Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 15 November 2017

San Beda sweeps LPU to retain NCAA crown

Wikicommons file
The San Beda Red Lions clinched their second straight NCAA championship after sweeping the LPU Pirates in the best-of-three finals on Thursday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Red Lions defeated the Pirates in Game Two, 92-82, to successfully defend their title and hoist their 21st basketball crown, the most in league history.

Robert Bolick scored 18 points, nine of which came in the pivotal fourth quarter where he knocked down crucial baskets to deliver the victory to San Beda.

Donald Tankoua registered 17 points and 17 rebounds in the title-clinching game to earn Finals MVP honors. He averaged 22 points and 18.5 rebounds in the series.

The Red Lions ended the game on a 19-6 run, with Bolick knocking down the dagger triple with 50 seconds left to take the fight out of the Pirates.

League MVP CJ Perez tallied 22 points and four rebounds but couldn’t lift LPU to even a single win in the finals. The Pirates had swept all of the 18 games in the elimination round before going winless in the title series.

  • Published in Sports

Kia trades LA Revilla to Phoenix after blasting Picanto’s controversial trade

The Kia Picanto has decided to part ways with top guard LA Revilla who earlier questioned the team’s decision to give away the No.1 pick in this year’s draft.

The Picanto sent Revilla to the Phoenix Fuel Masters in exchange for rookie Jayson Grimaldo and a 2018 second-round draft pick.

The deal was first reported by Gerry Ramos of on Wednesday.

In an interview with Nelson Beltran of Philippine Star, team executive Bobby Rosales expressed “disappointment” with Revilla, whom he regarded as the “face of Kia”, after the guard posted a tweet blasting the Picanto for giving up the No.1 pick to powerhouse San Miguel Beermen in a controversial trade.

Revilla’s tweet, which has been taken down, read: “Kung magpapalusot man lang sana ginandahan niyo na ang rason. Hindi talaga eh. Bagsak kayo sigurado kung may lie detector.”

In the deal, Kia received three seldom-used SMB players and a future pick. The Beermen used the No.1 pick to nab Filipino-German center Chrsitian Standhardinger in this year’s draft.

Kia defended the head-scratching trade, deeming it as necessary in its shift to an “unconventional and positionless” style of play.

Revilla, who made the All-Star last year, averaged 6.5 points, 3.6 boards and 5.1 assists in his last conference with Kia.

  • Published in Sports

5 surfers emerge victorious in Lanuza Surfing Festival

Photo by Michael Eijansantos
LANUZA, Surigao Del Sur– Neil Sanchez (Baler), Mark Aguila (Baler), Daisy Valdez (La Union), Nilbie Blancada (Siargao) and Gabriel Lerog (Siargao) came out victorious in the 15th Lanuza Surfing Festival, the second leg of the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour.

Sanchez, 19, from Baler claimed the Men’s Shortboard title in a 30-minute duel against current PSCT rank 1 Philmar Alipayo. Sanchez built his momentum all week by practicing and observing the best possible position in Doot Poktoy where the waves were consistent, giving him the advantage to execute his arsenal of vertical snaps and aerials.

Sanchez scored seven during the early minutes of the finals when he landed two 360 aerials on a single wave which gave him a good headstart. He then went after another high scoring wave and landed another 360 aerial. The judges rewarded Sanchez an 8.0 score which sealed his victory over Alipayo.

“Sa umpisa palang binigay ko na ‘yung best ko. Nakalamang ako ng malaking puntos kasi maganda ‘yung bigay ng mga alon. ‘Yung gitna lang ‘yung talagang pinuwestuhan ko kahit na alam ko mawawala ‘yung priority kasi hindi dun ‘yung peak ng alon pero kasi maganda ‘yung wall dun sa may gitna. Noong na-perfect ko ‘yung pag-land sa dalawang aerial, sobrang saya ko. Doon palang nagkaroon na ko ng kumpyansa na may chance ako manalo,” Sanchez said.

PSCT Siargao leg Champion and current #1 Philmar Alipayo gave epic exchanges of maneuvers with Sanchez. Alipayo needed an 8.35 score to take the lead but failed to land his aerials to get the scores he needed to advance.

In the Men’s Longboard Division, Mark Aguila from Baler outscored Loynex Ruina, who took the second place, as well as Benito Nerida and Jeff Dela Torre, both from La Union, for third place.

Aguila showcased his classic longboarding style and was able to execute hang fives and hang tens flawlessly. Aguila posted an 8.0 score during the early minutes, the highest average score in his division.

In the Women’s Longboard Division, Daisy Valdez retained her crown as the undisputed longboard champion in Lanuza for years and rose above Maricel Pajares as well as Ikit and Aping Agudo from Siargao. Daisy managed to use her knowledge and experience of the surf spot, having competed in Lanuza for many years.

The Women’s Shortboard Division was dominated by Nilbie Blancada and claimed her victory against Dianne Nogalo, Jolina Uriarte and Pinky Alipayo, all from Siargao. The young wahines did not hold back against the multi-awarded 2016 Asian Champion, which in return became a learning experience for them, having Blancada as their main surfing inspiration.

The Grommets (16 & under) put up a great battle. Siargao power grom Gabriel Lerog took the early lead with snaps and cutbacks, claiming his best wave score of 6.25. Christian Araquel took the second place followed by Aram Laudes and John Nogalo for the equal third.

At 14 years of age, Lerog is considered to be one of the most promising surf athletes from Siargao. He got qualified to compete at this year’s WSL Qualifying Series in Siargao last month. From there, he adapted quickly and showed a lot of improvements in his surfing skills.

  • Published in Sports

House panel invites Sereno to attend Nov 22 hearing of impeach raps vs her

Chief Justice Sereno. PHILSTAR file photograph
MANILA, Philippines — Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno had been invited to attend the hearing of the House Committee on Justice on the impeachment complaint against her.

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, chairperson of the committee, said the panel had sent Sereno an invitation for the November 22 hearing.

The hearing will discuss if there is probable cause to pursue the impeachment complaint filed against Sereno by lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon.

The committee members are also expected to discuss if Sereno would be allowed to be represented by legal counsels. Sereno’s lawyers have twice written the justice panel on the matter.

Umali earlier said that only Sereno would be allowed to speak during the proceedings.


DOH chief says ‘it is now all systems go’ for distribution of contraceptives

Philstar/Edd Gumban file photo of women clamoring for the implementation of the Reproductive Health Law
MANILA, Philippines — The Roman Catholic-majority Philippines will re-allow the use of contraceptive implants after certifying 51 drugs and devices safe and not the cause of abortions, the health department announced on Thursday.

Congress passed a law allowing contraceptive devices in 2012 but the Supreme Court imposed a restraining order in 2015 after bishops said some drugs and devices caused abortions.

Abortion, divorce and same-sex union are not allowed in the Philippines and some lawmakers oppose artificial methods of family planning. Pills and condoms are sold freely.

“With the Food and Drug Administration’s issuance of an advisory declaring all of the 51 contraceptive products … cannot cause abortion, it is now all systems go for the Department of Health to fully implement the law,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque told reporters.


Lawyers file sedition raps vs Trillanes over senator’s call to ‘kill’ Duterte

File photos of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (from Philstar) and President Rodrigo Duterte (from Reuters)
MANILA, Philippines — A group of lawyers led by former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto “Jing” Paras on Thursday file a criminal complaint before the Pasay City Prosecutor’s office against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for allegedly inciting rebellious acts against the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In their 15-page complaint-affidavit filed by lawyer Manuelito Luna, who represented the group of Paras, who is also currently a member of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), cited the statements made by Trillanes against Duterte in his privilege speech at the Senate last October 3, that soldiers may shoot the President upon the latter’s wish if the allegations of hidden wealth would be proven.

The lawyers are formally accusing Trillanes of inciting to sedition (Article 142, Revised Penal Code or RPC), proposing to commit coup d’etat (Article 136, RPC), and graft (Section 3(e), Republic Act 3019).

During his privilege speech, the lawmaker made statements about the alleged millions of pesos of ill-gotten wealth of Duterte: “Kung makikita ‘to ng mga sundalo, M60 machine gun ang gagamitin sa ‘yo. Marami-rami ito, maubos magazine kung PHP40 million hinahanap mo, Mr. Duterte (If the soldiers could see this, they will use an M60 machine gun on you. These are many. The magazines will be emptied if you’re looking for PHP40 million, Mr. Duterte).”

“Trillanes not only repeatedly uttered seditious words or speeches (Art. 142, RPC) and unabatedly circulated scurrilous libels against the President (Art. 142, RPC), which tend to disturb the public peace, but also repeatedly incited others to inflict any hate or revenge upon his person (Art. 142, in relation to Art. 139 (3), RPC,” read the complaint.

In their complaint, the lawyers asked city prosecutors to launch a preliminary investigation and conduct proper proceedings and find probable cause to indict Trillanes and other unidentified personalities of such offenses.

“Trillanes not only repeatedly uttered seditious words or speeches and unabatedly circulated scurrilous libels against the President, which tend to disturb the public peace, but also repeatedly incited others to inflict any hate or revenge,” the complaint stated.

The lawyers insisted that Trillanes “committed conspiracy or proposal to commit coup d’etat” for encouraging the military to rise up in arms against the President.

Moreover, the complainants accused Trillanes of causing undue injury against the Duterte administration “through evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.”

“(This is) for irresponsibly and recklessly and continuously accusing sans evidence, that the President is keeping over PHP2 billion in bank accounts and or amassing illegally-acquired wealth,” they claimed.

Trillanes is insisting on the evidence consisting of bank transaction records alleged to have been sourced from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), despite the AMLC’s disclaimer that the documents did not come from them.

The purported bank transaction documents, which Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang also claimed he is in possession of, was disavowed by the AMLC.

The lawyers also took to task Trillanes’ record of major involvements in notable coups d’etat during the Arroyo administration.

For his involvements in these incidents, Trillanes’ assurance that yellow-oriented group TindigPilipinas’ nationwide signature drive calling on Duterte to sign a waiver for his bank records appear to lack credibility, the complaint stated.

Though Trillanes assured the petition-signing drive is not a destabilization attempt, the complainants said the lawmaker “lacks credibility given his record of major involvement in coups d’etat or destabilization attempts” particularly during the administration of former President and current Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The complainants cited the senator’s record of major involvements in coups d’etat during the Arroyo administration – Oakwood Mutiny in July 2003, the Marine standoff last February 2006 and the Manila Peninsula siege in November 2007.

Trillanes and other members of Magdalo soldiers were charged with coup d’etat over the said incidents, but they were cleared after being granted amnesty by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2010.

Aside from Paras, the complainants include lawyers Glenn Chong, Nasser Marohomsalic, Nestor Ifurung, Eligio Mallari, Eduardo Bringas, and Louise Biraogo.

Sought for a comment, Trillanes called the VACC “Duterte minions” who were only trying to divert his attention.

However, he said that he remained “focused” on exposing the President’s involvement in murders, corruption and secret bank accounts, and Davao City Vice Mayor and presidential son Paolo Duterte’s involvement in the PHP6.4 billion shabu shipment. — With reports from Azer Parrocha/ PNA



Actress on ASEAN lane breach: A lapse of judgment

Maria Isabel Lopez arrives at the Land Transportation Office in Quezon City yesterday. Boy Santos
MANILA, Philippines — Movie actress Maria Isabel Lopez yesterday admitted that her driving along a lane of EDSA designated for delegates of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit was a lapse of judgment on her part.

Lopez said she is ready to face the consequences of her actions as the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has yet to decide whether to revoke her driver’s license.

Lopez appeared at the LTO-Law Enforcement Traffic Adjudication Service (LETAS) office yesterday morning and explained a video showing herself driving along the ASEAN lane.


She said she did not intend to breach the security, noting she talked to a traffic constable of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) before she decided to take out the traffic cones marking the ASEAN lane.

“If there was a breach of security, I wouldn’t have talked to him and just gone ahead,” Lopez said, referring to the MMDA constable.

The actress drew flak after she posted a video of herself driving along the ASEAN lane over the weekend.

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She apologized to the public and appealed to the LTO to consider the whole picture before it decides what sanctions to impose against her.

Lopez is facing charges of disregarding traffic signs, reckless driving, violation of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act and a breach of protocols, LTO-LETAS director Francis Ray Almora said.

He said Lopez could appeal to Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade and President Duterte whatever decision the LTO would make on the matter.

Aside from suspension or revocation of license, Lopez is facing a fine of up to P5,000 for traffic violation.


Jail guard killed by NPA rebels

Jail Officer 3 Allan Alburo, 46, had just boarded his Mazda pick-up in front of his house in Barangay Matagangtang at about 7:20 a.m. when two men approached and shot him several times. File
MANILA, Philippines — Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels shot dead a jail guard in Placer, Masbate on Wednesday.

Jail Officer 3 Allan Alburo, 46, had just boarded his Mazda pick-up in front of his house in Barangay Matagangtang at about 7:20 a.m. when two men approached and shot him several times.

Five bullet shells for a caliber .45 pistol were recovered at the scene.


Witnesses said around 30 rebels served as lookouts during the shooting.

Meanwhile, Pfc. Ryan Belga, 23, died in an encounter with rebels in Barangay Balanac, Ligao, Albay on Tuesday.

Soldiers of the 83rd Infantry Battalion were conducting combat operations when the clash occurred.

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In Iloilo also on Tuesday, NPA rebels poured gasoline and set on fire two delivery trucks in Barangay Agdum, Miagao.


Marawi cleared of terrorist stragglers

Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP public affairs office head, said sporadic fighting since Marawi was declared liberated from terrorists last month, has stopped. AFP/Ferdinandh Cabrera, File
MANILA, Philippines — Marawi has been cleared of both local and foreign terrorist stragglers, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) declared yesterday.

Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP public affairs office head, said sporadic fighting since Marawi was declared liberated from terrorists last month, has stopped.

“There is no more fighting. It is a clear indication that we have neutralized the remaining stragglers,” Arevalo said.

He said soldiers did not find a single enemy in the main battle area in the last two weeks.

Arevalo said ground forces are now focused on clearing the area of debris, unexploded bombs as well as booby traps left by the terrorists in preparation for reconstruction and rehabilitation works.

Twelve foreign-looking terrorists were recently killed during a military “sweep” of the main battle zone.

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At least 30 high-powered firearms submerged in Lake Lanao in front of buildings that Maute militants had occupied in Barangay Marinaut were also recovered last weekend.

Arevalo said the AFP leadership believes that among the slain foreign terrorists was Malaysian bomber Amin Baku.

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said Baku assumed leadership of the Maute group following the death of Isnilon Hapilon.

“Based on our observation, all the stragglers have been neutralized,” Arevalo said.

Leni, Sara visit battle zone

As this developed, Vice President Leni Robredo and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio visited the main battle area yesterday morning. They also both prayed and lighted candles at St. Mary’s church, but their paths did not cross.

Zia Alonto Adiong, Task Force Bangon Marawi spokesman, said Robredo also visited the Amay Pakpak Hospital and donated medicine and relief packs.

Carpio, who came with Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, distributed relief goods in Barangay Basak Malutlut.

Carpio handed the P5 million assistance from the Davao City government while Cayetano gave another P5 million from Taguig.

Neutral ground

“The main battle area is a neutral ground…Political differences should be set aside…We can actually work together the people because this is a crisis,” Adiong said.

In a post on Facebook, Robredo said it was ”overwhelming to see the extent of the damage left by the siege.”

”While the setback is disheartening, I believe it is high time for us to unite in making rehabilitation faster...The ruins left by the clashes remind us that we must take the voices of the locals into consideration...Convergence is necessary to cover as much ground as possible in extending assistance to affected communities,” she said.

Power supplier gets P150-M loan

Meanwhile, to speed up power restoration in Marawi, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) is extending a loan of P150 million to the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative Inc. (Lasureco).

NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong said the amount would be used to procure construction materials to rehabilitate distribution lines in the city.

“There are 34 electric cooperatives all over Mindanao that we are mobilizing to help Lasureco,” Masongsong said.

Lasureco is Marawi’s major power supplier.

NEA said it expects to complete power restoration and rehabilitation works in Marawi in 15 to 30 days. – With Roel Pareño, Edith Regalado, Danessa Rivera


Going nowhere: MRT coach gets detached from train

Image from Ivan Caballero Villegas’ Twitter account shows MRT passengers watching the main train unit moving forward as the coach they were riding was decoupled midway between the Ayala and Gil Puyat stations yesterday.
MANILA, Philippines — Another day, another mishap for the Metro Rail Transit 3: train coaches detached from a northbound train in Makati City during yesterday morning’s rush hour, resulting in the unloading of over 100 commuters who were forced to walk to the next station.

MRT operations director Michael Capati said it will take some time to determine the root of the problem, but they are now conducting an investigation.

Capati said the detached train cars would remain at the MRT’s depot pending investigation.


Cesar Chavez, undersecretary for railways of the Department of Transportation, said that a “messma card” from the detached train cars was missing based on initial investigation conducted by MRT’s technical team, which gave weight to the human intervention angle.

The “messma card” is like a black box that records interventions in all trains of MRT-3.

Chavez said they are now determining the persons responsible for removing the messma card and also their motives.

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Capati said they are not ruling out any possible angle that could have contributed to the detachment of the cars, including possible electrical and mechanical failures and human intervention.

Contrary to Capati’s statement, Rowel Jose, rolling stocks specialist of MRT-3, pointed out that the incident had nothing to do with mechanical or electrical problems.

“It only takes human intervention to detach the couplers,” he said.

He explained that one can easily crank the lever to detach the coupler and if the problem was technical, all the couplers will be probed to determine why such incident happened.

Ric Initorio, director for operations of MRT-3, said yesterday’s detachment of train’s coupler was not the first time it happened, as a similar incident occurred at GMA Kamuning station in Quezon City in 2011.

Inotorio said the 2011 incident was because of an electrical problem, when a grounded wire was loosened up, causing the coupler motor to melt.

Capati apologized for what happened and said the agency has prepared some measures to ensure the safety of commuters.

Train operator Renato Año said that he was not aware that several cars had detached until he monitored “communication error” from the diagnostic panel of the train.

He explained that a communication error appeared on the screen after a problem was not detected between the two cars, but he said he stopped immediately near the Buendia station after an operator of a southbound train radioed that some of his cars were detached.

“While approaching Buendia station, I monitored on the side mirror that I had only two cars and I saw on the diagnostic panel a communication error,” Año said.


Ivan Caballero Villegas, a call center employee in Makati City, said he and his workmate boarded a northbound train at the MRT Ayala station past 8 a.m. when they felt that the coach they were riding was detached from the rest of the train.

Villegas said he saw the other coaches in front of their coach heading towards the Buendia station, leaving some coaches behind near the Ayala station.

He said some commuters in the stalled coaches complained of the heat while others claimed they were suffocating as other passengers repeatedly pressed the lock button to open the doors.

Before they were told to get off the detached car, Villegas said some angry commuters were cursing the MRT-3 while others called their offices to report their misfortune and delay in coming to work.

A few minutes later, some MRT security guards arrived and instructed them to get off the train and walk on the rail tracks back to Ayala station.

Some passengers complained that they should have waked towards Buendia station, which was closer to the detached coaches.

Villegas asked the guards what happened, but nobody cared to give them an answer.

A guard only told them that a “provisional operation” was implemented because of the incident.

Upon reaching the Ayala station, most of the commuters queued for the refund of their single journey tickets, while Villegas rode a bus to get home to Malabon City.

He also said that no emergency buses arrived at the Ayala station to assist the affected commuters.

DOTr’s Chavez said around 130 to 140 MRT-3 commuters were “evacuated” by the security guards from both Buendia and Ayala stations.

The MRT-3 is an attached agency of the DOTr.

Chavez said that the detachment of the coaches prompted the MRT to limit service only the North Avenue station in Quezon City to Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City.

He said they temporarily stopped train service from Shaw Boulevard station to Taft Avenue in Pasay City to fix the problem and restore normal operations that were resumed at around 9:30 a.m.

MRT-3 management recently terminated its maintenance contract with service provider Busan Universal Rails Inc. (BURI) due to the firm’s alleged poor performance.

But despite this, Chavez said the MRT-3 is now “improving” after the department took over the service maintenance from BURI.

Sen. Grace Poe urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to suspend the operations of the MRT-3 if necessary in order to ensure the safety of its passengers.

With the malfunctions still being reported regularly, Poe said that the DOTr should make a decision on the suspension of the operations of the MRT-3 if this is what it takes to address the problems plaguing the system.

“What they need to do is to ensure the safety of passengers. Now if they need to suspend the operations, and we know there are around 500,000 who ride the train, but if we consider the lives that could be lost because of neglect, then maybe we should swallow this bitter pill,” Poe said.

If the DOTr, which is now handling the maintenance of the MRT-3 temporarily, will push through with the suspension of the mass transit system’s operation, then Poe said that it should inform the public about how long this would last.

She said that the DOTr should also have contingency measures in place in the event that the MRT-3 is shut down, such as providing more point-to-point buses for the commuters and maybe even giving them free rides. –With Marvin Sy

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