presence of the bishops in the gallery is also an expression of support to the anti-RH
lawmakers.
"It was also a sentiment presented by the anti-RH legislators because they said they need moral,
spiritual, and physical presence of the bishops," he said in an interview.
"But the main reason why the bishops will be there is to pray for them (lawmakers)," added Castro.
The CBCP official, however, could not say yet as to how many bishops will be in Congress. "I don't know
how many yet, but hopefully they are many this time around," Castro said.
In the past, only Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles and Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes watched the RH
deliberations in Congress.
Castro said before going to Congress, a Mass will also be held at 12 noon at the St. Peter's Church along
Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.
"As far as I know the anti-RH legislators will also attend. In a way it's also a blessing and prayer to them
before they go to Congress to vote," he said.
"After, there will be a procession all the way to Batasan. If all of us cannot be accommodated inside then
we'll just stay outside to pray," added Castro.
Pasay Rounds Up Kid Beggars
By JEAN FERNANDO
The Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines --- The Pasay city government starting this week will conduct series of rescue
operations in anticipation of the increasing number of child street dwellers, beggars and vagrants for the
Christmas season.
Mayor Antonino Calixto yesterday came out with an order to the city's Social Welfare and Development
Office headed by Rosalinda Orobia to conduct series of rescue operations on street children to prevent
accidents as they risk their lives when they approach moving vehicles to beg by singing Christmas carols.
Calixto expressed his concern for the safety of street children as he stressed the dangers posed by street
caroling and begging to children's health and safety.
"These children would climb aboard moving public utility vehicles and bang on improvised drums of cans
and other materials tied together to ask for money," Calixto said.
He also appealed to the public not to give alms so that they will not return to the streets.

Orobia said the rescue operations will be conducted with the help of the city's local police and the
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Orobia said that those who will be rescued will be brought to the Jose Fabella Center of the Department
of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Mandaluyong for proper identification and
documentation before they will be sent back to their respective provinces.
"Every December the number of street children goes up and even the Badjaos are wandering in our
streets. We will conduct a round-up operation to prevent accidents for they be run over by speeding
vehicles," Orobia said.
Orobia said that the first day of their rescue operation, they will focus in Roxas Boulevard, Taft Avenue,
Edsa-Taft and Gil Puyat area.
Relatedly, the city government started the release of Christmas packages to the different barangays to
mark the Christmas season.
Among those prioritized by Calixto are street children from various barangays.
Global aid for PH launched
Palace asks all Filipinos to help
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The United Nations on Monday launched a $65 million global appeal to help desperate survivors of a
typhoon that killed more than 600 people, left nearly 900 missing and thousands homeless in the
southern Philippines.
Malacañang also appealed for help for the survivors of Typhoon "Pablo," calling on all Filipinos,
especially big businessmen, to contribute to the relief effort.
Offices in the Palace on Monday decided to cancel their Christmas parties and donate the food and
other goods to the typhoon survivors.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda called on all Filipinos to come to the aid of their "countrymen
most in need."
Lacierda appealed to the private sector to provide helicopters to fly relief goods to areas cut off by
ruined roads and fallen trees.
He said that aside from food, temporary housing and dry clothes were needed.
"The important thing is shelter because they don't have roofs over their heads," Lacierda told reporters.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator Luiza Carvalho launched the global appeal in Davao City, near Davao
Oriental and Compostela Valley, the two areas in Mindanao most ravaged by Pablo on Tuesday last
week.
Carvalho said the funds would initially help provide food, water and emergency shelter to 480,000
people in the worst-hit areas.
The Philippine Red Cross described the desperate situation of the typhoon survivors as a "humanitarian
crisis," with hungry and homeless people in hardest-hit New Bataan town in Compostela Valley reduced
to begging for food from passersby.
President Aquino has placed the entire country under a "state of national calamity" to free up
government resources and expedite the delivery of aid to typhoon victims.
But rocks, mud, toppled trees and logs swept down from the mountains, and fallen bridges have made roads to New Bataan and to Cateel, Boston and Baganga towns in Davao Oriental impassable, delaying the delivery of relief supplies. To help move relief, the Philippine Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard joined the response on Monday, ferrying food, medicines, and other supplies to the stricken areas in the Davao region. The most powerful typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, Pablo struck the Davao region, Central Visayas and Palawan early last week, leaving 674 people dead and nearly 900 missing, including 150 fishermen from General Santos City, the Philippines' tuna capital, who had put out to sea ahead of Pablo's landfall. With winds of up to 160 kilometers per hour, Pablo flattened entire towns, flooded agricultural communities and washed out mining villages. 5 million affected The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported Monday that 487,364 families, or 5,412,140 people, in 38 cities and 30 provinces in nine regions were affected by the typhoon. The NDRRMC said the typhoon damaged 70,869 houses, sending 133,892 people to evacuation centers. "Five million people were affected and they need express assistance," said Imogen Wall, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. "Their priority needs are food, water and shelter but there's also a big emphasis on helping people's livelihood," Wall said. "So many farmers have lost their crops and it's such a poor area. People need to earn money immediately and agriculture has to be rehabilitated," she added. The Davao region is the center of both the Philippines' banana and gold mining industries. The devastated region would need sustained assistance for at least six months, Wall said. Carvalho said that while Pablo's death toll was shocking—with one town alone suffering more than 400 dead—the plight of the survivors was quite "worrisome." "Entire communities, including pregnant women and children, have no shelter," she said in a statement sent to the Inquirer. Carvalho said the United Nations would work closely with Manila "as long as it takes to get everyone back on their feet." Under the short-term stage of the UN action plan, she said, the immediate needs of the survivors will be fulfilled. These include food, water, medicine and shelter. Under the long-term stage of the plan, the survivors will undergo psychosocial therapy to help them recover emotionally, she said. The United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States have been the first countries to contribute to the Philippine relief and rehabilitation effort. China, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore have also given aid for the typhoon survivors, according to Raul Hernandez, spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). US Embassy Chargé d'Affairs Brian Goldbeck said US military personnel who arrived in Davao City ahead of Pablo to plan new joint exercises with their Philippine counterparts had been asked to temporarily shelve planning for conferences and help the disaster response in the typhoon-ravaged areas. Also Monday Indonesia donated $1 million and four tons of relief supplies. Gen. Jessie Dellosa, Armed Forces chief of staff, accepted the aid from Adm. Agus Suhartono, chief of the Indonesian National Defense Force, in a brief ceremony held at Camp Panakan in Davao City. Suhartono, who arrived in Davao on Sunday for a three-day official visit, and Dellosa signed a joint military cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening relations between the Indonesian and the Philippine militaries. Airdrops In Davao Oriental, military helicopters on Monday started to drop relief goods to residents of hinterland
villages, including Butay in Caraga town.
In Butay, about two days' hike from the town center, 20 families had been waiting for government help
a week since the typhoon struck.
"Other areas were not reached by aid yet so we have to use helicopters to bring help there," Capt. Raul
Villegas of the Army's 10th Infantry Division said, referring to the helicopter trips to New Bataan and
Monkayo towns in Compostela Valley.
Navy ships were also being used to bring aid to ravaged parts of Davao Oriental, with relief goods being
unloaded at the port of Baganga, one of the badly hit towns in the province.
On Monday the Navy ship BRP Laguna was preparing for another delivery, loading 170,000 tons of relief
supplies and planning departure in two days.
"There are donations still coming in so we'll carry as much as we can," said Lt. (j.g.) Rommel Rodriguez,
Philippine Fleet deputy public affairs officer.
Gov. Arturo Uy of Compostela Valley met with representatives of government agencies and
nongovernment organizations on Sunday to discuss the provision of temporary shelters for the typhoon
survivors.
"They cannot stay long in the evacuation centers so we have to look for a permanent relocation site," Uy
said.
Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said during a visit to New Bataan last week that P42 million
had been given to her department's office in the Davao region for relief and the construction of bunk
houses for the homeless survivors.
Pag-Ibig moratorium
To help the typhoon victims, the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig Fund) will implement a
three-month moratorium on amortizations, Vice President Jejomar Binay, head of the housing fund, said
Monday.
In a statement, Binay said borrowers must file their applications for moratorium within 90 days of the
declaration of a state of national calamity. Reports from TJ Burgonio, Marlon Ramos and Christine O.
Avendaño in Manila; Maricar Cinco, Inquirer Southern Luzon; Alan Nawal, Frinston L. Lim, Germelina
Lacorte and Ayan C. Mellejor, Inquirer Mindanao; and AFP
Philippines supports rearming of Japan
By Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippines would support Japan dropping its pacifist constitution to become a fully fledged military
force and act as a balance against a rising China, the spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs
(DFA) said Monday.
"I think we would welcome something like that," DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez quoted Foreign
Secretary Albert del Rosario as saying in an interview with a reporter from the Financial Times of
London.
In the interview, Del Rosario said the Philippines would strongly support a rearmed Japan—its World
War II enemy—as a counterweight to what it sees as Chinese provocation.
"We are looking for balancing factors in the region and Japan could be a significant balancing factor," he
told the paper amid growing tensions over the South China Sea, almost all of which is claimed by China.
Del Rosario's statement about a stronger security partner came as Philippine diplomats and defense
officials prepared for two days of talks with their US counterparts.
The Third Bilateral Strategic Dialogue, which opens Tuesday, will discuss, among other matters, the
Philippines' territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea.
Hernandez confirmed the government's view that Japan should upgrade its military from a self-defense force so that it has more freedom to operate in the region. "*Del Rosario+ said we are in favor of Japan's gaining strength," Hernandez said. Japan occupied the Philippines for more than three years from December 1941, during which suspected guerrillas were tortured and executed, and many Filipino women were forced into prostitution to serve the occupying Army. The war claimed at least a million civilian Philippine lives, according to historians. Conflicting claims The interview with the Financial Times comes shortly before a general election in Japan where the front-runner, opposition leader Shinzo Abe, has said he wants to revise the country's pacifist constitution, imposed by the United States after the war. China claims most of the South China Sea, including waters close to the shores of its neighbors. These areas include major sea-lanes and are believed to hold vast mineral and oil resources. China's claim is contested by the Philippines as well as Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, which have overlapping claims to some or all of those same areas. In April, Chinese patrol vessels prevented the Philippine Navy from arresting a group of Chinese fishermen at the Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), which is within the Philippines' 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Manila says China has continued to station patrol vessels in the area even after the Philippines withdrew its vessels and called for a peaceful resolution to the dispute according to international law. Earlier this month, the Philippines asked China to clarify press reports Chinese authorities had authorized its forces to interdict ships entering what Beijing considers its territorial waters. China and Japan are also in dispute over islands in the East China Sea that are controlled by Tokyo. Hernandez said he had talked about the Financial Times interview with Del Rosario. He said Del Rosario stressed he "would welcome a stronger Japan, which together with other partners would serve as a balancing factor in the region." Peace process "We know very well no country by itself has the capacity to address the security requirements of this region. And so it is to our interest to seek stronger partners and to have stronger alliances in the region," Hernandez quoted Del Rosario as saying. Asked what the Philippines would want Japan's role in the region to be, Del Rosario replied that the country wanted Japan to "support a peaceful process in solving issues here and to be one of the partners as far as security alliances and partnerships are concerned," Hernandez said. But Hernandez said there were no talks going on between the Philippines and Japan and that Del Rosario only responded to questions during the interview with the Financial Times. Announcing the Manila-Washington talks through a statement yesterday, Del Rosario said the Philippines looked forward to deepening further its engagement with the United States. The talks will be cochaired by Foreign Undersecretary and now new Philippine Ambassador to China Erlinda Basilio and Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino for the Philippine side and for the American side by US State Department Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell and Defense Assistant Secretary Mark Lippert. Agenda According to Assistant Foreign Secretary Carlos Soreta, head of the DFA American Affairs section, the two countries will discuss issues on the economy, rule of law, diplomatic engagement and defense. Soreta said the meetings would move forward Philippine-US relations while good now, "because it gives more detail and a benchmark for us." "We've formalized it all the more, in a way holding each other with certain commitments and that we understand these commitments and go past diplomatic euphemisms," he told reporters. Soreta said the two countries would discuss rule of law involving the West Philippine Sea dispute, as this
was one of the important aspects of the country's advocacy of a peaceful settlement of conflicting
territorial claims in the sea.
"This is *of+ interest not only to us but *also to+ any country who wants to support us *in+ achieving a
peaceful solution," he said.
More joint exercises
Soreta said the Mutual Defense Board and the Security Defense Board would also meet after the
strategic dialogue.
After the talks, he said, it can be expected that there will be increased joint military exercises between
the Philippines and United States, as well an increase in the number of troops participating and the
number of activities and the areas to be covered.
Soreta said he did not expect increased US presence to aggravate tensions between the Philippines and
China in the West Philippine Sea. With a report from AFP
Pacquiao cries on TV for letting PH down
By Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
HOLLYWOOD—Manny Pacquiao shed tears on Philippine television on Monday, saying he had let his
country down.
But don't count him out yet. A devastating knockout loss to his great Mexican rival Juan Manuel
Marquez won't make him quit boxing.
"I'm ready to fight in April," Pacquiao told Manila-based sportswriters in a customized luxury bus that
took them from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to Hollywood.
Pacquiao announced the date for his comeback fight to end all speculations about his boxing future
following his sixth-round loss to Marquez in their fourth encounter on Saturday.
In Hollywood, the Pacquiaos were brought to their $2-million house near Hancock Park, where they
were to spend the night. In the garage were Pacquiao's service car, a Mercedes Benz and his Ferrari 458
Italia, acquired just last year.
Interviewed on GMA network, Pacquiao indicated how deeply he felt the disappointment of his
followers back home.
"The low morale, the sadness, I accept that. This is my job … But the reaction of the Filipinos, the many
who cried, especially my family, it really hurts me," he told the network.
The former eight-division world champion wiped tears from his eyes listening to his wife, Jinkee, make a
tearful appeal on camera for her husband, who turns 34 next week, to hang up his gloves.
"When you see your husband get hurt, you cannot even sleep," she said in the interview.
Asked if she wanted her husband to retire from boxing, she said: "You know the answer to that. He
knows what I am asking him."
In the bus, Pacquiao told the sportswriters that Saturday's loss to Marquez "was similar to what
happened to me against (Rustico) Torrecampo." He was referring to his third-round knockout defeat on
Feb. 9, 1996, when he was still fighting at 110 pounds.
"I got nailed by a sneaky punch that caught me in the chin coming in," Pacquiao said in Filipino. "If it
were in the jaw, I can withstand it."
5th fight
Swinging as if he was shadowboxing, Pacquiao admitted he got careless with Marquez because he
wanted to put up a strong showing to end the sixth round.
"I faked twice and he got me *with that right+ as I stumbled," he said.
Despite the one-punch knockout that left him motionless—face down on the canvas for over a minute—
Pacquiao said he was raring for a fifth fight with Marquez to get even. "Yes, why not." "Marquez was lucky. The next fight, I'll get him," he said, adding that he had intended to finish his Mexican rival in the seventh or eighth round to give fans what they wanted—an explosive fight. "I saw his nose bleeding and that he had difficulty breathing," Pacquiao said. "I was also told that his corner was ready to stop the fight in the seventh." Pacquiao fell short as Marquez, dubbed "El Dinamita," threw a dynamite right that exploded on his face and knocked him out cold. Despite the loss, Pacquiao said he was satisfied he was able to give the fans an explosive fight. "Don't fight if you don't want to lose," he said. "That's sports." As a routine procedure, he was taken after the bout to the trauma unit of University Medical Center, where he underwent medical tests, including a CT scan, to find out if he had suffered a concussion. The result was negative and he was cleared to return to his penthouse suite at the hotel. He will be under observation for three days, although he was allowed to make the five-hour trip to Hollywood, including a traditional stop at midpoint Barstow. No fight with Mayweather Since he suffered no major head injuries, Pacquiao is deemed fit to fight again next year. Against whom and when, there's no clear development yet. While a lucrative fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is off the radar at the moment, the continuation of his ring saga with Marquez may be in the horizon. Promoter Bob Arum, while hesitant to stage an immediate rematch because of the punishment sustained by both fighters, with Marquez suspected of having a broken nose, the 81-year-old big boss of Top Rank is reportedly being bombarded with requests for a Pacquiao-Marquez 5. Another possible opponent, if Pacquiao's original schedule of April 20 for his next fight is followed, is rising star Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios, a toe-to-toe fighter whose style should suit Pacquiao's just fine. While Pacquiao also has a score to settle with Timothy Bradley, who beat him by a dubious split decision, Arum is not keen on the proposition, as their fight in June was a disappointment at the gates and failed to generate a million PPV (pay-per-view) buys. In contrast, the Pacquiao-Marquez 4 was a blockbuster, with a sellout crowd of 16,348, gate receipts of $10.5 million and an assured 1 million plus PPV hits, which could put Pacquiao's total income for the fight at between $25 million to $30 million. Pacquiao is willing to take on anybody Arum will put in front of him since he wants redemption for the humiliation he suffered in Marquez's hands. Pacquiao and wife Jinkee are scheduled to take the Monday flight to Manila, arriving in the Philippines on Wednesday for the birthday of their son, Jimwell. On Dec. 17, Pacquiao will turn 34 and more celebrations are scheduled in General Santos City and Sarangani province, where he's running unopposed for a second term as congressman. Also in the bus, emblazoned with his image and a teaser of Pacquiao-Marquez 4, were several pastors, boxers Dodie Boy Peñalosa Jr. and Ernie Sanchez, who both won in the undercard of Saturday's fight, and Michael Farenas, who put up a gallant losing stand against Yuriorkis Gamboa, as well as Filipino television crews. Tough questions Pacquiao now faces some of the toughest questions in his 17-year career—does his future lay in boxing, politics, show biz, religion, or is there a new challenge on the horizon? "Being the king of boxing, being the highest paid athlete in boxing … it goes with the territory," boxing analyst Ed Tolentino said. "For Pacquiao, the fame was too much to handle. There was just too many things on his plate other than boxing." The distraction was costly for Pacquiao, who trained for only two months, compared to Marquez's four and a half months.
During that time the Mexican fighter bulked up and became more muscular to withstand the Filipino's
trademark furious blows that were so damaging in their three earlier encounters, said boxing
commentator Ronnie Nathanielsz.
Politicians, movie bit players and an assortment of hangers-on now form his huge entourage.
"You only need a Ferris wheel and his training camp would have been a circus," Tolentino said.
"Among boxers, they don't have the word retirement in their dictionary. It's so hard to admit that all of
sudden it's over, especially for Pacquiao," Tolentino said.
"His demotion was from the penthouse to the doghouse," he added. "I think really there has to be a lot
of soul searching. … He has to consult his family, his real entourage." With reports from AFP and AP
Missing persons count hits 900
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The number of people missing jumped to nearly 900 Monday after families and fishing companies
reported losing contact with more than 300 fishermen at sea who set sail despite warnings that
Typhoon "Pablo" was barreling toward Mindanao.
Military authorities announced in General Santos City that two ships from the Philippine Navy and two
patrol boats from the Philippine Coast Guard would be used to search for 50 fishing vessels owned by
eight different companies off the Surigao provinces and Davao Oriental.
Maj. Gen. Jorge Segovia, chief of the Eastern Command, on Sunday met with the head of the Armed
Forces of Indonesia for permission to conduct search and rescue operations in Indonesian territorial
waters, Navy Capt. Robert Empedrad told reporters.
Empedrad said the operations would last three to five days in Philippine territorial waters off Surigao
and Davao Oriental all the way down to the rich fishing grounds near Indonesia. "Then, depending on
results, we will decide whether to continue the search and rescue efforts," he said.
Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay on Monday expressed concern that the Philippine Coast Guard did not
enforce a no-sail-at-sea policy and that the fishing companies put at risk the lives of fishermen by
allowing them to sail in spite of advisories issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center at Pearl Harbor
in Hawaii as early as Nov. 23.
"With this regulatory regime, corporate behavior and predisposition of our elite, one should not wonder
why this archipelagic nation can never achieve zero casualty. I want to faint, since it is fast becoming a
fashionable statement," Salceda said.
He obviously referred to pronouncements by officials before Pablo (international name: Bopha) struck
that preparations in place would minimize the loss of lives.
Salceda's preparedness program in Albay, doormat to storms blasting the country from the Pacific, has
been credited with saving lives.
Death toll
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Monday 647 corpses had
been recovered after landslides and floods obliterated entire communities in the typhoon's path. Of the
900 missing, 300 were fishermen and another 400 were from the hard-hit town of New Bataan.
Benito Ramos, executive director of the NDRRMC, said many of those missing could be among the
hundreds of unidentified bodies, many of them bloated beyond recognition.
Ramos said the fishermen from General Santos City, the country's tuna capital, and Sarangani left a few
days before Pablo made landfall in Mindanao.
Ramos said the fishermen were headed to the Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea and to the
Pacific Ocean.
Coast Guard boats, Navy ships and fishing vessels are searching for them, and some may have sought
shelter on the many small islands in the area. "Maybe they are still alive," Ramos said.
Jake Lu, a fishing boat owner in General Santos City, also expressed optimism many of the missing
fishermen were safe. Lu claimed that many of the missing fishermen were aboard mother boats.
Eleven of 50 missing vessels are mother boats. The rest are light and carrier boats.
"There's a possibility that the missing fishing boats just drifted somewhere else. Either they ran out of
fuel or their communication gadgets were destroyed by the typhoon, the reason why they lost contact
with their employers," Lu said.
K9 teams
Rescuers were searching for bodies or signs of life under tons of fallen trees and boulders in New
Bataan, where rocks, mud and other rubble destroyed landmarks, making it doubly difficult to search
places where houses once stood.
Rear Adm. Luis Tuason Jr., Coast Guard officer in charge, announced yesterday that four K9 teams had
been dispatched to Compostela Valley to help in the search operations.
He also said that the patrol ship BRP Davao del Norte was heading back to Cateel, Davao Oriental, to
deliver relief goods.
Pablo was dissipating finally in the West Philippine Sea after briefly veering back toward the country's
northwest on Saturday, prompting worries of more devastation.
The typhoon destroyed about 18 percent of the banana plantations in Mindanao, causing losses
estimated at P12 billion pesos, according to Stephen Antig, executive director of the Pilipino Banana
Growers and Exporters Association.
The Philippines is the world's third-largest banana producer and exporter, supplying international
brands such as Dole, Chiquita and Del Monte. With reports from AP, Marlon Ramos, Jerry E. Esplanada,
and Aquiles Z. Zonio, Inquirer Mindanao
Churches slam inaction on human rights
By Jocelyn R. Uy, Erika Sauler
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The largest alliance of Protestant and non-Roman Catholic churches in the Philippines has scored the
government for the continuing impunity and nonenforcement of human rights in the country.
This developed as thousands of protesters held a rally on Mendiola to mark International Human Rights
Day on Monday.
In a statement, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) noted that there were 132
cases of extrajudicial killings with "zero prosecution" in the present administration and that military
officers charged or implicated in abductions or torture were instead promoted.
"International Human Rights Day in the Philippines is a saga of human rights that is ‘good on paper' … it
is one of continuing impunity and nonenforcement of human rights laws," the church group stated
Monday.
The NCCP members include the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, Apostolic Catholic Church,
Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches, United Methodist Church and United Church of Christ in the
Philippines (UCCP), among others.
The statement was signed by Rev. Ephraim Fajutagana, NCCP chairman and the Supreme Bishop of the
Iglesia Filipina Independiente, and Fr. Rex Reyes Jr., NCCP general secretary.
"The recent promotion of military officers charged with abduction and torture, the unabated killing of
indigenous peoples and environmental advocates and the vilification of activists speak volumes not of
the state's helplessness but of what Rep. Erin Tañada says is the ‘systematic inability to enforce human
rights laws,'" said the church groups.
Prosecution witness
At a human rights forum last week hosted by the NCCP and the European Union, Raymond Manalo, a
farmer who was allegedly abducted by the military in 2006, said killings and illegal arrests continued
under the Aquino administration.
Manalo is a prosecution witness in the trial of two soldiers accused in the kidnapping of University of the
Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.
Former Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, a primary accused in the case, has yet to be arrested even as
President Aquino earlier doubled the reward for information leading to his arrest from P1 million to P2
million.
The NCCP also said there was no truth to declarations that there were no more political prisoners in the
country "as those in detention have been charged with other offenses except political offenses."
"In the unrelenting moves to deny the truth about the grave human rights situation in this country, the
NCCP is equally relentless in its belief that justice is neither rhetoric nor media mileage. It is making
perpetrators of human rights violations accountable for their transgressions," it stressed.
At the Mendiola rally Monday, a militant lawmaker accused Mr. Aquino of "knocking out our economic
and human rights."
"Today we are disappointed, saddened and angry because of the knockout," Bayan Muna party-list Rep.
Teodoro Casiño said. "Not just the knockout of Manny Pacquiao. But because under the Aquino
administration, our human rights are being knocked out."
Indigenous people from Mindanao sought justice for the killings of lumad leaders who opposed large-
scale mining projects in the region during the Mendiola rally which was also attended by a contingent of
labor and peasant leaders from Southern Tagalog.
Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez led the protesters in burning an effigy of a combined
mining excavator and artillery tank topped by an effigy of Mr. Aquino that symbolized large-scale mining
and militarization in peasant and indigenous people's communities.
Enriquez accused Mr. Aquino not only of turning his back on his promise to give justice to the victims of
human rights violations, but also of encouraging rights violations through the promotion of military
generals known for their abuses.
"We condemn the continuing extrajudicial killings and the plunder of our resources that take away our
rights, land and lives," Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said.
She said that of the 129 victims of extrajudicial killings that the group had documented, 69 were farmers
and 25 were indigenous peoples. Most of those killed were antimining activists and lumad leaders
defending their lands and the environment against foreign mining firms.
Philippines supports rearming of Japan
By Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippines would support Japan dropping its pacifist constitution to become a fully fledged military
force and act as a balance against a rising China, the spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs
(DFA) said Monday.
"I think we would welcome something like that," DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez quoted Foreign
Secretary Albert del Rosario as saying in an interview with a reporter from the Financial Times of
London.
In the interview, Del Rosario said the Philippines would strongly support a rearmed Japan—its World
War II enemy—as a counterweight to what it sees as Chinese provocation.
"We are looking for balancing factors in the region and Japan could be a significant balancing factor," he
told the paper amid growing tensions over the South China Sea, almost all of which is claimed by China.
Del Rosario's statement about a stronger security partner came as Philippine diplomats and defense officials prepared for two days of talks with their US counterparts. The Third Bilateral Strategic Dialogue, which opens Tuesday, will discuss, among other matters, the Philippines' territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea. Hernandez confirmed the government's view that Japan should upgrade its military from a self-defense force so that it has more freedom to operate in the region. "*Del Rosario+ said we are in favor of Japan's gaining strength," Hernandez said. Japan occupied the Philippines for more than three years from December 1941, during which suspected guerrillas were tortured and executed, and many Filipino women were forced into prostitution to serve the occupying Army. The war claimed at least a million civilian Philippine lives, according to historians. Conflicting claims The interview with the Financial Times comes shortly before a general election in Japan where the front-runner, opposition leader Shinzo Abe, has said he wants to revise the country's pacifist constitution, imposed by the United States after the war. China claims most of the South China Sea, including waters close to the shores of its neighbors. These areas include major sea-lanes and are believed to hold vast mineral and oil resources. China's claim is contested by the Philippines as well as Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, which have overlapping claims to some or all of those same areas. In April, Chinese patrol vessels prevented the Philippine Navy from arresting a group of Chinese fishermen at the Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), which is within the Philippines' 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Manila says China has continued to station patrol vessels in the area even after the Philippines withdrew its vessels and called for a peaceful resolution to the dispute according to international law. Earlier this month, the Philippines asked China to clarify press reports Chinese authorities had authorized its forces to interdict ships entering what Beijing considers its territorial waters. China and Japan are also in dispute over islands in the East China Sea that are controlled by Tokyo. Hernandez said he had talked about the Financial Times interview with Del Rosario. He said Del Rosario stressed he "would welcome a stronger Japan, which together with other partners would serve as a balancing factor in the region." Peace process "We know very well no country by itself has the capacity to address the security requirements of this region. And so it is to our interest to seek stronger partners and to have stronger alliances in the region," Hernandez quoted Del Rosario as saying. Asked what the Philippines would want Japan's role in the region to be, Del Rosario replied that the country wanted Japan to "support a peaceful process in solving issues here and to be one of the partners as far as security alliances and partnerships are concerned," Hernandez said. But Hernandez said there were no talks going on between the Philippines and Japan and that Del Rosario only responded to questions during the interview with the Financial Times. Announcing the Manila-Washington talks through a statement yesterday, Del Rosario said the Philippines looked forward to deepening further its engagement with the United States. The talks will be cochaired by Foreign Undersecretary and now new Philippine Ambassador to China Erlinda Basilio and Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino for the Philippine side and for the American side by US State Department Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell and Defense Assistant Secretary Mark Lippert. Agenda According to Assistant Foreign Secretary Carlos Soreta, head of the DFA American Affairs section, the two countries will discuss issues on the economy, rule of law, diplomatic engagement and defense. Soreta said the meetings would move forward Philippine-US relations while good now, "because it gives
more detail and a benchmark for us."
"We've formalized it all the more, in a way holding each other with certain commitments and that we
understand these commitments and go past diplomatic euphemisms," he told reporters.
Soreta said the two countries would discuss rule of law involving the West Philippine Sea dispute, as this
was one of the important aspects of the country's advocacy of a peaceful settlement of conflicting
territorial claims in the sea.
"This is *of+ interest not only to us but *also to+ any country who wants to support us *in+ achieving a
peaceful solution," he said.
More joint exercises
Soreta said the Mutual Defense Board and the Security Defense Board would also meet after the
strategic dialogue.
After the talks, he said, it can be expected that there will be increased joint military exercises between
the Philippines and United States, as well an increase in the number of troops participating and the
number of activities and the areas to be covered.
Soreta said he did not expect increased US presence to aggravate tensions between the Philippines and
China in the West Philippine Sea. With a report from AFP
Palace: Human rights advocacy our policy
By TJ Burgonio, Cynthia D. Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Skewered every now and then over unresolved cases of extrajudicial killings, disappearances and
torture, Malacañang on Monday stressed its commitment to human rights and released a list of
initiatives in its campaign against human rights violations.
"Our policy is clear: We advocate human rights," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in
response to the United States Embassy's call for the government to step up the protection of the
people's rights.
"We frown on extrajudicial killings," Lacierda said, adding that the administration of President Aquino
valued human rights since his family had been a victim of its violation during the regime of former
strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
Later in the day, Malacañang posted a list of its initiatives on human rights since the President took over
in June 2010, including his recent creation of a "superbody" to look into cases of grave human rights
violations.
The initiatives included the crafting of a Human Rights Desk Operations Manual for police personnel,
and the setting up of an office for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to address all human rights
and international humanitarian law issues involving military personnel.
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales also described the country's
human rights record as having "significantly improved under the administration of President Aquino,
particularly in the areas of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture."
Rosales said that since President Aquino took over the reins of government, there were only 96
complaints of human rights violations against the military and 235 against the police from July 2010 to
July 2012.
Peasants march
The CHR led the country in celebrating International Human Rights Day on Monday through various
activities meant to remind the people of the evils of martial law during the Marcos regime.
Also on Monday, thousands of peasants and indigenous peoples belonging to a militant group from
Mindanao and Southern Tagalog, with multisectoral support from the National Capital Region, marched
on Mendiola and condemned what they considered to be unabated human rights violations under the
Aquino administration.
Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez led the marchers in burning a 7-foot effigy of a combined
mining excavator and artillery tank, symbolizing the twin evils of large-scale mining and intensified
military operations in peasant areas and indigenous people's communities.
Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, pointed out that among the 129 victims of extrajudicial
killings that they had documented, 69 were farmers and 25 were indigenous peoples. Most of those
killed in Mindanao were antimining activists and lumad leaders who were defending their land and the
environment against the intrusion of big foreign mining corporations, she said.
Last month, President Aquino issued Administrative Order No. 35 creating an inter-agency committee on
extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave violations of the right to life and
security of persons.
Chaired by the justice secretary, the committee will inventory all human rights violations perpetrated by
state and non-state forces; prioritize unsolved cases and assign special investigation teams to establish
the identities of the perpetrators; monitor and report cases under investigation, conduct preliminary
investigation and trial, and investigate and prosecute new cases.
SC: Cojuangco's UCPB shares belong to gov't
The Manila Bulletin
The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling issued by the Sandiganbayan in 2004 declaring that 7.2 percent
in shares of the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) transferred to businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr.
were owned by the government.
The affirmation, penned by Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., denied Cojuangco's petition arguing
that the high court had already ruled on the controversial coconut levy fund.
The high court declared as unconstitutional provisions in the agreement between Cojuangco and the
Philippine Coconut Administration (PCA) in 1975 which allowed the businessman "to personally and
exclusively own public funds or property."
Cojuangco is known to have been a crony of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and is the uncle of
President Aquino.
The agreement had provided for the transfer to Cojuangco "by way of compensation" of 10 percent of
the 72.2 percent shares of stock that the PCA purchased using the coco levy fund.
"In sum, Cojuangco received public assets—in the form of UCPB shares with a value of P10.88 million in
1975, paid for with coconut levy funds," the court said.
It noted that Cojuangco had admitted that the PCA paid the entire acquisition price for the 72.2-percent
shares, "which is a clear violation of the prohibition, which the court seeks to uphold."
"We, therefore, affirm, on this ground, the decision of the Sandiganbayan nullifying the shares of stock
transfer to Cojuangco. Accordingly, the UCPB shares of stock representing the 7.22 percent fully paid
shares subject of the instant petition, with all dividends declared, paid or issued upon thereon, as well as
any increments thereto arising from, but not limited to, the exercise of preemptive right, shall be
reconveyed to the government of the Republic of the Philippines, which as we previously clarified, shall
be used ‘only for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry.'"
The high court stressed that Cojuangco was not entitled to the UCPB shares which were bought with
public funds and as such, were considered public property.
The high court reiterated its January 2012 ruling that the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction over the
subdivided amended complaints that included Cojuangco's.
Nuclear medical tests just got cheaper
By Dona Z. Pazzibugan
The Manila Bulletin
The cost of several expensive medical diagnostic tests will be cut by at least half when government
nuclear scientists start the local production of the most commonly used medical radioactive isotope
next year.
The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) on Monday unveiled its state of the art
Molybdenum99/Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) generator production facility as it observed the 40th Atomic
Energy Week.
The first of its kind in the country, the P70-million Tc-99m production facility was cofunded by the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
"The facility will make nuclear procedures using Technetium-99m more affordable to the public,"
Science Secretary Mario Montejo said at the softlaunch of the facility in the PNRI premises in Quezon
City.
PNRI Director Alumanda de la Rosa said the agency's target was to have patients pay at least 50 percent
less for hospital procedures using the medical radioisotope Technetium-99m.
De la Rosa said that by February next year, they would be able to provide for all the Tc-99m-based
radiopharmaceutical needs of hospitals at a cost lower than the current prohibitive cost of the imported
radiopharmaceuticals.
She said they would also make radiopharmaceuticals available to government hospitals, especially
charity patients, at a subsized cost.
The country's 35 hospitals with nuclear medicine centers have to import Tc-99m generators from
overseas, making medical procedures too costly for the public.
The PNRI said the cost of an imported 99mTc generator here was higher than in neighboring countries.
The current local market price of an 18.5 GBq 99mTc generator is about $1000, $388 in Indonesia and
$4,070 in Japan.
Technetium-99m is the most commonly used medical radioisotope for imaging and scanning of various
internal organs such as the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver and thyroid as well as bone for diagnostic
purposes.
The radioisotope is used in over 80 percent of diagnostic imaging procedures of nuclear medicine
worldwide, according to the PNRI.
Among the medical procedures where Tc-99m is used are: Lung Scintigraphy Tc-99m Pertechnetate for
Meckel's scan; Tc-99m Labelled RBC's for Gastro-intestinal Bleeding, Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and
Gastric Emptying Time (GET); Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis; Liver scan; Liver SPECT scan;
Hepatobiliary; Renal Scintigraphy; DMSA Renal scan; DTPA Renal scan with In-Vitro Test; Diuretic Renal
scan with In-Vitro Test; Captopril Pre and Post DTPA; Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) with in-Vitro test;
Renal scan MAG 3; Renal SPECT scan; and Bone Scintigraphy
Comelec sees peaceful elections next year
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said it was not expecting any province, even the
usually restive Maguindanao, to be placed under its control during next year's midterm elections.
In an interview with reporters, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the poll body was anticipating
a relatively peaceful election next year, especially in areas previously placed under Comelec control.
The Department of Interior and Local Government has identified 15 provinces as "high risk" areas in the
2013 balloting, but these areas were most likely not going to be placed under the election body's watch.
These provinces were identified as Abra, Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Cagayan, Pampanga, Nueva
Ecija, Batangas, Cavite, Masbate, Samar, Misamis Occidental, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and Basilan.
In a separate interview, Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento explained that the Comelec would only
place a province under its control when there is a "serious armed threat" in the area.
A place can be considered under "serious armed threat" if there is intense political rivalry between or
among candidates, political factions or parties, the presence of paramilitary forces, private armies or
identifiable armed bands threatening to disrupt the elections, according to Sarmiento.
In such cases, the Comelec shall take immediate and direct control and supervision over all national and
local officials and employees while exercising full control and supervision over all national and local law
enforcement agencies as well as military officers and men assigned or deployed in the area. Jocelyn R.
Uy
House, Senate OK sin tax bill
By Cathy Yamsuan, Karen Boncocan
INQUIRER.net, Philippine Daily Inquirer
The two chambers of Congress will ratify the reconciled version of the sin tax bill today after yesterday's
face-off between senators and representatives that centered on whether they would make good on
their promise to dedicate the incremental revenue from tobacco and alcohol products to health-related
government expenditures.
Sen. Franklin Drilon made the announcement after stepping out of the grueling four-hour meeting
between senators and representatives tasked to thresh out the differences between their respective
versions of the measure.
Drilon, acting chairman of the Senate ways and means committee, said the reconciled version adhered
more closely to the upper chamber's version.
For 2013, the sin tax measure is expected to raise an additional P33.96 billion on top of present
collections from tobacco and alcohol products.
Drilon said P23.4 billion of this amount was expected from the tobacco sector while the rest would
come from revenues from alcohol products.
"The tobacco revenues are actually lower than the Senate-approved target of P23.55 billion," he noted,
recognizing some colleagues' objection to what they believe is a skewed burden-sharing between
tobacco and alcohol.
Senators approved the sin tax bill on third and final reading after agreeing on a 60:40 burden-sharing
ratio between tobacco and alcohol taxes.
The reconciled version, however, contains a 69:31 ratio between the two products. In subsequent years,
tobacco's burden share would taper slowly to 64 percent in 2017, Drilon said.
During the Senate debates, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and
Ralph Recto voiced concerns over the apparent favor given to alcohol producers since their burden
share is significantly smaller.
Drilon said that Marcos, in particular, held back when he noted that the reconciled sin tax version would
take note of the law that requires that 15 percent of all incremental revenues from sin products would
go to support workers in the tobacco industry.
Meanwhile, representatives rejected an amendment introduced by Recto requiring specific uniform
amounts for the repair and rehabilitation of hospitals.
Drilon said the representatives described the proposal as unrealistic since the financial needs of
different hospitals would also vary.
The Philtobacco Growers Association (PTGA) said it would campaign against all reelectionist senators
who voted in favor of the sin tax bill.
PTGA president Saturnino Distor said that aside from street rallies, his group would soon launch an
Internet campaign (http://www.senator1000.com/) to ensure that "anti-farmer, anti-labor" reelectionist
senators would not get votes from tobacco-producing provinces and other areas affected by higher sin
taxes nationwide.
The bicameral conference committee is made up of Senators Drilon, Recto, Marcos, Panfilo Lacson, Alan
Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Sergio Osmena III, and the contingent from the House of Representatives:
Davao City Representative Isidro Ungab, House majority leader Neptali Gonzales II, House minority
leader Danilo Suarez, Iloilo Representative Janette Garin, Batanes Representative Henedina Abad,
Camarines Sur (third district) Representative Luis Villafuerte, Camarines Sur (fourth district)
Representative Arnulfo Fuentebella, Negros Oriental Representative Jocelyn Limkaichong and Ilocos Sur
Representative Eric Singson Jr.
Also present during the deliberations were Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares,
Finance Undersecretary Jeremias Paul Jr. and Health Undersecretary Eric Tayag.
PNP tightens security in typhoon-hit areas
By Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippine National Police has ordered its units in Mindanao to man National Food Authority (NFA)
warehouses, groceries, stores and other commercial establishments in typhoon-hit towns in Davao
Oriental and Compostela Valley to prevent looting.
On orders of President Aquino, PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome on Monday directed local
police forces to ensure order and to guard government units and private groups distributing relief goods
in areas ravaged by Typhoon "Pablo."
Bartolome also instructed local PNP officials in Southern Mindanao to deploy their respective Barangay
Peacekeeping Action Teams and other "force multipliers" in the area.
Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., PNP spokesperson, said additional police personnel from Davao City,
Northern Mindanao and other nearby provinces were deployed to Davao Oriental and Compostela
Valley to augment police forces engaged in rescue missions and relief operations.
Under the PNP's LOI (Letter of Instruction) Saklolo, Cerbo said police units should be ready to address
looting of stores and abandoned houses in areas devastated by disasters.
"The LOI Saklolo mandates PNP units to be always on guard against looters or robbers when calamities
hit their areas. We should not allow the breakdown of law and order in the communities," Cerbo said in
a news briefing.
"We will maintain police visibility to stop those who might take advantage of the situation in those
areas," he added.
Apparently growing desperate with the delay in the distribution of food and relief items, typhoon
victims reportedly broke into stores and an NFA warehouse in Cateel, Davao Oriental, in search of food.
Despite the reported incidents of looting, Cerbo maintained that areas hit by the deadly typhoon "are
still under control."
"The police [will be proactive] to contain this problem of looting and we will leave it to the judgment of
our local police commanders how to contain this and prevent it from escalating," he said.
He expressed hope that the delivery of food rations to flood victims would be easier in the next few days
as government workers had started clearing and repairing roads and bridges damaged by the flash
floodss and mudslides.
"Together with other government agencies, we will focus on coming up with a more systematic
[process+ of distributing relief goods to stop looting," Cerbo said.
He said some PNP members, including Philippine Military Academy Class 1984, were discussing ways to
help provide food and financial assistance to flood victims.
Bartolome flew to Compostela Valley over the weekend to supervise the distribution of relief goods
from Camp Crame and check on the conditions of some 200 PNP personnel and their families who were
affected by the typhoon.
"Although some of our policemen were themselves victims of the typhoon, they still managed to help
others first before their own families," Bartolome said in a statement.
Senators to hold session for RH bill
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Senators will hold an extra session next week to tackle the reproductive health (RH) bill if the House of
Representatives manages to pass its version before Congress goes on break this month.
"The Senate President (Juan Ponce Enrile) has already agreed to the additional session day for the
chamber to vote on the measure on third reading. This assumption is if the House will act on the
measure," said Sen. Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada. "If the House does not act on the measure, I think there is
no point in us having a session on Thursday."
Under the compromise, anti-RH Senators Ralph Recto and Vicente Sotto III should finish their proposed
amendments to the RH bill by Wednesday and Monday, respectively.
This move was labeled as a compromise to the latest wrangling in the Senate on the RH bill as Sotto
vigorously opposed moves to tackle the population control measure ahead of other bills scheduled for
deliberation.
Sotto shot down a move by Sen. Pia Cayetano, an author of the RH bill, to move the discussion on the
bill from page 4 to page 1 of the Senate agenda yesterday.
Cayetano was keen to conclude the period of amendments before the Christmas break in order to give
time for Congress to have it approved in the separate chambers and at the bicameral conference
committee.
But Sotto was adamant about getting all the details from the RH bill proponents first before moving
forward to the period of amendments. "How about you, when were you forced to amend?" asked Sotto
at the rostrum. "What's so important about passing it before Christmas when we are scheduled to stay
here until February?"
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago stood up to back up Cayetano and urged the Senate to give
"interdepartmental courtesy'' to the President who has "articulated his desire" to prioritize the RH bill.
Gil Cabacungan
Pangilinan says Corona chums making things hard for Sereno
By Gil Cabacungan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Senator Francis Pangilinan on Monday said magistrates associated with impeached Chief Justice Renato
Corona were blocking the reforms being implemented by Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno in the
judiciary.
Pangilinan said this was evidenced by the strong opposition to Sereno's move creating a regional office
in Cebu City in a bid to decentralize the judiciary.
Although he did not name anyone, Pangilinan said he was referring to "those who were associated with
him (Corona) and have continued to resist reforms."
"We support Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno's efforts at decentralization, which I believe is the issue
behind the latest controversy regarding Administrative Order No. 175-2012, or the reopening of the
Regional Court Administration Office (RCAO) in Cebu City in Region VII," said Pangilinan on the eve of
the Supreme Court en banc meeting where Sereno is expected to finally face her fellow justices who had questioned the RCAO project which was not approved by the high court en banc. The RCAO project, funded by the Asian Development Bank, underwent pilot testing in 2006 but failed, prompting the high court to scrap it during the transition period between Chief Justices Reynato Puno and Corona. Sereno, however, revived the project "on her own" and issued the AO establishing the RCAO in Cebu City even if the procedure stipulates that this should be approved by the high court en banc, a source said. Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro has written a letter to Sereno demanding a recall of her order because this was contrary to the results of the Nov. 27 en banc meeting where several justices opposed the move. De Castro insisted that only the high court en banc and the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) could rule on the reopening of the Cebu office. The OCA is headed by Midas Marquez who served as Corona's spokesperson. De Castro was among the magistrates who have been cool to Sereno, who include Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Arturo Brion, Presbitero Velasco and Martin Villarama Jr. they have shown their displeasure at her appointment by snubbing the SC flag ceremony several times. Welfare and benefits In reviving the RCAO project, Sereno said RCAO Cebu would be for the welfare and benefit of judges in the Visayas who could now file leave applications and other benefits and process them there without having to go to the OCA office in Manila. Sereno had also enumerated on the merits and desirability of having an RCAO in Cebu instead of having a centralized office. Pangilinan agreed with Sereno, saying decentralization was the key to speeding up the resolution of court cases as mandated by the Constitution. "The concentration of powers in the national office has adversely affected the efficiency of our courts," he said. But Sereno's fellow justices objected to the Chief Justice's move to revive the RCAO, saying this should have been approved by the high court en banc and were about to question her decision in last week's en banc session. But Sereno called in sick and skipped the session, thus, averting a confrontation with her colleagues. She, however, attended the roundtable discussions of Asean chief justices on environmental law and enforcement in Malaysia. Creation of regional courts According to Pangilinan, Sereno's move to decentralize the justice system was in keeping with the reforms initiated by former Chief Justices Hilario Davide Jr. and Puno who had also pushed for the creation of more regional courts to speed up the resolution of pending cases. "It was former Chief Justice Renato Corona who suspended the decentralization of courts during his term. I cannot help but ask if this controversy stems from the OCA refusing to give up the powers it had enjoyed under former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Why was it right then and wrong now?" said Pangilinan. Pangilinan said the high court's operations had become too centralized that "even the purchase of certain supplies and materials for the regional trial courts all throughout the country needed approval in Manila." ‘Pablo' deaths reach 647
(The Philippine Star)
NEW BATAAN, Philippines – The number of missing persons from super typhoon "Pablo" has ballooned
to nearly 900 after families and fishing companies reported losing contact with more than 300 fishermen
when the cyclone unleashed its fury in Mindanao, officials said yesterday.
As of yesterday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the
death toll from Pablo has hit 647, mostly from flashfloods that wiped out farming and mining
communities in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.
"The fishermen from General Santos City and nearby Sarangani province left a few days before Pablo hit
the main southern island of Mindanao last Tuesday," said Benito Ramos, head of NDRRMC.
Ramos said the fishermen were headed for the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, and the Pacific
Ocean.
They have been missing since Dec. 4, after Pablo made landfall in Baganga, Davao Oriental.
Ramos said the Philippine Coast Guard, Navy and some fishing vessels were searching for them, hoping
they had taken shelter in the nearby islands.
Malacañang said authorities are exerting all efforts to rescue the fishermen who were reported to have
gone missing in the waters off Mati in Davao Oriental, even as five bodies had been recovered.
A report submitted to the Palace by Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya
said five bodies have been recovered, 29 have been rescued, and 313 remain unaccounted for.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said two Coast Guard vessels have been deployed to conduct
search, rescue and relief operations for the fishermen.
The maritime agencies have also expanded their search up to the waters of Indonesia, hoping to find
them alive and well.
PCG-District Southeastern Mindanao (PCG-DSEM) commander Commodore George Ursabia said the
Navy, which is their counterpart in the search, has already coordinated with Indonesian officials in a bid
to find the missing Filipino fishermen.
"It is possible that they have drifted to the Indonesian waters. The Philippine Navy has already
coordinated with the Indonesian authorities," Ursabia said.
The PCG has also dispatched Monitoring, Control and Surveillance vessels, which are PCG-manned ships
owned by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and have looked for the fishermen as
far as 120 nautical miles away from Mati.
They have also issued a Notice to Mariners (Notam) to inform ships passing in the area to be on the
lookout for the missing fishermen.

The fishermen were said to be on board 45 fishing vessels when they left General Santos City sometime
last Nov. 20.
Ursabia said this kind of fishing expedition oftentimes last three to four months.
Most of the fishermen were from General Santos City, while some were from Sarangani, Davao Oriental
and Surigao del Sur.
However, a local executive yesterday described as an "anomaly" the report about the missing
fishermen.
Citing an NDRRMC report, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said 313 of the 360 identified missing persons were
reported by fishing and shipping companies.
"This is a most glaring existential anomaly," Salceda said in a statement sent to journalists through
email.
He said either the Coast Guard had failed to enforce a no-sailing policy or some firms had deliberately
put their personnel in danger by disregarding news about the typhoon.
"With this regulatory regime, corporate behavior and predisposition of our elite, one should not wonder
why this archipelagic nation can never achieve zero casualty," he said.
"I want to faint since it is fast becoming a fashionable statement," he added, referring to "zero casualty"
even as urged the government to reconcile some differences between reports by the NDRRMC and
Proclamation 522, which declared a state of national calamity due to Pablo.
He said the province of Davao del Sur was not mentioned in the proclamation, which was issued by
Malacañang last Dec. 7.
Salceda said Davao del Sur was "conspicuously missing" in the proclamation even if 563,428 families or
2,812,181 residents were affected by the typhoon.
"In short, we might be questioned (on the discrepancy) so we better reconcile this difference of
2,812,181 lives," he said.
The areas mentioned by Proclamation 522 as sustaining grave damage were Compostela Valley, Davao
Oriental and Davao del Norte in the Davao region; Surigao del Sur in Caraga region; Lanao del Norte,
Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao; Siquijor in Central Visayas and
Palawan in Mimaropa region.
– AP, Non Alquitran, Evelyn Macairan, Aurea Calica, Alexis Romero, Jaime Laude
No productivity bonus for gov't workers
(The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines - The 1.1 million government workforce will not receive the P10,000 productivity
enhancement incentive (PEI) given to them last year, Malacañang said yesterday. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said last year the national government took on the additional P5,000, since concerned agencies only paid out P5,000. Lacierda said government employees will still get the mandatory 13th month pay and other bonuses like the Performance Based Bonus (PBB) for deserving workers. "But that (PBB) is a merit-based bonus," he said. "So I'm sure if an employee performs well, we see no reason why (he or she) will not be able to receive the PBB." Lacierda said the national government made use of the P5,000 to form part of the PBB to reward hardworking state workers. "Now we're using that additional P5,000 instead of giving it to everyone," he said. "This PBB is a way of recognizing the people who work hard in the government." Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the PBB aims to encourage good performance in the public service sector. The government's objective is to achieve a performance-based system for government employees to boost morale and improve the delivery of goods and services, he added. Abad said the PBB will "reshape the bureaucratic culture" in government and replace it with a "culture of excellence in the bureaucracy." "Reshaping the bureaucratic culture through PBB will be contentious at first because it is new and it has never been done before, but we hope that eventually, it will ease itself into general acceptance among those in the bureaucracy," he said. The PBB is on top of and distinct from other benefits that civil servants already receive, such as the productivity enhancement incentive (PEI). "The PEI has been fixed this year at P5,000 for all government employees." The PBB is a strictly merit-based incentive system given to deserving government employees for exemplary work in government service. Unlike other bonuses, an employee receives the PBB based on how well he serves the public, with the ultimate objective of delivering public goods and services among our people. Public school teachers accused the government yesterday of effectively cutting by half their P10,000 Christmas-time PEI in implementing the PBB scheme. Some 60 public school teachers from the Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC) picketed yesterday the Department of Budget and Management in Manila to join the symbolic protest denouncing the
reduction of their "traditional" P10, 000 PEI.
The protesting teachers from TDC, a federation of public school teachers'' associations, sang popular
Christmas songs with altered lyrics to air their grievance.
Calocan City teacher Benjo Basas, TDC national chairman, said the year-end incentive for teachers has
been a tradition. – Delon Porcalla, Rainier Allan Ronda
Senate to rush RH OK before break
(The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines - The Senate is extending its session for one day until Dec. 20 next week to
accommodate the approval on third and final reading of the Reproductive Health (RH) measure, Senate
President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada said yesterday.
Congress goes on Christmas break on Dec. 21, but the last
session day before the break was originally set on Wednesday Dec.19.
Senators reached the agreement after they suspended session yesterday for two and a half hours
following a heated exchange between RH proponents senators Pia Cayetano and Miriam Defensor-
Santiago, and Senate majority leader Vicente Sotto III who is against the RH measure.
But with the agreement to extend the session days, the House of Representatives may also have to
approve the controversial measure by next week.
After the caucus, Estrada put on record the proposal of Sen. Ralph Recto to finish his amendments by
Wednesday, while Sotto will follow suit on Monday "after which we can vote for second reading on
Monday."
Estrada said the senators will report for session work on Thursday "for us to vote for the measure on
third and final reading."
Estrada said the proposal is "on the assumption that the House of Representatives will act on the
measure."
"If the House won't act on the measure, I think there will be no point for us to act on the measure,"
Estrada said.
"Again we put the RH bill at the mercy of me having to agree… I accept with reservation but I need to
come in that our colleagues will be able to come in on Thursday," Cayetano said.
"We will agree to the proposal as an accommodation to finish them as soon as possible… just to
accommodate them, not to say that we completely agree," Sotto said.
"We, who are in favor of RH, did not object because we do not want to be seen as obstructionist… with
the suspension of the session, (the) motion to suspend the session should come from the floor, not from
the presiding officer," Santiago pointed out.
"We want to make on record, we will not longer tolerate any debate if we make similar motions in the future," Santiago said. Santiago pointed to Rule 44, which states that unfinished business at the end of the session shall be taken up in the next session day "in the same status." "In many instances, the presiding officer can motu propio suspend the motion," Sotto argued. Before the Senate went into suspension of session, Cayetano contradicted Sotto who deferred his speech in deference to the tragedy in Mindanao "You have brought it to the point where if I don't push or nudge you a little bit, I will run out of time for bicam," Cayetano said. "I am not curtailing anyone's rights to make amendments," she added. Sotto explained that there were processes that need to be followed at the Senate. Prelates welcome Catholic bishops are welcome to witness the voting on the controversial RH bill possibly this week, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the measure's principal author, said yesterday. But he urged them not to use fear and intimidation to influence the vote. "If the veiled purpose of the bishops' presence in the gallery is to sow fear or employ intimidation against legislators, they will not succeed because fear is destitute of reason and must be resisted with conviction, and not be allowed to deter or delay legislation," he said. He noted that several Church leaders attended last week's House deliberations on proposed amendments to the RH bill. However, he said their presence "did not save the ‘killer' amendments proposed by RH critics from being voted down repeatedly." He said such amendments would have "emasculated" the proposed RH law. The rejected amendments included two proposals that would have limited RH benefits to married couples and excluded unmarried individuals, and stopped the government from promoting RH services and products. A suggestion that would have declared in the proposed RH law that fertilization is the beginning of life was also voted down. It is a "subject wherein legislators have no competence since even medical experts have no consensus, much more unanimity, on the issue," Lagman said. A proposal to drop the adjective "reproductive" from "reproductive health" was likewise rejected.
The amendment "is unwarranted because the bill is on reproductive health," Lagman said.
While rejecting several proposed changes in the bill, he readily accepted an amendment presented by
Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez, which would ensure that the country maintains a viable population growth
rate in case the proposed RH law is enacted.With Christina Mendez, Evelyn Macairan
Senate summons NFA chief on rice smuggling
By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines - The Senate is again inviting former National Food Authority (NFA) administrator
Angelito Banayo to its investigation into rice smuggling at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA)
after a witness implicated him yesterday in some anomalous transactions in the agency that he used to
head.
Banayo would be asked to explain his side on allegations that he gave preferential treatment to a group
of cooperatives in connection with the P500-million importation of rice from India.
The STAR tried to reach Banayo but was told by close allies that he would issue a formal statement
today.
At one point during the hearing yesterday, a witness revealed that about P355 million may have
changed hands for the processing of importation papers and release of the rice shipment using farmers'
cooperatives as "dummies."
Senate resource person Elizabeth Faustino, also a representative of a federation of cooperatives,
admitted earning P1.8 million for facilitating the "transactions."
The late Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) administrator Nixon Kua, a close associate of Banayo, was
also tagged as a financier and middleman for the shipment.
The Bureau of Customs seized about 450,000 50-kilogram sacks of rice abandoned at the Subic Freeport
in Zambales in April.
"It's Mr. Kua who was helping us. What I am saying is we were helping one another prepare
documents," Faustino said in Filipino.
Kua was killed in what police claimed was a robbery attempt at his home inside an exclusive subdivision
in Calamba, Laguna last July, or about the same time the Senate committee on food and agriculture
chaired by Sen. Francis Pangilinan began its probe on the suspected smuggling syndicate at SBMA.
Apart from Banayo, the Senate is also inviting businessman Danilo Garcia, alleged financier of
Magdangal Maralit Bayani III of cooperative St. Andrew Field Grains and Cereal Trading.
Bayani spilled the beans on Garcia and Kua after 45 days in detention at the Senate for contempt.
In one of his affidavits submitted to the Senate committee, Bayani said Kua had asked him if he was
interested in getting an allocation of the rice stocks at Subic.
Bayani testified that Kua "offered" the rice supply to him.
"As far as I know he (Kua) was an agent. He approached me to inquire about any interested buyer,"
Bayani said while being grilled by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
Rice importer and trader Vicente Cuevas III also admitted knowing Kua, way back when the latter was
still head of the Philippine Tourism Authority.
Cuevas' name cropped up in previous hearings as among the businessmen engaged in rice trading in the
country, including SBMA.
During the resumption of the Senate hearing yesterday, Faustino pointed to Kua as the financier and
middleman for the multi-million Subic rice shipment.
According to Faustino, the cooperative gets P5 for every sack of rice. P1.50 of the amount would go to
Faustino while the rest would go to every cooperative involved in the transaction.
Faustino said she does not know where the rice supply goes once the cooperative facilitates its release
from the SBMA port.
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada asked Bayani if he was "aware that (Kua) was killed." Bayani said yes.
According to Bayani, Kua approached him and informed him that there were still available sacks of rice
at SBMA.
Kua also assured him that the rice supply had documents to back up the application of import permit.
"You mean in all the importations that you handled, it was Mr. Kua who was giving money for service
fee and you didn't know who bought the rice offered to you?" Enrile asked Faustino.
Pangilinan said Banayo would be asked how "the whole process precisely is conducted and then
certified by and accredited by the NFA."
"So we'd like to hear from him his response here at the latest findings of the committee based on the
testimonies (of new witnesses)," Pangilinan said.
Palace vows assistance to ‘Pablo' victims
By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines - Police are on alert to ensure order, bunker houses will be built, and basic needs
will be supplied by land, sea and air to the victims of typhoon "Pablo," Malacañang assured the public
yesterday amid reports that relief goods were taking time to arrive, prompting some villagers to resort
to looting and begging.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the SARV-3504 (Search and Rescue Vessel), loaded with
relief goods and response personnel, has successfully completed its second trip to the town of
Banganga, and has ferried 42 residents to Mati City, the capital of Davao Oriental. "It is now on standby for a third trip. Another vessel, the SARV-003, is now moored at Sasa Wharf in Davao City. It will be deployed to augment SARV-3504 after refueling," Lacierda said. He said police regional offices in Mindanao are on full alert and its investigation units would assist local government units and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in monitoring price control violations and unfair trade practices. "To further complement relief operations, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will construct today 63 bunkhouses in the hardest hit municipalities of Banganga, Boston, and Cateel in Davao Oriental, and New Bataan in Compostela Valley. Each bunkhouse will provide shelter for 10 families as rehabilitation efforts begin in their towns," Lacierda said. The Palace welcomed efforts of TV-5 head and businessman Manny Pangilinan to raise P100 million, through a telethon, for the typhoon victims. Likewise, Lacierda urged the public to support the initiatives of ABS-CBN's Sagip Kapamilya and GMA's Kapuso Foundation. "Both the national government and the private sector are at the forefront of humanitarian efforts in areas affected by this recent calamity. We call on all Filipinos to continue being of service to our countrymen most in need, knowing fully well that together we will persist and we shall overcome these difficult times," he said. Lacierda said the government has made the calamity funds available for the victims "to make sure that the people of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley and the affected areas will be able to rise up again." He said the Department of Agriculture under Secretary Proceso Alcala would address questions on assistance to banana farmers, especially now that "our situation with China has been resolved." The Palace official said various countries as well as the United Nations had pledged help for the typhoon victims. Roads must be cleared Lacierda said the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) would provide help continuously and C-130 planes of the military would also be used to transport relief goods as some roads have to be cleared first for vehicles to be able to reach typhoon-ravaged areas. He said while the survivors were being attended to, there would be no let up on search and rescue operations. "We need to look for the missing people. We also ask the Filipino people to pray for our countrymen who have yet to be found and for those who perished in the tragedy," he said. Lacierda said so far, the P42 million in funds is sufficient, but impassable roads remain a problem.
He said there are designated DSWD drop-off points in Mindanao to receive donations from private
sectors.
He said the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of the Interior and Local
Government (DILG) and the Department of Transportations and Communications (DOTC) would assist
donors in directly bringing aid to affected municipalities.
"As far as we know, the problem is with the delivery, not the supply. But certainly we would like to do it
as how they did – the multiplication of loaves and fishes. So it's something that the government would
certainly welcome, private sector initiatives," he said.
Lacierda said while they focus on providing temporary relief for the victims, the government has also
been working on long-term plans to keep people away from areas classified as danger zones.
"In the meantime, what's important is their shelter first because they really don't have roofs over their
heads. That's the important thing that we are doing," he said.
– With Jose Rodel Clapano, Edith Regalado, Danny Dangcalan, Mayen Jaymalin, Helen Flores
EU helping defuse tension in disputed seas
By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines - The European Union is taking a strong but low-key role in helping defuse tensions
in the West Philippine Sea even as it voices optimism that a full-scale armed confrontation in the region
is a remote possibility, officials of EU said.
"The EU is very concerned. It's a question of freedom of navigation and trade flows. We do have a stake
in that part of the world," a senior EU official closely following developments in the region said.
"We can be more effect in diplomatic channels. It's not only the hard security that matters but also soft
security, like through the ARF (ASEAN Regional Forum). How can we help out? How can we boost or
deliver the message (on maintaining stability)? We need to send a quiet robust signal," the official, who
declined to be named, said.
Officials have reiterated their concern over China's aggressive moves in the region, which they said not
only threaten EU's estimated 700-billion euro trade passing through the disputed waters but also create
animosity among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Recently, China said it had authorized its police in Hainan province to board and take over foreign
vessels passing through disputed areas.
US wants Phl's commitment on protection of human rights
By Pia Lee Brago (The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines - The United States said yesterday that it looks forward to the Philippine
government's deepened commitment to the protection of human rights for all Filipinos as Washington
watches closely how the Philippines is addressing the recommendations of different countries during the United Nations' review of its human rights record. The US embassy in Manila said on the occasion of Human Rights Day 2012 marking the 64th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that it is one of the great accomplishments of the last century. As this developed, peasants and indigenous peoples from Lakbayan of Mindanao and Southern Luzon converged in Recto and Morayta to march to Mendiola to protest what they called unabated unexplained killings and the climate of impunity in the two years of President Aquino's term. The embassy said it was also an occasion to highlight the commitment to human rights that Aquino and his administration have continued to demonstrate. The US recognized the Philippine government's dedication to championing human rights through the creation of the Interagency Committee on Extrajudicial Killings. Created by Administrative Order 35, the committee strengthens the Philippine government's ability to pursue justice for victims by holding perpetrators accountable for human rights abuses. The Philippines' second Universal Periodic Review took place last May, at the end of which the country accepted 62 of the 88 recommendations made by the international community. Washington said it continues to cooperate with the Philippine government in the fight against modern-day slavery in the form of human trafficking. The US government commends the Philippines' efforts to improve enforcement of existing anti-trafficking legislation and amendments to strengthen the law. The embassy said there is more work to be done in protecting people whose rights continue to be denied, including infringements based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The European Union said the government's creation of the inter-agency committee to look into human rights violations and unexplained killings is a welcome move, since the issue of unexplained killings remains a concern in the Philippines. The head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Guy Ledoux, cited the murder of Italian priest Fausto Tentorio, whose murderer has been arrested but the mastermind has not yet been identified. "Although the murderer has been arrested by the police, to my knowledge, no significant progress has been made regarding the identification of the mastermind of this murder. The issue of extrajudicial killings remains a concern," Ledoux said during the human rights event held by the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. According to Ledoux, the last two years were eventful for human rights in the Philippines, with the country's ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Philippines' accession to the "ever-growing number of nations in the call that there should be no impunity for the most serious crimes," as the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, put it in her statement issued on that occasion. The Philippines ratified last April the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (or OPCAT). Congress adopted last October the Anti-Forced Disappearances Act, which is now awaiting the President's signature. Rallies mark International Human Rights Day The Manila Police District District Tactical Operations Center estimated the rallyists at around 5,000 people in Morayta Street, C.M. Recto Avenue, and España Avenue near Mendiola. People's organizations of workers, urban poor, Church people, and human rights advocates led by Karapatan and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) also joined the rally. Traffic was snarled in the university belt area after members of the Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) lay down on three lanes near the corner of Morayta and C.M. Recto Avenue after they were blocked by MPD anti-riot policemen from pushing to Mendiola. Militants from Southern Luzon and police also clashed during a human rights-related rally in front of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) building in Intramuros. – Christina Mendez, Sandy Araneta, Rhodina Villanueva, Dino Balabo

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ESTUDIO DE IMPACTO AMBIENTAL PRELIMINAR- RELATORIO PROSALUD FARMA S.A. Importación, Exportación, Distribución y Representación de Especialidades Farmacéuticas Terminadas; Importación, Distribución y Representación de Productos Domisanitarios riesgo I y II; de Dispositivos Médicos (descartables); de Jeringas y Agujas; Importación de Especialidades Farmacéuticas Semiterminados y Fraccionadora y Envasadora de Especialidades Farmacéuticas,