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UNA vows
harder stand
vs abuses in
2016 runup
Over 400 injured in revelry
ADB: Let not sea row destabilize Asia
Pope marks end
of difficult year
China to enact law
on seabed venture
Stiff nes
vs illegal
shing up
Time main
in signing
RH quietly
Garcia calls
on people
to prevent
her ouster
After the revelry. Thick
smog covers a suburb of
Manila on New Years Day
following Mondays revelry,
while at right garbage lies
strewn on Epifanio delos San-
tos Avenue and Balintawak
in Quezon City. The bottom
pictures show a boy and a girl
being treated for recracker
injuries at the East Avenue
Medica. (More photos on A3)
New Year message. Pope Benedict XVI holds a pastoral staff as he arrives in St. Peters Basilica to celebrate a New Years Eve vespers service
on Dec. 31. He said goodness still prevails despite all the death and injustice in the world. AP
By Christine F. Herrera
THE United Nationalist Alliance
led by Vice President Jejomar
Binay on Tuesday vowed to be
a stronger opposition in the sec-
ond half of President Benigno
Aquino IIIs term.
In preparation for the 2016
presidential elections, the op-
position alliance has elded
bets in congressional districts
to challenge the Presidents
Liberal Party and his coali-
tion allies, said UNA Secretary
General and Navotas Rep. To-
bias Tiangco.
Vice President Binay
believes the 2013 midterm
polls are a prelude to 2016
presidential race and the
Cebu standoff is evidence
of how President Aquinos
men would play dirty and do
shortcuts to continue holding
on to power beyond 2016,
after President Aquinos
term expires, Tiangco said,
referring to the administra-
tions suspension of Cebu
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and
the appointment of a Liberal
Party acting governor months
before the May elections.
Tiangco said the UNA would
support President Aquinos leg-
islative, judicial and reform
By Joyce P. Paares
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino
III took into consideration the
Catholic Churchs strong oppo-
sition to the Reproductive Health
Act in signing the measure with-
out fanfare on Dec. 21.
But presidential spokesman
Edwin Lacierda said that was
not the main consideration.
I think we all know the senti-
ment of the Church on the mea-
sure and the heated debate that it
triggered. Perhaps it was a con-
sideration, Lacierda said.
The main consideration of
the President was that he wanted
to sign it before the year ends
and he was scheduled to go on a
vacation. So we could no longer
hold a ceremonial signing.
Mr. Aquino completed all
paper works before he went on
a holiday, including the signing
of the RH Act and the Anti-En-
forced Disappearance Act late
evening of Dec. 21.
The President had pushed
for the RH bill, a controversial
and measure that the Catholic
Church had condemned and
which had also divided the
members of Congress and the
Senate, and certied it as urgent.
By Joyce Pangco
Paares and
Maricel Cruz
Cebu Governor Gwen-
dolyn Garcia, who
locked herself in at
the provincial capitol
to defy a suspension
order from Mala-
canang, sent out calls
for help on Tuesday
as police assault teams
surrounded the build-
ing in preparation for a
possible assault to take
her out by force.
We are surrounded. We only
hope Cebuanos will come to help
us, Garcia said in her Twitter ac-
count on New Years eve.
She also called on Vice Gover-
nor Agnes Magpale, who was des-
ignated by Malacanang as Acting
Governor, to respect due process
because the Court of Appeals has
taken cognizance of her petition to
stop the suspension.
But Magpale, who earlier
said she has a standing order
to the police to exercise super
maximum tolerance, turned
around and told reporters if the
lockdown hampers government
operations and affect services
to the people it would force her
to order the police to seize the
The conict could come to a
head this week because of previ-
ous government announcement
STILL reeling from the
devastation caused by ty-
phoon Pablo, Visayas and
Mindanao are again being
threatened by yet another
low pressure area, which
could develop into another
cyclone, the rst for the
new year, if ever.
THE Health Department
recorded 413 recracker-
related injuries as a result
of the revelry on New
Years Eve, the lowest in
the last ve years, Health
Secretary Enrique Ona
said Tuesday.
He said the gure was
12 percent lower than av-
erage during the period,
but reports said 19 people
were hit by stray bullets
including a four-year-old
boy who died after being
shot in Mandaluyong City.
But the National Di-
saster Risk Reduction
and Management Council
said the number of people
injured by recrackers
totaled 437, with Metro
Manila registering the
highest number of injured
people at 214.
Fire gutted the Amado
VATICAN CITY Pope Benedict XVI marked the
end of a difcult year Monday by saying that de-
spite all the death and injustice in the world, good-
ness prevails.
Benedict celebrated New Years Eve with a ves-
pers service in St. Peters Basilica to give thanks
for 2012 and look ahead to 2013. He appeared tired
during the service and used a cane afterward an
indication that the busy Christmas season may be
taking a toll on the 85-year-old Benedict.
In his homily, Benedict said its tough to re-
member that goodness prevails when bad news
death, violence and injustice makes more noise
than good. He said taking time to meditate in pro-
longed reection and prayer can help nd healing
from the inevitable wounds of daily life.
This past year was full of highs and lows for the
pope, including a successful trip to Mexico and
Cuba but also the betrayal of his butler, convicted
in October of stealing Benedicts personal papers
and leaking them to a journalist.
After the service, Benedict was brought out in a
covered car to pray before the Vaticans main nativ-
ity scene in St. Peters Square. Walking with a cane
in the chilly piazza, Benedict chatted animatedly
with the artist who crafted the scene, which recre-
ated an entire village from the poor, southern Ital-
ian region of Basilicata which donated this years
By Sara D. Fabunan
EVEN as it had already started
its oil and gas exploration and
was ready to enact a law on
seabed exploration in the
South China Sea (West Phil-
ippine Sea), China insisted on
Tuesday that it had no inten-
tion to grab territories of other
In a statement sent to the
Chinese Embassy in Manila,
Vice Foreign Minister Zhang
Zhijun said that Beijing had
no intention to claim territo-
ries that they do not own, but
would protect its sovereign-
ty, security and development
interests over the disputed ter-
(China) It has no inten-
tion to grab from others. Only
when Chinas sovereignty,
security and development in-
terests are fully secured could
China truly make steady prog-
ress along the path of peaceful
development, Zhang said.
The Chinese diplomat add-
ed that starting this year, China
would make steady progress
on its supposed nine-dash-
line territory along the path of
peaceful development.
China will stay commit-
ted to the path of peaceful de-
velopment. At the same time,
TOP ofcials of Asian Development
Bank on Tuesday urged Asian leaders to
not allow diplomatic distractions, in-
cluding territorial disputes in the region,
which intensied in 2012, to destabilize
further an already uncertain economic
and geopolitical environment,
Writing for the opinion page of
Chinas state-owned news agency
China Daily, ADB president Haruhiko
Kuroda and ADBs chief economist
Changyong Rhee were clearly refer-
ring to the ongoing territorial dispute
between China and neighboring coun-
tries the Philippines, Vietnam, Malay-
sia, Taiwan and Brunei.
There is no room for this kind of
disruption. Continued geopolitical
volatility will delay, if not obstruct,
the emergence of a new, world-class
Asia, they said.
It is in this context that Kuroda and
Rhee ad noted that Asian leaders as-
cending to power in 2013, for exam-
ple, in China, Japan, and South Ko-
rea, must prioritize enhanced regional
economic and political cooperation.
Such relationships will be all the
more crucial if global economic con-
ditions deteriorate. Political disputes
must not be allowed to hinder the ad-
justments needed to ensure long-term
sustainable development.
The ADB ofcials, however, said
economically, Asia needs to adjust to
a new era of more moderate growth,
while addressing widespread inequal-
ity and improving sustainability,
adding that 2013 will present signi-
cant challenges and new challenges
but said it will also entail exciting
Blood clot found
in Clintons head
Rainy days ahead
Vol. XXVI No. 271 16 Pages, 3 Sections
P18.00 Wednesday, January 2, 2013
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By Maricel
V. Cruz
cannot or refuse to pay
the $100,000 ne for il-
legal shing within the
countrys territorial wa-
ters will face a jail term
of up to 12 years under
a proposed law amend-
ing the Philippine
Fisheries Code of
Western Samar Rep.
Mel Senen Sarmiento
ManilaStandardToday JANUARY 2, 2013 WEDNESDAY
opportunities for Asian and the
rest of the world.
They explained that Asia
now has two faces: a prosperous
and growing middle class,
and those who have yet to
benet from the regions rapid
economic development, and
whose health and well-being
is being adversely affected by
acute problems like air and water
In short, they said, the key
challenges facing Asia today are
to sustain economic growth, at
lower, but still enviable rates,
and to improve its quality. Asia
needs strong, inclusive, green,
knowledge-led growth, which
implies the need to rebalance the
sources of economic dynamism
to emphasize domestic, regional,
and inter-regional South-
South demand.
The ADB ofcials said there
are plenty of adjustments to be
made, foremost of which is to
transform Asia into the worlds
factory into a developer
of new sources for growth,
productivity and efciency.
They also proposed to
expand South-South trade
and investment links which
they said could enhance the
regions growth potential and
contribute to global economic
stability by promoting
worldwide rebalancing. To
facilitate this, developing Asia
must work to reduce internal
trade and investment barriers,
which remain higher than those
in place vis-a-vis industrialized
nations, and continue to
promote global and regional
They also see as crucial
to develop a vibrant service
sector, saying that Asia will
need to rely more on services to
create jobs for the millions of
people who join the workforce
each year. While little investment
is needed to upgrade the service
sector, dismantling excessive
regulations will require strong
political will.
They also noted that
recent natural disasters have
highlighted the importance
of climate resilience as a
means to improve quality of
life. Protecting the poor and
managing urban migration
would help in this regard, and
requires a subtle mixture of
innovation and public fortitude.
Measures should include
issuing land titles, removing
slumlords, and providing basic
Lastly, the ADB ofcials
said that Asias transformation
that is rooted in the long-term
conviction that more equitable,
inclusive, and increasingly
knowledge-led growth will
help to reduce poverty and
offer greater prosperity to its
citizens, requires a short-term
commitment to mitigating any
global economic slowdown
caused by new shocks.
China will rmly uphold its
sovereignty, security and devel-
opment interests. These two are
not contradictory. What China
upholds is its own legitimate
rights and interests. It guards
over what has always been its
own, Zhang said.
He said China is asking all
claimant-countries in the West
Philippine Sea to respect the
historical facts from which China
based its sovereignty on the
disputed islands.
China claims almost the entire
island and waters of the West
Philippine Sea based on a nine-
dash line found on old Chinese
maps. The nine-dash line
covers 90 percent of the whole
South China Sea and extends
to the territories of Beijings
neighboring countries.
Manila, on the other hand,
based its claim as provided by
international law, particularly
the United Nation Convention
on the Law of the Sea (Unclos),
which dened the countrys
territorial ownership extending
to 200 nautical miles, or what
it refers to as the exclusive
economic zone EEZ.
Zhang added that territorial
disputes in the region will only
be resolved through dialogues
and negotiations with full
respect to historical facts
and the international law,
and must be resolved among
claimant countries, namely
China, the Philippines, Taiwan,
Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei
Zhangs statement on the
supposed steady progress by
China was evidenced by a recent
announcement by the China
National Offshore Oil Company
(CNOOC), which said that two of
its oil elds in the contested South
China Sea have already started its
CNOOC, the largest offshore
oil and gas producer, released the
statement almost a month after
China announced that it planned
to produce 15 billion cubic meters
(bcm) of natural gas from the
South China Sea by 2015.
Chinas energy administration
agency had earlier said that they
decided to pursue their plan based on
a projection that Chinas consumption
of oil and gas would exceed to 230
bcm by the end of 2015.
CNOOC said that both oil
elds are located in the Pearl
River Estuary basin in the South
China Sea.
But Foreign Affairs Department
Secretary Albert del Rosario had
said that Chinas oil exploration
was acceptable if it was within
the exclusive continental shelf of
Beijing as provided by the United
Nation Convention on the Law of
the Sea (Unclos).
[It is acceptable] if China
is within its rights to extract its
projected voume of natural gas
from its exclusive continental
shelf as dened by Unclos, Del
Rosraio said.
Aside from oil and gas
exploration, Beijing said
there was a proposal in the
National Peoples Congress
that China should enact its rst
law on international seabed
exploration in the South China
Sea (West Philippine Sea).
According to a recent Xinhua
news agency report, the measure
had already been adopted by the
The proposal was introduced
by the NPCs Environment and
Resources Protection Committee,
which said that it was quite
necessary to work on a law on
the exploration, development
and management of deep sea
It added that the absence
of such a domestic law puts
China at a disadvantage in the
exploration of international seabed
areas and makes it inconvenient
for the country to play a greater
role within relevant international
organizations and in the creation
of new rules of international law.
that ofcials will deal with
Garcias deance after the
Christmas holidays. The re-
deployment of armed policemen
that were pulled out during the
holidays was an imminent
threat, according to members of
Garcias family.
Garcias suspension has
turned Cebu into the rst
political battleground for mid-
term elections in May and the
presidential polls in 2016. The
opposition United Nationalist
Alliance (UNA) warned
Malacanang forcible removal of
Garcia would result in counter-
actions that could have political
consequences beyond our
Garcia, who has served
two terms as governor and
has announced plans to run as
congressman in Cebus third
district under the UNA, said
her supporters were no longer
allowed to enter the capitol.
Our people were no longer
allowed entry. Are they planning
to take me out by force now?
Calling on all Cebuanos who
care. They are forcing entry, she
But she vowed to hold on and
said: We survived the night. We
stand with courage for another
day. Keep the faith and believe.
In the end, truth and justice will
prevail. Happy New Year, my
beloved Cebuanos.
Police regional director for
central Visayas Marcelo Garbo
denied the presence of SWAT
(Special Weapons and Tactics)
policemen were part of a plan to
bodily remove Garcia from the
Thats not true. And we have
no plan to remove her physically.
We havent received such order
from the Chief PNP or the DILG
(Department of Interior and
Local Government), Garbo said
in a radio interview.
Garcia, who has lived in the
capitol since the suspension order
was released by Malacanang
last December 19, claimed her
suspension for alleged abuse
of authority was illegal and
arbitrary and appealed to the
Court for a restraining order.
But Solicitor General Francis
Jardeleza said the suspension
was an exercise of administrative
power by the president and his
decision was nal and executory,
which could not be overturned
by a TRO.
In the House of
Representatives, members of
the opposition bloc said the six
month suspension of Garcia
would effectively put the reins of
government in Cebu in the hands
of the vice governor, who is a
member of President Aquinos
Liberal Party (LP).
Maguindanao Rep. Simeon
Datumanong urged Malacanang
to observe the rule of law and
allow Garcia to remain in ofce
pending the resolution of her
petition at the Court of Appeals.
House Deputy Speaker
and Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia,
father of the suspended governor,
said his daughter was forced
to put padlocks on doors and
windows in the capitol when
police assault teams arrived in
the area.
Cebus third district Rep.
John Pablo Garcia, brother of
Gov. Garcia, also said the arrival
of the SWAT team indicates an
imminent threat and it could
lead to her forcible removal from
SWAT is an assault team. So
their presence alone indicates the
threat of an imminent assasult.
Unless they are just there for a
photo shoot, Pablo John Garcia
said in a radio interview.
Pablo John Garcia has
announced plans to run for
governor to take the place
of his sister, who will run as
congressman in his district.
The Cebu conict could lead
to a re-alignment of forces as
the UNA and LP maneuvered
for position in Congress, in the
provinces, towns and cities across
the land, and UNA ofcials said.
UNA Secretary General
Tobias Tiangco said last week
the mid-term elections in May
was a stepping-stone to the
battle for presidency in 2016
between Vice President Jejomar
Binay and Interior and Local
Government Secretary Manuel
The persecution of strong
contenders in vote-rich provinces
like Cebu, Pangasinan and
Cavite has antagonized some
allies, Tiangco said.
Weather forecaster Connie
Dadivas said on Tuesday
that they are monitoring
the low pressure area which
may enter Philippine area
of responsibility as early
as Thursday and bring rain
to the southern part of the
Dadivas said that while
inside the country, the LP0A
could develop into a cyclone,
which will be called Auring.
She added that the new
weather disturbance may stay
in Philippine territory until
Rains are expected to hit
the Visayas and Mindanao
until Friday, she said.
Dadivas said that although
there is no tropical cyclone
found within the PAR at present,
the northernmost parts of Luzon
will experience rain showers due
to the effect of the tail-end of a
cold front in the area.
Cagayan Valley and the
provinces of Aurora and
Quezon will have cloudy
skies with light rains. Metro
Manila and the rest of the
country will be partly cloudy
with brief rainshowers and
Moderate to strong winds
blowing from the northeast
will prevail over Luzon and
Eastern Visayas and the coastal
waters along these areas will
be moderate to rough.
Elsewhere, winds will be
light to moderate coming from
the northeast, with slight to
moderate seas.
Pagasa said strong to gale-
force winds associated with
the northeast monsoon may
affect the seaboards of Luzon.
It said that shing boats and
other small seacrafts should
not venture into the sea while
larger sea vessels are alerted
against big waves.
Jonathan Fernandez
Elementary School on Herbosa
Street in Tondo, Manila, and
authorities said it could have been
caused by recrackers.
Fire also razed a residential
area in Marikina and a
commercial stall in Quezon City.
Smog covered many parts
of Metro Manila after the
merrymaking, and a pollution
watchdog called on the public to
help clean up the garbage left by
people on the streets.
The EcoWaste Coalition said
the revelers left behind spent
recrackers, polystyrene, plastic
bags, cigarette butts, leftover food
and food packaging materials.
As we usher in the New
Year, we appeal to everyone to
cut back on waste by consuming
responsibly and consciously
reducing, reusing, recycling and
composting our discards, said
Romy Hidalgo, a member of the
groups steering committee.
Police said the people hit
by stray bullets were rushed to
different hospitals including the
Philippine General Hospital,
East Avenue Medical Center, San
Juan de Dios Hospital in Pasay
City, Pasay General Hospital
Rizal Medical Center, Amang
Rodriguez Medical Center and
Jose Reyes Memorial Medical
Center and Las Pias Hospital.
Forty-one people were hit
by stray bullets in Bulacan
including a three-year-old boy
who was hit while watching a
reworks display.
Chief Supt. Benito Estipona,
head of the Southern Police
District, said 71 people were
injured by recrackers
including a two-year-old boy
who hurt his ngers.
He said a pregnant woman
was also hit in the shoulder by a
stray bullet while she was on the
roof of her house.
In Albay, Gov. Joey Salceda
called for the immediate banning
of recrackers after 14 people
were injured there on New Years
In Tacloban City, the Eastern
Visayas Regional Medical Center
registered only one person
injured by recrackers: a 76-year-
old man.
Ona He attributed the fall in
number of recracker injuries
to his departments continuing
campaign against recrackers.
However, Ona said the gure
could still go up as some victims
might have been late in seeking
medical treatment for recracker-
related injuries.
He said they would continue
their monitoring of recracker-
related injuries until Jan. 5 as
there were still some people
using recrackers.
Others have not yet gone to
hospitals for medical attention,
he said.
Ona said East Avenue Medical
Center treated 70 recracker
victimsthe most of any hospital.
Health Undersecretary Teddy
Herbosa said the intensity of
reworks use was lesser this year.
President Benigno Aquino III
had ordered the police to close
the stores selling illegal reworks
and to le charges against those
caught. Macon Ramos-Araneta,
Francisco Tuyay, Ferdinand
Fabella, Orlan Mauricio and
Ronald Reyes
He had asked the legislators
to put it to a vote before the
year ended so it could be
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman,
the principal author of the
RH bill, said the RH law or
Republic Act 10354 was signed
without congenital defects
since the proponents made sure
it was not watered down.
Lagman on Dec. 24 said
he was condent the Supreme
Court would uphold the RH
bill should the Catholic Church
challenge its legality once it
became lawnot knowing Mr.
Aquino had already signed it a
few days earlier.
We are going to win hands
down the nal round in the
[Supreme Court], Lagman
had said.
This bill is very
constitutional. Weve studied it
very well. It has been cleansed
of any constitutional inrmity.
You cannot beat a good
idea. You cannot vanquish
relentless advocates and
you cannot possibly defeat a
measure which will promote
the welfare of the Filipino
people, particularly our women
and children.
After the both houses of
Congress approved the RH
bill on third and nal reading,
Antipolo City Bishop Gabriel
Reyes said a group of Catholic
lawyers was set to question the
measure before the Supreme
Court once President Aquino
signed it into law.
The hallmark of the RH law
is freedom of informed choice,
which is not subject to any
form of coercion.
The new law also ensures
a nationwide information
campaign on reproductive
health and womens rights. It
says women suffering from
post-abortion complications
should be treated and
counseled in a humane, non-
judgmental and compassionate
Mandatory age and
devel opment - appr opr i at e
reproductive health education
is also assured for adolescents
enrolled in public elementary
and secondary schools with
a curriculum prepared by the
Department of Education that
can be adopted by private
Private health facilities and
hospitals are also mandated
to provide family planning
services to paying patients
with the option to grant free
care and services to indigents.
agenda because Binay believes
the President was sincere in
carrying out these reforms and
that the chief executive would
step down after his term ends
in 2016.
However, Tiangco said, the
opposition alliance would not
hesitate opposing and criticiz-
ing the corruption and abuse of
powers by the men surround-
ing the President.
We will point out short-
comings for no administra-
tion can claim they alone have
the solutions to the countrys
problems, Tiangco said.
We will criticize when
members of the administra-
tion hide behind the slogan of
the straight path to promote
their own agenda, which could
erode the peoples condence
in the current leadership and
deny the people the better life
that they deserve as citizens,
he added.
Tiangco said the UNA lead-
ers saw the Cebu standoff as a
solid example of power being
abused to put down a strong
The ruling LP has abused
its powers in forcing Gover-
nor Gwen Garcia out of pow-
er so they will have effective
control over the province for
the next six months. This ar-
rogant display of abuse of
powers are seen by the UNA
top brass as corruption,
Tiangco said.
VP Binay believes that the
2013 elections would be the
strongest test of how the rul-
ing LP will behave and be true
to the Aquino administrations
much-avowed straight path
policy. This will be a test of
how they can stand up for the
straight path policy, when this
early, they have already started
to play dirty, even against their
allies, he said.
Tiangco also cited the po-
litical persecution of Pangas-
inan Gov.Amado Espino of the
Nationalist Peoples Coalition,
an alliance partner of the Lib-
eral Party.
Espino is running against a
Liberal Party candidate in the
gubernatorial race.
The UNA top brass were
convinced that the Cebu and
Pangasinan incidents would be
a prelude or preliminaries to
2016 presidential race. So they
have decided to accept the of-
fers of the non-LP party mem-
bers that are members of the
coalition to ally with us in the
2013 elections, he said.
We need not have to raid
them. They come to us. These
administration allies were
pissed at the underhandedness
and shabby treatment of the
ruling LP against them. These
allies knew that if presidential
elections were held today, VP
Binay is the sure next Presi-
dent, Tiangco said.
Tiangco said UNA has made
a secret pact with some
members of the NPC, Nacio-
nalista Party and National
Unity Party that they would
support Binay versus Interior
Secretary Manuel Roxas II of
the Liberal Party in the 2016
polls provided UNA would
also support their congressio-
nal and local bids.
This is why we only elded
50 candidates to contest the
250-legislative districts. But
the LP elded its own candi-
dates against its re-electionist
allies, Tiangco said.
Earlier, the UNA said the
economic gains cited by the
Aquino administration ben-
eted only the rich, and that
the 7.1 percent growth in gross
domestic product did not reach
the poor.
said his bill would correct the
mistakes in the past where vio-
lators were freed even without
paying the full amount of the im-
posed nes just by a declaration
of insolvency.
Poaching by foreigners is like
economic sabotage, which must
be stopped, Sarmiento said.
The bill comes amid souring
relations between the Philippines
and China over conicting terri-
torial claims in the South China
Sea, which the government calls
the West Philippine Sea.
Sarmiento, vice chairman of
the House committee on national
defense, said abuse by foreign
nationals must be squarely ad-
dressed and the implementation
of stricter penalties in the form
of imprisonment should comple-
ment the Fisheries Code.
This is one way of making
nationals of other countries re-
spect our shing territories and
thus stop their poaching activi-
ties, said Sarmiento.
The measure provides that for-
eigners charged with poaching
shall not be released unless all
nes imposed are fully paid.
The bill also says that if the
poachers fail or refuse to pay the
nes, they shall suffer the subsid-
iary penalty of imprisonment of
up to the maximum of 12 years.
The bill provides further, an
owner or operator of a foreign
vessel, by reason of insolven-
cy or refusal to pay the above
amounts, shall suffer the subsid-
iary penalty of imprisonment at
the rate prescribed by existing
Sarmiento said there is a need
for stricter penalties to empha-
size that it is unlawful for foreign
persons, corporations or entities,
to sh or operate shing vessels
inside Philippine waters.
The sheries code states that
the entry of any foreign shing
vessel in Philippine waters shall
constitute prima facie evidence
that the vessel is engaged in sh-
ing in Philippines waters.
Violators face a ne of
$100,000 in addition to the con-
scation of their catch, shing
equipment and shing vessel,
aside from possible additional
penalty or administrative ne
of not less than $50,000 but not
more than $200,000 or its equiv-
alent Philippine currency that
may be imposed on violators.
The Vatican gladly
accepted Basilicatas
donation after the 550,000
price tag the Vatican paid
for the 2009 nativity
scene was revealed in the
documentation leaked by
Benedicts ex-butler Paolo
Gabriele was convicted
of aggravated theft by
a Vatican tribunal and
sentenced to 18 months in
prison. He received a pre-
Christmas papal pardon and
is expected to soon leave
his Vatican City apartment
for a new home and job
On Tuesday morning,
Benedict celebrates a New
Years Day Mass, which the
Catholic Church celebrates
as its world day of peace.
ManilaStandardToday JANUARY 2, 2013 WEDNESDAY
Reds shorten truce,
call for attacks on AFP
Fishing ban causes massive loss of livelihood
steps up
By Joyce Paares
and Florante
The Aquino admin-
istration has ex-
pressed condence
that talks with the
Communist Party of
the Philippines-Na-
tional Democratic
Front will move for-
ward this year after
a holiday truce.
The rebels, however, cut
short the ceasere until January
2, instead of January 15, accus-
ing the administration of reneg-
ing on its commitment.
A joint agreement brokered
by the Norwegian government
between the Aquino admin-
istration and the NDF-CPP
called for a truce to last from
December 20, 2012 to January
2, 2013. The military ended the
truce on January 2, prompting
the NDF to do the same.
That was regrettable, said
Luis Jalandoni, chief peace ne-
gotiator of the NDF, who signed
the pact along with Ronald
Llamas as chief political ad-
viser of President Aquino, and
Alex Padilla, chairman of the
governments peace panel.
Failure by the Aquino ad-
ministration to respect the com-
mitment made by its special
representatives (Llamas and Pa-
dilla), is a major loss of opportu-
nity to move the peace negotia-
tions foward, Jalandoni said.
The CPP ordered its armed
wing, New Peoples Army, to
heighten its tactical offensives
against the government. This
coming year or two, the NPA
can achieve a big advance. More
tactical offensives and military
campaigns can launched at the
inter-front, inter-regional and
national levels in order to frus-
trate Aquinos Oplan Bayani-
han war of suppresion and de-
liver more lethal blows against
the enemy and seize rearms at
a vaster rate than in the past de-
cade, the CPP statement reads.
Still, Padilla was optimit-
ics about the peace prospects.
The New Year is a time for
new beginnings. It also allows
us to build on modest gains of
2012 which has brought both
impasse and advance, Padilla
Despite the setbacks, we
are now back on track work-
ing together for a just and
lasting peace. The process has
moved forward, he added.
The ceasere, which the
government hopes will soon
evolve into an indenite truce,
will end on January 15.
We pray that the ceasere
will hold and help steel the re-
solve of both sides for a just
and enduring peace now and
not later.Both panels have
laid the foundation for the
continuation of the peace pro-
cess. There is no reason for us
not to make more headway in
Earlier, presidential peace
process adviser Teresita Deles
said the next rounds of talks
could hopefully lead to an
extended, indenite truce.
The peace panels of the gov-
ernment and the communist
group met under a special track
of the negotiations facilitated
by Norway on December 17
and 18.
By Rey Requejo

STATE prosecutors have asked the
Supreme Court to defer the imple-
mentation of its new rule mandating
the submission of judicial afdavits
in place of the direct testimony of
witnesses in criminal cases.
In a letter signed by Region X
Regional Prosecutor and Prosecu-
tors League of the Philippines presi-
dent Jaime Umpa to Chief Justice
Maria Lourdes Sereno and the jus-
tices of the High Court, the public
prosecutors sought the delay in the
implementation of SCs Adminis-
trative Matter No. 12-8-8-SC or the
Judicial Afdavit Rule, until all its
provisions are reviewed and revis-
ited by an ad hoc committee.
The new rule, which was ap-
proved by the high court unani-
mously last September and would
take effect on January 1, 2013,
provides that when a party
(whether plaintiff or defendant)
questions his own witness, he no
longer needs to place the witness
on the witness stand.
As a substitute, the party or his
lawyer merely submits the written
sworn statement of his witness in a
question-and-answer format.
The rule also requires each
party to the case to attach all his
documentary evidence to the judi-
cial afdavit which, in turn, must
be submitted at least ve days be-
fore the pre-trial or preliminary
conference in the case.
The JAR was said to be effec-
tive in reducing the time used for
presenting the testimonies of wit-
nesses by about two-thirds after a
pilot program was conducted in
the Quezon City courts.
But PLP stated that prosecutors
in the regional, provincial and city
prosecution ofces have limited time
to prepare judicial afdavits because
they are already saddled with heavy
workloads, such as trial, including
criminal and special proceedings
cases; preliminary investigation,
inquest proceedings and summary
investigation (direct ling).
By Ronald Reyes
TACLOBAN City-Thirty per-
cent of the worlds 1.2 million
seafarers are Filipinos yet cur-
rently the country doesnt have
a database on it, said director
Forter G. Puguon of National
Maritime Polytechnic.
Puguon said his ofce is keen
on establishing a Public Employ-
ment Service Ofce by 2013 that
will link to the local government
units in getting the records.
We are trying to put up a
PESO to do this. However we
will start with Eastern visayas
because NMP has its seat here,
then the other regions can fol-
low, he told Manila Standard
in an interview.
He said his ofce, as the
governments only maritime
training agency attached to
DOLE, will not solely rely on
the available OFW employ-
ment records from Labor and
Employment ofce because
theirs has also no breakdown
on the data for seafarers.
Here in Region 8, we have
around 37,000 Filipino work-
ers overseas but we cannot yet
tell how many are seafarers and
their other pertinent records.
Puguon said that by coming
up with the necessary database,
Filipino seafarers will be better
assessed or endorsed and that
their chances of employability
be more given attention.
The database would make
the governments job easy in
providing seafarers welfare
and support in times of their
Pressca Lee Lugo, NMP-
OIC/Deputy Executive director,
said that their ofce had com-
pleted its phase I Tracer study of
NMP graduates covering 2007-
2011 and the other on Piracy Ex-
periences: Lesson learned.
The two studies will help
contribute in making seafaring
a more dynamic industry in the
country, according to Lugo.
Also she informed that their
ofce is also open for active
seafarers to become instructors
and assessors at NMP, at the
same time encouraged Filipino
seafarers to upgrade them-
selves by attending and nish-
ing courses and trainings for
greater chances on managerial
positions on board.
This year, they have also
worked on some resolutions en-
hancing stakeholders collabo-
ration in maritime education,
training and certication system
Lugo however said that the
country continue to maintain
its number 1 spot in seafaring
industry around the globe.
Workers remittances which
also cover that of seafarers hit
a record high of $20.12 billion
in 2011 alone.
By Maricel V. Cruz
MORE than 100,000 shermen
in Western, Central and Eastern
Visayas have lost their liveli-
hood due to the ve-month sh-
ing ban being imposed by the
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic
Resources, a lawmaker said on
The shing ban will not
only spell poverty and further
economic dislocation but will
also disrupt the sh supply and
food needs of domestic consum-
ers in many parts of the country,
including Metro Manila, Anak-
pawis Rep. Rafael Mariano said
in ling House Resolution 2925.
Mariano, vice chair of the
House committee on agricul-
ture and food asked, stressed
the need for the House commit-
tee on aquaculture and sheries
resources to look into havoc
caused by the shing ban which
was imposed on November 15
and will end in March 2013.
The ban, which also covers
the waters of Masbate, and the
Western, Central and Eastern Vi-
sayas regions, is expected to in-
crease the production of macker-
el and sardines in the Visayas by
20 percent, according to BFAR
National Director Asis Perez.
HR 2925 noted the BFAR as
saying that the shing ban will
start from the mouth of the Danao
River on the northeastern tip of the
Bantayan island to the Madride-
jos, through the light house on the
Gigantes Island to Clutaya Island,
to Culasi Point in Capiz Province,
coastward along the eastern coast
of Iloilo to the mouth of the Talisay
River, westward across Guimaras
Strait to Tomonton Point in Oc-
cidental Negros, eastward along
the northern coast of the Island of
Negros and back to the mouth of
Danao River in Escalante Negros
Based on the initial study
conducted by sherfolk alli-
ance Pambansang Lakas ng
Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng
Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), and
the Fisheries and Marine En-
vironmental Research Institute
(FMERI), the sh ban in Vi-
sayan Seas will exacerbate the
current economic hardship be-
ing suffered by the small sher-
men, Mariano said.
Aside from the effect on the
small shermen and their fami-
lies, the National Statistical and
Coordination Board (NSCB) re-
port on the Philippine poverty,
said that the most impoverished
sector in the country are the small
sherfolk and many of them can
be found along the coastal waters
surrounding or linking the island
provinces of the Visayas.
Mariano said the production
of sardines and mackerel and
other sh species will be re-
duced by 25 percent because of
the sh ban.
Sailors database
needs upgrading
Defer rules on afdavits, scals urge
Aftermath. These all happened at the height
of the New Years revelry. Mary Sanrose Jose gave
birth to a boy at exactly midnight at the Jose Fabella
Memorial Hospital; a seven-year-old female child
was brought to another hospital after she was hit by
a stray bullet and, a teenage boy grimaced in pain
while doctors treated him for injuries from a re-
cracker explosion. Danny Pata, Manny Palmero
By Joyce P. Paares
THE government will spend up
to P32 billion in quick-disburs-
ing priority projects during the
rst few weeks of 2013, Budget
Secretary Florencio Abad said
President Benigno Aquino
III approved the fund release to
bolster economic growth and
pump prime the economy in the
light of the election ban on in-
frastructure projects beginning
March 29.
Abad said the projects will
be funded by P28.9 billion in
savings that were incurred from
unreleased 2011 and 2012 ap-
propriations as well as P4.4
billion in remaining windfall
revenues from dividends from
government corporations.
Abad said the P32 billion
fund would be used for pro-
grams and projects that sustain
macroeconomic stability, ac-
celerate infrastructure develop-
ment, bolster tourism, support
reforms in local governments,
and upgrade defense capabili-
Of this amount, P20 billion
will be infused by the national
government into the authorized
capital stock of Bangko Sentral
ng Pilipinas.
With the fresh capital, the
central bank will be able to recu-
perate its losses from stabilizing
the peso, Abad added.
A stronger and more ad-
equately capitalized BSP is
needed to sustain the stable
macroeconomic and investment
climate, especially as we look
forward to having an invest-
ment-grade credit rating by next
year, he said.
The fresh capital infusion
will also allow BSP to expand its
rediscounting facility and help
stimulate economic activity by
enhancing the delivery of credit
to the private sector, particularly
micro, small and medium-scale
Other projects covered by
the early fund release are:
P1.2 billion in additional
funds for the secondary national
road project under the Millen-
nium Challenge Account-Phil-
P2.7 billion for priority
infrastructure projects, includ-
ing access roads to tourism
destinations, national roads and
P500 million for the De-
partment of Tourisms media
advertising campaign; kilometer
Zero marker across Rizal Park;
Opinion Adelle Chua, Editor
ManilaStandardToday JANUARY 2, 2013 WEDNESDAY
THE late President Ramon
Magsaysay once said that those
who have less in life should have
more in law. The statement sounds
so politically correct today, more
than half a century later, that few
would venture to question its
Lawmakers who recently
approved the so-called Magna
Carta of the Poor, certainly did
not. This month, the Senate passed
the bill that seeks to protect the
rights of the poor by ensuring
them equal access to basic rights
and government services. The
House of Representatives passed
its own version of the bill back in
August 2012, setting the stage for
its passage into law.
The sponsor of the Senate bill,
Senator Francis Pangilinan, said
it seeks to ensure that no Filipino
would be denied his or her basic
rights and basic government
services, and that no Filipino
should be denied the opportunity
to improve his or her station
in life through education and
employment, merely on the basis
of his or her social standing.
Once the bill is passed into law,
he added, the state would ensure
the protection of ve basic rights
of every Filipino: the right to food,
employment, quality education,
shelter and basic health services
and medicines.
He also expressed the hope
that the law would ensure that the
pro-poor policies and programs
under President Benigno Aquino
III would continue even after his
administrations term is over.
The desire for continuity is
understandable, yet without going
into the merits of the particular
law, we could argue as well that
there is something to be said for
giving subsequent administrations
the freedom to pursue their own
programs pro-poor or not,
and have these validated by free
elections every three or six years.
Unfortunately, the debate
is framed in such a way that it
would be politically difcult, to
say the least, to argue against any
measure branded as being pro-
poor. Doing so would be an
open invitation to attack, even if it
turned out to be the wiser thing to
An enduring example of
misguided pro-poor legislation
that should have been questioned
and voted down was the Urban
Development and Housing Act of
1992, otherwise known as the Lina
Law, after its author, former senator
Joey Lina. Written to protect the
poor from being evicted from their
makeshift homes on somebody
elses property, the law has become
the squatters best friend, requiring
the government to provide them
with alternative, practically free
housing simply to move them from
publicly owned lands.
The law of unintended
consequences brought at least
three unforeseen circumstances: 1)
major government infrastructure
projects could be indenitely
delayed by squatters; 2) private
landowners who owned properties
next to squatter colonies suffered
the ill effects of urban blight; and
3) the law encouraged more poor
rural folk to move to Metro Manila
and to squat on government land,
where their rights and entitlement
would be protected.
The Aquino administration has
already committed to a pro-poor
program that simply gives away
billions of pesos in exchange for
no work. In fact, as we have seen,
a beneciary must be unemployed
to qualify for the government dole.
Would it also be right to
saddle ourselves with such ill-
considered programs even after
this administration leaves ofce?
Perhaps what this country really
needs is a Magna Carta for the
taxpayer, to stop lawmakers from
squandering our hard-earned tax
contributions. Such a law could
make sure that law-abiding,
taxpayers get the government
protection and services they
deserve, since they have already
paid for these with their taxes. It
could also prevent the government
and Congress from giving away
our hard-earned taxes, with no
regard to the real consequences, to
those who have less in life, simply
because they have less in life.
Tying our hands
A safe and satisfying sex life?
BURLINGTON, IowaFrom this
small, quiet, friendly and snow-covered
city next to Iowa City, where some of
our best Filipino writers in English of
an earlier generation came to rene
their craft, I try to follow online whats
happening at home. I try to nd out, for
instance, what kind of Christmas and
New Years greeting cards have come
from the triumphant authors of the new
Republic Act on Reproductive Health,
which President Benigno Aquino III did
not have the courage to sign before the
usual TV cameras, the conscript media,
and the diplomatic corps.
So far, not one seems to have sent
anyone any card saying, Have a safe
and satisfying sex life this Christmas
and the New Year. Neither has anyone
replaced with condoms, IUDs and
contraceptives the balloons, cakes and
pastries that normally deck Christmas
and New Years Eve parties for the poor
and children of the poor.
From Palawan I have yet to hear
that the constituents of Congressmen
Antonio Alvarez and Dennis Socrates
are now asking them to deliver condoms
and contraceptives instead of usual
things they ask from their politicians
since 133 members of the 286-strong
House of Representatives, with 212
members present, approved on nal
reading for the RH bill.
Remember, it was Alvarez who
told the House when he voted against
the measure that in his 27 years of
uninterrupted public service in various
elective capacities, he had to deal with
every conceivable need of his poor
constituents, but never had he received
a single request for contraceptives or
Dont you feel a little disappointed?
In the bills nal stretch at the Senate,
a spirited exchange occurred on the
oor on the inclusion of peoples right
to a safe and satisfying sex life in the
denition of reproductive health.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III
tried to strike it out or at least modify it,
but Senators Pia Cayetano and Miriam
Defensor Santiago forcefully argued
in favor of their personal right to a
satisfying sex life as women. They said
it with such ferocity that for a moment
I thought ladies undergarments would
start ying around.
I sat inside the hall, mortied. I
wondered how things would have turned
out if the female gladiators on the oor
had been a little more discriminate in their
day-to-day readings and had read anything
of C. S. Lewiss reections on the subject.
In Mere Christianity, Lewis, a former
atheist and one of the greatest intellectuals
of the last century, writes:
Modern people are always saying,
Sex is nothing to be ashamed of. They
may mean two things. They may mean
There is nothing to be ashamed of in
the fact that the human race reproduces
itself in a certain way, nor in the fact that
it gives pleasure. If they mean that, they
are right. Christianity says the same.
It is not the thing, the pleasure, that is
the trouble. The old Christian teachers
said that if man had never fallen, sexual
pleasure, instead of being less than it is
now, would actually have been greater.
I know some muddle-headed
Christians have talked as if Christianity
thought that sex, or the body, or
pleasure, were bad in themselves. But
they were wrong.
Christianity is almost the only one
of the great religions which thoroughly
approves of the bodywhich believes
that matter is good, that God Himself
once took on a human body, that some
kind of body is going to be given to
us even in Heaven and is going to be
an essential part of our happiness, or
beauty and our energy. Christianity has
gloried marriage more than any other
religion: and nearly all the greatest love
poetry in the world has been produced
by Christians. If anyone says that sex,
in itself, is bad, Christianity contradicts
him at once.
But, of course, when people say,
Sex is nothing to be ashamed of, they
may mean the state into which the
sexual instinct has now got is nothing
to be ashamed of. If they think that,
I think they are wrong. I think it is
everything to be ashamed of.
The issue here, I thought, was not
rights but language. There is a
certain language for the law, another
language for the brothel. The language
of the law should never be vulgar even
if it fails to rise to literature. Justice
Holmes, Cardoso, Frankfurter, Douglas
and others are quoted not only for their
wisdom but above all for the felicity of
their expression.
I was sorry to see Sotto lose that round.
The bicameral conference committee
subsequently modied the provision to
read: Reproductive health implies that
people are able to have a responsible,
safe, consensual and satisfying sex life,
that they have the capability to reproduce
and the freedom to decide if, when, and
how often to do so.
But the error remains. There is no
right to sex except within marriage; that
right belongs to married couples alone.
But Aquinos law makes no distinction
between the conjugal act and adulterous
sex or fornication; and it confers the right
on all peoplemarried or unmarried,
of legal age or minors. This makes the
whole thing void and censurable.
The most divisive
Philippine leader
THERES seeking unity and theres
playing to your base. You cant have
both, even if youre the all-powerful
President Noynoy Aquino.
As the New Year began, Aquino
had this to say: Unity is very much
needed. Cooperation and trust are the
keys to our success.
Yes, unity, cooperation and
reconciliation seem to be new buzz
words in Malacaang Palace. Earlier,
one of Aquinos spokesmenthe one
they call Lady Gagasaid, apropos
of the signing of the Presidents
pet reproductive
health law over the
[The RH law]
opens the possibility
of cooperation and
reconciliation among
different sectors in
society: engagement
and dialogue
characterized not by
animosity, but by our
collective desire to
better the welfare of
the Filipino people.
The Palace spokesman could not
have been more unrealistic in her
expectations. Because like her boss,
she cannot conceive of Filipinos
holding beliefs that are different from
their governments.
As Aquino approaches the midpoint
of his term, one thing seems clear: he is
probably well on his way to becoming
the most divisive leader that this
country ever had.
The bitter ght over the RH law was
just one of the more glaring examples
of how Aquino thrives in dividing his
people. From the tobacco farmers in the
Ilocos region to the typhoon victims in
Mindanao, Aquino has never shirked
from antagonizing large portions of the
citizenry, secure in his belief that his base
of supporters is solidly behind him.
If Aquino really believed in unity
and reconciliation, he would not make
it his top priority to jail or persecute
everyone who is against him politically.
He would probably stop wearing his
divisive yellow ribbon and replace it
with a unifying Philippine ag, if he
truly believed in bringing together
everyone and convincing them to work
for this countrys betterment.
But like George W. Bush (who
pandered exclusively to right-wing
Christian groups), Aquino has decided
to merely play to his base. And if the
latest Social Weather Stations survey is
correct, its perfectly possible that his
base is dwindling, simply because he
is always looking to alienate new and
bigger groups of Filipinos.
It could be the Catholic Church, the
supporters of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn
Garcia or the victims of typhoon
Pablo who have to beg for food on the
roadside while Aquino certies RH as
urgent right after a devastating cyclone.
It could be the military whose morale
has gone to new lows as they watch
their Commander-in-Chief hand over
areas in Mindanao that they gave their
lives to defend, or the Chinese who
wonder why the Philippine leader is so
belligerent when his predecessors have
always emphasized diplomacy.
It doesnt matter what the burning
issue is: Aquino can always be counted
upon to antagonize people who do not
blindly take what he says as gospel.
And when he has beaten them
to submission with his vast powers,
he asks, disingenuously, for unity
and reconciliation. As if unity meant
forsaking ones own opposing beliefs
and submissive reconciliation was
the only alternative in the face of a
powerful opponent.
What Aquino really wants is
unthinking faith in his oft-misguided
actions, not unity.
What he seeks is
surrender to his
frequently awed
world-view, not
r e c onc i l i a t i on.
If Aquino really
wanted to unite
this country, he can
start by losing the
yellow ribbon pin
and wearing the ag
on his chest, like all
of his predecessors
have done. If he
cant do such a small, symbolic thing
like that, then Ill know hes just trying
to ll some dead air with his insincere
talk about unity and reconciliation.
* * *
As a critic of the Aquino
administration, I am sometimes asked
why I cant seem to nd anything good
that the government does and why I keep
nding fault in what its ofcials do. I
guess the start of the new year is a good
reason to reiterate my own belief system.
First of all, my job is not to praise the
government for whatever it does. There
are enough media workers who seem
to have decided that this is their line of
work, and I choose not to join the crush of
pundits who think that Aquino is the best
thing that ever happened to this country.
It is my job to look at what
government does critically, especially
when government sets such high
expectations, over-promising and then
under-delivering. It is my job to look at
the gap between what government says
and what it actually does and to point
out the disconnect between the two.
Ultimately, it is my job, under a free
society, to hold a differing view from
governments regardless of how many
or how few hold it with me, else I would
just be part of the ofcial propaganda
machine. And unlike government, I
cannot force anyone to believe what I
do; all I can do is call things as I see
them, the best way I possibly can.
Finally, I believe that my country
is not only the government that runs
it, for good or for ill. When I criticize
the government, I do not feel that I
am being a traitor, in the same way
that sporting a Yellow ribbon does not
automatically make someone a patriot.
And its still perfectly legal to do
what Im doing, last I checked. Happy
New Year!
CHIN WONG/ RAY S. EANO Associate Editors
Philippine Press Institute
The National Association
of Philippine Newspapers PPI
can be accessed at: ONLINE
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What Aquino
really wants is
unthinking faith in
his oft-misguided
actions, not unity.
A5 Opinion Adelle Chua, Editor
HAPPY New Year to everyone!
Despite all the calamities and
disasters that came our way in
2012, and despite all the man-made
afictions and difculties that tested us
as a nation, let us count our blessings.
The Philippines is still intact, thanks to
a compassionate and merciful God.
Being an incurable optimist, I
always see the glass half-full instead of
half-empty. Theres always hope for a
better year.
There are many things that President
Aquino can do for the country in 2013.
Actually its more
of wish list than
anything else.
They are, for me,
as follow:
Do something
to foster national
healing and
reconci l i at i on.
This may be a
difcult for him
to do. He has
severely divided
and fragmented
the country with
the harassment
and persecution
of his political enemies. He led
charges of electoral sabotage, graft and
corruption, and even plunder against
his predecessor, former President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the name
of his Daang Matuwid mantra.
Mr. Aquino must unite and
reconcile us all if our country must
move forward. Otherwise, the nation
will always be looking back at the past.
President Aquino has also succeeded
in convicting and ousting Chief Justice
Renato Corona to prove his point. So,
Santa Banana, whats more does he
want proven?
The President should also now reach
out to the Catholic Bishops Conference
of the Philippines after the enactment
of the controversial reproductive
health bill in Congress. Again, this
may be another difcult thing to do
for President Aquino since the theres
now a clear dividing line between the
Catholic Church and Malacaang over
the RH bill, But, he can always try.
This neat divide between the Church
and Malacaang can only worsen this
year. Because of the mid-term polls,
bishops and priests will take the pulpits
to rally the faithful against the Aquino
administration and all those they
perceived as anti-life.
Do something about the surge in
criminality not only in Metro Manila
but nationwide. This can also only
worsen with the onset of the campaign
Criminal impunity is shown by
the countless robberies, murders and
massacres that make headline news.
With these, how can we be safe?
Do something about smuggling.
Smuggling is all around usoil, sugar
and even rice. Customs may deny
it, but business and industry know
that smuggling goes on unabated at
Customs, no thanks to syndicates in
cahoots with Customs people.
All those photo ops you see where
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon
opens containers full of smuggled
goods are only the tip of the iceberg.
Many more pass through the gates of
Customs at the piers without paying
The fact that the Philippines has
become a transshipment point of drugs
in in the international trafcking scene
is another thing. Every now and then,
we read about the apprehension of
Chinese nationals with connections
with African drug syndicates. This is
a black eye for the country.
My gulay, Philippine Drug
Enforcement Agency records show
that the use of illegal drugs among our
youth is increasing. And if the Aquino
administration is not alarmed with this
growing menace, something is terribly
Do something about jueteng, once
and for all. Here we go again. Jueteng
seems to have proliferated under the
Aquino administration. Its a multi-
faceted problemcultural, social,
economic and politicalwhich dees
solution. This menace has been with
us under past
w h e r e
p o l i t i c i a n s ,
the police,
the military
and local
g o v e r n m e n t
ofcials get
corrupted by
partaking of the
money courtesy
of jueteng lords
and nanciers.
The only
solution to rid
this country
of jueteng is to legalize it. At least,
government can regulate the illegal
numbers game and even partake of the
bonanza. For so long as theres poverty
and joblessness in the country, jueteng
will proliferate. The illegal numbers
game provides jobs to poor Filipinos
and a chance of getting lucky to earn
The Aquino administration can
re and replace all the police ofcers
known to be involved in the illegal
numbers game, but jueteng will remain
until the government realizes that the
only way to rid the country of this
menace is to legalize it once and for all.
Relocate squatters. Another
problem which requires political will is
the relocation of squatters along river
banks and in areas prone to oods,
mudslides and landslides to safer
ground. This year being an election
year, it may be difcult to do this, but
so long as squatters are in harms way,
lives will continue to be threatened.
Encourage foreign investment by
easing restrictions on ownership. The
President should realize that over-
regulation will continue to deter more
foreign investments coming to the
country. The President must realize
once and for all that the 60-40 equity
provision in the Constitution must be
amended. Otherwise, the Philippines
will continue to lag behind its
The Aquino administration must
think out of the box and look at what
countries like Thailand, Malaysia,
Indonesia, Vietnam are doing to attract
foreign investments which create jobs.
Yes, we do have foreign investments
coming in, but only the crumbs
compared to what our neighbors are
The 1987 Constitution framed
during the incumbency of President
Aquinos late mother is not cast
in stone that it cannot be touched
and amended. Our economic
managers must open their eyes to the
advantages of opening our doors to
foreign capital just as our neighbors
have done.
A wish list
for 2013
Here are some
things I wish Mr.
Aquino would
The end of the world as we know itand I feel ne
By Cass Sunstein
MOST of us acknowledge that some of
our most cherished beliefs are based on
faith, not facts. Even so, it takes a lot
to dislodge those beliefs. When we are
confronted by contrary evidence, we
may dig in even more deeply. Consider
a cautionary tale, exotic to be sure,
but helping to explain why evidence-
challenged thinking persists in a lot of
areas, including politics and business.
Harold Camping, a Christian radio
talk-show host, predicted that the world
was going to end on May 21, 2011, with
the coming of the rapture. He contended
that the earth would be ravaged, that all
human beings would be judged, and that
believers would ascend to heaven. He
said that those who werent saved would
experience ve months of hell on
earth until the annihilation of creation
on Oct. 21, 2011.
Campings program could be heard
daily on his network, Family Radio,
one of the largest Christian broadcasting
networks in the US, which beneted
from a budget of tens of millions of
dollars. His prediction was followed by
millions of people around the world, and
a lot of them seemed to believe it.
But did they, really? Social scientists
have offered two different hypotheses
about those who appear to hold extreme
The rst is that they are entirely
sincere. They are inuenced by gures
of authority and also by trusted peers.
When they express a belief that the
world is endingor any other extreme
belief that is essentially a matter of faith
they mean it.
Sincere belief
The second hypothesis is that
people who purport to accept extreme
beliefs often lack conviction and are
responding to social pressures. If you
could somehow get them in private,
you would nd a lot more skepticism,
uncertainty and doubt.
It isnt easy to test the competing
hypotheses. Economist Ned Augenblick
of the University of California at
Berkeley and his co-authors have
now provided such a test. At least for
Campings followers, the answer is
unambiguous: Their belief was entirely
Heres how the test went. Four
weeks before May 21, 2011, Augenblick
and his co-authors asked a number
of Campings followers: Would you
prefer to have $5 today or some greater
amount of money after May 21? That
greater amount ranged up to $500. The
researchers posed exactly the same
questions to members of the Seventh-
day Adventist Church, who also believe
that Judgment Day is coming, but not by
a specied date.
The median cutoff answer from the
Seventh-day Adventists was $7well
within the range of answers given by
most people. By contrast, the median
cutoff answer from Family Radio
members was $500, meaning that they
would prefer $5 now to $500 on May 22.
As far as the researchers could tell with
the payments they offered, there was
no amount that Family Radio members
would prefer on May 22 to $5 today
compelling evidence that they sincerely
believed that the rapture was coming on
May 21.
We know, of course, that the rapture
didnt come on that day. Did Family
Radio members conclude that the whole
idea was a fraud? Not at all.
Camping himself quickly recovered,
insisting that he had been correct, but
that the world wasnt ending for a while,
because of a divine decision to delay
implementation: On May 21 Christ did
come spiritually to put all of the unsaved
throughout the world into judgment.
But that universal judgment will not be
physically seen until the last day of the
ve month judgment period, on October
21, 2011.
This kind of fancy footwork is
characteristic of leaders and followers,
who often respond by doubling down
in the aftermath of false apocalyptic
Contrary evidence
For decades, social psychologists
have invoked ndings of this sort
to support the idea that people seek
to avoid cognitive dissonance by
dismissing evidence that is inconsistent
with their deepest beliefs. When people
are sincerely committed to the truth of
some proposition, they will work hard
to hold onto it, even if the facts stand in
their way.
Our desire to maintain our deepest
convictions may be so intense that
contrary evidence doesnt merely fail
to undermine those convictions; on the
contrary, and bizarrely, it may fortify
them. For example, researchers have
found that after hearing about apparently
credible evidence to the contrary, many
people who believed that Iraq had
weapons of mass destruction ended up
thinking the same thing they thought
beforeonly more strongly.
The good news is that in the face of
clear contradictory evidence, people
eventually nd it hard to maintain
false beliefs. In May 2012, Camping
asked for forgiveness for his mistaken
prediction about Judgment Day. God
has humbled us through the events
of May 21, he wrote. We must also
openly acknowledge that we have no
new evidence pointing to another date
for the end of the world. Bloomberg
By Nelson Forte Flores, LL.B., 3
WE FILIPINOS are both blessed and
cursed with a skewed sense of tolerance
and intolerance toward a number of
important issues. We are conservative in
some matters especially if it is about the
family perhaps because of our traditional
Christian upbringing but we are also
surprisingly tolerant in other matters
due maybe to simple indifference and
the inuence of western values in our
Take for instance the proliferation of
rowdy and openly gay personalities in the
crass movie industry. They are tolerated if
not welcomed by the public despite their
outrageous insensitive humor which also
tells a lot about the quality of audience
they have. It is now common to see
lesbians and cross-dressing gays hosting
(or is it pimping?) lewd talk shows where
they openly and scandalously talk about
their crushes or make some genuinely
offensive humor (or is it bullying?) on the
idiot box.
This passive attitude of ours towards
the unfortunate behaviors of some gays
and lesbians in show business gave rise
to the pervasive gay subculture that they
now even have their own language which
is incomprehensible for most of us. For
these gays and lesbians there is nothing
wrong and no harm on what they do never
mind even if their show on the idiot box
or in other public mediums is shamelessly
illiterate and confusing for a lot of viewers
aged between three and eight.
One popular cross dresser precisely had
this particular mindset that in an interview
he wonders why he is suffering from so
much negativity from others in and out
of show business when he is not doing
anything wrong towards others.
It is clearly beyond his mental grasps
that violence does not always need to
be physical and brutal. There are many
forms of and hidden avenues for violence.
This cross dresser and the few others
like him might not know it but they are
wreaking havoc on the minds of children
watching the trash they spew on air.
They are committing violence against the
innocence of these child viewers through
the scandalous acts they make. What could
be more wrong and negative than that?
From birth to the age of eight, the
so-called formative years, children
are very impressionable and whatever
they see or hear on television, radio or
their environment leaves a mental and
emotional imprint which would not be
very apparent in their lives until later
on. A quick quiet survey of low income
communities, where an overwhelming
number of our people are, will prove
that the show classication posted
by television networks is diligently
ignored hence useless in curbing child
viewership of these crass shows.
So what will happen then to these
children constantly subjected to trash on
the air waves or doses of shameful and
illiterate gay/lesbian behavior in noon or
prime time game shows? Will they have
a skewed view of what is permissible or
not? Will they be able to discern what
is proper or improper? Will they know
the difference between a man, woman,
gay or lesbian? Or will they be closet
bisexuals? Only the future could tell.
I have nothing against gays or
lesbians and their sexual preferences as
long as, just like anybody else, they dont
publicly engage in shocking behavior. In
fact I am actively engaged in the ght
for equal rights and protection for gays
and lesbians in my local church. I dont
mind that these pseudo performers or
comedians spew trash as long as it is
done in the connes of a bar room or
lounge and open only to a selected aged
audiencebut not on the idiot box
which is accessible to any young Tom,
Dick and Harry.
Being gay or lesbian is not an excuse
to commit disgraceful acts. On the other
hand the quality of television audience
should not be exploited by the networks
in their ratings war using degenerates as
pawns. These television networks have
the social and moral responsibility to
only do what is right for the public and
not just their pockets.
* * *
The recent passage of the Responsible
Parenthood and Reproductive Health
bill into law is a triumph of the
secularization of the Philippines, a
dream that started with Fr. Pedro Pelaez,
the Roman Catholic priest who greatly
inuenced another Roman Catholic, Fr.
Jose Burgos of the martyred Gomburza.
Pelaez, who became Archbishop
of Manila, started the ght for
secularization when he petitioned
Spains Queen Isabela in the 1850s
for equality among Filipino priest and
Spanish friars, a ght carried on by the
three martyred priests, Mariano Gomez,
Burgos and Jacinto Zamora and later by,
you guessed it right, another member of
the Roman Catholic clergy, Fr. Gregorio
Aglipay, who became the rst Obispo
Maximo (Supreme Bishop) of the Iglesia
Filipina Independiente (IFI) in 1902.
This is the second great defeat of
the princes of Roman Catholic church
against secular leaders since their failure
to prevent the passage of the Rizal law in
the 1950s and another step towards full
and real secularization of the Philippine
* * *
Thank you classmate Albert Gene
Lorenzo for giving me and those dear to
me the opportunity to spend a wonderful
and meaningful Christmas in your
familys Innity Resort at Indigo Bay
Subdivision, barangay Bagong Kalsada,
Calamba City. We all enjoyed every
moment of it.
Again many thanks Abet.
Nelson Flores worked as a journalist
in Manila before migrating to the United
Our skewed sense of tolerance
Knowledge smugglers give a glimpse of life outside
By Tim Sullivan
HUNCHUN, ChinaThe warning
came from Kim Jong Un, the North
Korean ruler who sees his isolated
nation, just across the border from this
busy Chinese trading town, as under
siege. The attack, he said, must be
We must extend the ght against
the enemys ideological and cultural
inltration, Kim said in an October
speech at the headquarters of his
immensely powerful internal security
service. Kim, who became North
Koreas supreme leader after the death
of his father a year ago, called upon
his vast security network to ruthlessly
crush those hostile elements.
Over the past year, Kim has
intensified a border crackdown that
has attempted to seal the once-porous
1,420-kilometer (880-mile) frontier
with China, smugglers and analysts
say, trying to hold back the onslaught.
The assault that he fears? Its
being waged with cheap televisions
rigged to receive foreign broadcasts,
and with smuggled mobile phones
that if you can get a Chinese signal
along the bordercan call the outside
world. Very often, it arrives in the
form of wildly popular South Korean
soap operas smuggled in on DVDs or
computer thumb drives.
In North Korea, a country where
international phone calls and Internet
connections exist only for a tiny fraction
of a tiny elite, and televisions and radios
must be permanently preset to receive
only state broadcasts, its Korean-
language TV heartache they crave.
South Korean dramas, thats
what everyone wants, grumbled a
Seoul-based Christian missionary
who runs a string of safe houses in
this part of China, where his network
helps people living underground
after fleeing North Korea. One safe
house is reserved for traders who
sell everything from electronics to
shoes inside North Koreaand who
smuggle everything from Bibles to
soap operas on the side. He spoke on
condition of anonymity to protect the
safety of his network.
Theres Autumn in My Heart, a
12-year-old tear-jerker replete with
switched babies, forbidden love, and
a comatose heroine. And Stairway to
Heaven, an epic of more forbidden
love, more switched identities,
blindness, insanity, a brain tumor and
an evil stepmother. Everywhere in the
soaps, there are tales of unrequited love,
conniving rivals and handsome young
men who just dont realize theyd nd
true love with the girl next door.
But if it looks absurda Stalinist
nation vowing to crush an assault
of bad lighting and overactingthe
dilemma is deadly serious for Kim,
who needs to nd a way to modernize
his country and its economy while
holding onto absolute power.
Today, changing technologies,
ambitious smugglers and well-funded
critics of Pyongyang mean that
everything from DVD melodramas to
illegal Chinese cellphones to Korean-
language radio news broadcasts
funded by the U.S. government
make their way into North Korea.
Their presence exposes an ever-
growing number of North Koreans to
the outside world and threatens the
underpinnings of the Kim regime.
Kims crackdown has been largely
aimed at the border with China, long
the route for much of the outside
information making its way into
North Korea, as well as for refugees
trying to get out.
Entire border security units have
been replaced inside North Korea,
fences have been strengthened
and punishments ramped up for
anyone caught trying to get through,
according to smugglers, analysts and
Chinese with family ties across the
border. Meanwhile, special security
units have been formed to seek
out any contraband information or
technology that Pyongyang sees as a
threat. AP
Mr. Del Rosarios column will resume soon.
Ms. Chuas column will resume soon.
A6 News
Importer amnesty eyed
gun ban
in force
Jan. 13
Court denies Arroyo appeal for exclusion from lawsuit
Deported foreigners increase three-fold
THE Philippine National Police
reminded gun owners on Tues-
day that their permits to carry
their rearms outside of their
residences will be suspended be-
ginning January 13 until June 12
under the orders of the Commis-
sion on Elections for the coming
May 13 elections.
Metro Manila police chief Di-
rector Leonardo Espina said in
a statement only law enforcers
who are in uniform and on duty
will be allowed to carry rearms
outside their residences.
We should always be in uni-
form while carrying rearms,
Espina said, adding the Com-
elec order covers members of
the PNP, Armed Forces of the
Philippines and the National
Bureau of Investigation.
Espina said the PNP will
suspend the issuance, process-
ing, approval and release of
rearms licenses during the
same period, except for the re-
newal of existing licenses.
The Comelec issued Resolu-
tion No. 9561-A, promulgated
last December 4, which speci-
es rules for the gun ban, which
species that new licenses and
the rearm itself will not be
released to the owner and will
instead be kept at the PNP Fire-
arms and Explosive Ofce and
Civil Security Group.
The implementation of the
gun ban will be supervised by
the Comelec Committee on the
Ban on Firearms and Security
Personnel, headed by Commis-
sioner Elias R. Yusoph and com-
posed of a senior ofcer desig-
nated by the AFP and PNP.
The CBFSP will be assisted
by a secretariat composed of
representatives from the Com-
elec, the AFP and the PNP and
headed by a senior lawyer of
the Comelec law department.
The Comelec earlier ex-
empted agents of 33 govern-
ment ofces from the gun ban
in the list of those authorized to
carry rearms during the May
13 elections next year.
Aside from the PNP, AFP
and NBI, the commission also
exempted agents of the Bureau
of Corrections, Department of
Justice, Bureau of Jail Man-
agement and Penology.
Also exempted are agents of
the Bureau of Customs intelli-
gence and investigation, and en-
forcement and security services,
port police department of the
Philippine Ports Authority, Phil-
ippine Economic Zone Authority
police forces, government guard
forces regulated by the PNP and
the law and investigation divi-
sion and intelligence division of
the Bureau of Immigration.
Commissioner Ruffy Bi-
azon justified the plan by
saying the bureau needed
to explore various means to
cover the gap between the
bureaus collection target and
its actual performance and
one of these is the implemen-
tation of its amnesty program
for vehicle importers.
We were not able to imple-
ment it last year. Hopefully, we
can do it this year, Biazon said,
adding that the agency is eyeing
to raise at least half a billion pe-
sos from the program.
It was challenging for
2012. It is more challenging in
2013 now our collection tar-
get increased, he added. The
bureaus collection target this
year is P397 billion, P50 bil-
lion more that its P347 billion
goal last year.
Biazon said the program
will not include car dealers
and manufacturers, saying car
manufacturers and dealers can-
not invoke good faith, a pre-
sumption which is enjoyed by
private vehicle owners regard-
ing any erroneous entries on
import documents submitted
to the bureau.
Dealers or those involved
in selling vehicles should know
better whether the importation
entries they respectively lled
out were erroneous or not since
they are engage in the business
of buying and selling vehicles.
Hence, unlike private vehicle
owners, dealers and manufactur-
ers cannot invoke good faith,
Biazon said.
The program, called Vol-
untary Disclosure Program,
was introduced in 2007 in a
similar bid to meet flounder-
ing collection targets, but in
2010, former Customs com-
missioner Angelito Alvarez
expanded the program to in-
clude all importations.
The VDP was based on the
presumption that the errone-
ous, inaccurate, or insufcient
information declared to the
BoC was due to sheer mistake,
inadvertence or negligence and
the bureaus approval would
be based on an importers abil-
ity to demonstrate that he has
established preventive mea-
sures to prevent the recurrence
of mistakes or errors.
Alvarez, for his part, said
in 2010 that the VDP was not
mainly for revenue generation
but for giving erring taxpayers
the rare opportunity to come
forward and be spared from
criminal prosecution.
Under the Tariffs and Cus-
toms Code, erring importers
are liable to pay surcharges of
25 percent to 50 percent, a 12
percent interest per annum, and
penalty that could go as high as
eight times the original value of
the imported good, at the discre-
tion of the bureau.
By Perfecto Raymundo
THE Court of Appeals has dismissed a
petition of President Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo asking the court to exclude her
from the P5.4-million damage suit led
before the Quezon City Regional Trial
Court by Protestant church leaders.
In a three-page resolution written by
Associate Justice Victoria Isabel Paredes,
the CAs 14th Division denied for lack of
merit Arroyos application for the issu-
ance of a temporary restraining order and
writ of preliminary injunction.
In reference to the prayer for the issu-
ance of a TROwe nd no compelling
reason for the grant of such extraordi-
nary remedy/ies Paredes wrote in her
ruling with Associate Justices Japar Di-
maampao and Elihu Ybaez concurring.
While the TRO and injunction peti-
tion was denied the main case still re-
mains pending.
The case arose from the complaint led
by the United Church of Christ in the Phil-
ippines for the killings of ve Protestant
church members and the abduction of an-
other one from 2003 to 2006.
The UCCP impleaded Arroyo in her ca-
pacity as then President and commander-in-
chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The complaint said that church pas-
tors and leaders were either liquidated,
harassed, unlawfully detained or tor-
tured with impunity, by military agents
and operatives who, by law, were then
all under the ultimate control and com-
mand responsibility of Arroyo.
Representing UCCP as general sec-
retary, Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza
joined six UCCP families as plaintiffs
against Arroyo for damages to the
church and co-plaintiffs as victims of
human rights violations.
The UCCP said Arroyo and the
military agents for whom she was re-
sponsible must be held accountable for
the injustice they have exacted on the
Church and the Filipino people.
The Arroyo camp elevated the case
to the CA after the Quezon City RTC
denied its motion to dismiss and its
motion for reconsideration.
In its ruling, the CA said the issue
raised in petitioners application is intri-
cately intertwined with the main case.
Reuter honored
for gifts to Pinoys
By Joel E. Zurbano
THE Customs bureau has announced
it will start implementing an amnesty
program for vehicle importers who
failed to pay duties despite criticisms
from senators and congressmen who
questioned the waiver of penalties
and interest due from the delinquent
History lesson. A father carries his young son through the larger-than-life diorama of the execution of
national hero Jose Rizal at the Luneta Park in Manila on New Years Day. DANNY PATA
In memoriam. Two elderly nuns greet each other at the service for deceased Jesuit priest James Reuter
at the Saint Paul University on Pedro Gil Street in Manila where his remains were brought for memorial
services on Tuesday. DANNY PATA
By Vito Barcelo
THE Bureau of Immigration deported
a total of 603 illegal aliens in 2012 as
the agency strengthened its campaign
against foreigners who are fugitives from
justice or engaged in organized crimes.
Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said
that the number of aliens deported this year
increased almost three-fold compared to
the 147 foreigners expelled last year.
They were among the 655 foreigners
arrested by immigration intelligence op-
eratives in various operations conducted
throughout the country, David said.
He added that all of the deportees were
blacklisted and banned from re-entering
the country for violating Philippine im-
migration laws.
David attributed the surge in the num-
ber of expelled foreigners to the resolu-
tion of deportation cases by the BI board
of commissioners and the bureaus law
and investigation division, headed by
lawyer Arvin Santos.
He said deportation cases are swiftly re-
solved to facilitate the immediate deportation
of alien detainees and thus prevent conges-
tion at the bureaus detention facility.
Statistics show that 379 Taiwanese
and 124 Chinese nationals nabbed for
cybercrimes topped the list of the 2012
deportees, followed by 32 Americans, 17
Indians, and 12 Koreans.
Also deported were six Japanese, ve
Germans, three Britons, three Nigerians,
two Bangladeshis, two Somalians, two
Lebanese, 2 Swiss, two Irish, a Singapor-
ean, an Australian, a New Zealander, a
Pakistani, a Slovenian, a Guinean, a Liberi-
an, a Malaysian, a Gambian, a Sri Lankan,
an Iranian, and a Cameroon national.
Santos said that his ofce led cases
against 584 aliens for violating the coun-
trys immigration laws.
According to Santos, his ofce pro-
cessed a total 719 cases this year, com-
pared to only 222 in 2011.
We also canceled the visas of 64 aliens
for submitting spurious and fraudulent
documents in their visa application and 18
others were ordered to leave as penalty for
various immigration offenses, he said.
He also reported that 1,269 aliens were
placed in the BI blacklist and hold depar-
ture list while 1,330 others were deleted
from the bureaus derogatory list.
By Sara Susanne D. Fabunan
VICE President Jejomar Binay on lauded the signicant contri-
butions of deceased Jesuit priest James Reuter to the growth of
faith and defense of the rights that Filipinos hold sacred.
Father James Reuter harnessed the tools of media and com-
munications in promoting the Catholic faith and in the defense
of freedom and democracy, especially during the days of martial
law and the glorious 1986 Edsa Revolution, Binay said.
In death, he will be remmebred as a great Filipino.
Reuter died at 12:51 p.m. of Monday at the Our Lady
of Peace Hospital in Paraaque City where he had been
staying in the last three years.
Sister Eva Maamo, president of the Foundation of Our
Lady of Peace Mission Inc., an organization founded by
Reuter, said that the priests remains will be brought to the
Arlington Memorial Chapel in Quezon City.
Reuter served as executive secretary of the Catholic
Bishops Conference of the Philippines Commission on
Social Communications and Mass Media for 39 years.
Number-coding resumes
THE Metropolitan Manila Development
Authority on Tuesday reminded motorists
of the resumption of the number-coding
scheme, or the Unied Vehicular Volume
Reduction Program, on Jan. 2.
The scheme was lifted across Metro
Manila last Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.
Under the UVVRP, vehicles are barred
from the metros major roads from 7 a.m.
to 7 p.m. on weekdays depending on the
last digit of their plate numbers.
Vehicles with plate numbers ending in 1 and
2 are barred on Mondays, 3 and 4 on Tuesdays.
Those ending in 5 and 6 are prohibited from the
major roads on Wednesdays, 7 and 8 on Thurs-
days, and 9 and 0 on Fridays. Rio N. Araja
QC business taxes due
QUEZON City Mayor Herbert Bautista urged
taxpayers to be mindful of the Januaey 20
deadline for the payment of business taxes and
the March 31 deadline for payment of the real
property tax so that the city can implement
more development projects and programs.
The city was able to generate a surplus
of P2 billion in 2012 with an estimated
gross income of P12 billion, he noted.
Dr. Victor Endriga, city administrator, said
he is condent that the city will be able to
maintain its status as the countrys richest city.
Meanwhile, the head of the Liquor Li-
censing and Regulatory Board, Alberto
Galarpe, said businesses that offer alcoholic
drinks must get their permits on or before
the January 20 deadline, or the city govern-
ment will be forced to issue a closure order.
Those who will pay late will be ned 20
percent of the total amount of fees due, he
warned. Rio N. Araja
Skills training readied
THE Technical Education and Skills De-
velopment Authority is helping Mindanao
communities ravaged by typhoon Pablo
become victims to builders with its train-
ing and production programs.
Secretary Joel Villanueva, TESDA director
general, announced that typhoon victims will
be given training in construction-related skills
such as carpentry, masonry, electrical installa-
tion and plumbing to make them capable of re-
building their homes damaged by the typhoon.
Villanueva said they started mobiliz-
ing their schools and training centers in
the Davao and CARAGA regions for the
training. The initiative is under the Cash
for Training Program of TESDA and the
Department of Social Welfare and Develop-
ment that uses the train-and-build strategy.
Under the scheme, TESDA will provide
training, tools and supplies to the typhoon
victims who will undergo the training. Im-
mediately after, they are expected to put into
practical application their learning on con-
struction-related work. Gigi Muoz David
A7 Sports Riera U. Mallari, Editor
New battleground for PH
stun Bulls,
end slide
3 sports associations
wont get PSC help
Sharapova withdraws from Brisbane tilt
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
JAPAN got a great start in world
championship boxing in the New
Year with three title victories, led by
the big upset win scored by veteran
Kohei Kono, who won the World
Boxing Association super yweight
title by dropping Thailands defend-
ing champion
Tepparith Kokietgym (21-3, 13
KOs) thrice, en route to an automatic
knockout win in Tokyo.
Hall of Fame boxing writer and
media man Joe Koizumi reported
that the stunning end came at 2:08
of the fourth round.
It was a great surprise even for
our acionados since Tepparith was
a prohibitive favorite, thanks to his
three previous defenses over Daiki
Kameda (W12), Tomonobu Shimizu
(TKO9) and Nobuo Nashiro (W12)
all out of Japan, said Koizumi.
Kono had twice fought for the
world title, losing to Nobuo Nashiro
in a WBA elimination bout in 2008
and to World Boxing Council champ
Tomas Rojas in 2010.
Kono started well, but Tepparith
came back in the second and third
rounds to lead on the scorecards of all
three judges Raul Caiz Jr. (29-28), Car-
los Sucre, also of the US (30-28) and
Silvestre Abainza of the Philippines
(29-28) at the end of three rounds.
Koizumi reported that Kono caught
the Thai champion with a vicious left
hook, sending Tepparith to the canvas.
The challenger went after Teppa-
rith with a urry of punches and and
dropped him for a second time before
going in for the kill, sending
the groggy Tepparith to the
oor for the third time and forc-
ing Stanley Christodoulou to rule a
knockout win for Kono, based on the
WBAs three-knockdown rule.
Unbeaten WBA super-feather
champ Takashi Uchiyama (19-0-1,
16 KOs) won a unication bout with
an eighth-round knockout win over
formerly undefeated interim cham-
pion Bryan Vasquez (29-1, 15 KOs)
of Costa Rica.
Meantime, undefeated light y-
weight Kazuto Ioka gave Japan its
third win when he grabbed the va-
cant WBA light-yweight title with
an impressive sixth-round technical
knockout victory over Mexicos Jose
Rodriguez at 2:50 of the sixth round
in Osaka, Japan.
3 Japanese boxers win world titles
By Peter Atencio
THREE national sports associa-
tions with ongoing leadership
disputes may nd themselves
without any nancial assistance
from the government this year.
Philippine Sports Commis-
sion chairman Ricardo Richie
Garcia said the agency is set to
withhold support on the national
sports associations of table ten-
nis, billiards and baseball.
Two groups are ghting it out
for the leadership of the Table
Tennis Association of the Philip-
pines, with one faction belong-
ing to Sen. Antonio Trillanes
IV and the other identied with
Ting Ledesma.
Businessman Aristeo
PutchPuyat and Arturo
Bong Ilagan are on opposing
side in the Billiards and Snook-
ers Congress of the Philippines.
Questions on the leadership of
Hector Navasero remained unre-
solved, with other stakeholders
seeking reforms and changes.
Garcia said the issue is ba-
sically a problem to left to the
Philippine Olympic Committee
to handle.
Our recommendations to the
POC is to have their issues set-
tled rst. And, we wont support
them for the meantime, stated
Before the year 2012 ended,
the PSC was able to provide
assistance to funding requests
made by eight NSAs.
The agency released P2.1 mil-
lion to the National Motorcyle
Sports and Safety Association for
its motocross development train-
ing series and P206,878 for the
participation of Filipino athletes
in the recent Singapore Open.
Monthly allowances of four
regional coaches in triathlon
were also granted.
This developed after the Wil-
liamsports-based executive com-
mittee of the Little League In-
ternational Board of Directors
approved relocating the World Se-
ries for girls softball aged 16 to 18
to Sussex County from long-time
host Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Team Manila of the Philippines
won the 2012 Big League World
Series, ending a 10-year drought
of the country and Asia-Pacic in
the prestigious tournament.
Prior to their title triumph,
the Manila Golden Girls ended
up as bridesmaids in the last
three stagings of the Big League
World Series.
The Lower Sussex Little
League Complex in Sussex
County is currently host to the
Senior League Softball World
Series for 14 to 16 and starting
with the 2013 season, the Senior
League Softball and Big League
Softball World Series will be
sharing the facility during the
week of Aug. 4 to 10.
The move to Delaware is a
direct result of stellar leadership
displayed by Senior League Soft-
ball World Series Director Mar-
tin Donovan and his tournament
staff, said Stephen Keener, Presi-
dent and Chief Executive of Little
League Baseball and Softball.
TOP notch matches among
the countrys top junior nett-
ers and upcoming stars kick off
hostilities in the Andrada Cup
Group I tennis tournament today
(Wednesday, Jan. 2) at the Rizal
Memorial Tennis Center.
Christine Bautista takes on Ra-
fael Tomblin, Joyce Bautista col-
lides with Kian Cahuela, Hannah
Maneha squares off with Angelo
Selmar, Julius Gonzales faces off
with Kryshana Brazal, Alfmed
Doloroso tangles with Miles Vi-
taliano and Daniel Estanislao III
tests Marvin Espino in the 9 a.m.
matches in the 10-unisex category.
Second seed Katrina Orteza
battles Ysay Jardelesa, No. 3
Maia Balce clashes with Donn
Esperanzate, No. Isabella Orteza
mixes it up with Samantha Um
and No. Khim Iglupas, winner
of the 16-and-under crown in the
recent PSC-Philta netfest. col-
lides with Cherinse Mamaril in
the featured matches of the girls
18-and-under singles of the event
presented by Dunlop Sport and
held in honor of Philippine sports
commissioner and long-time ten-
nis patron Buddy Andrada.
Other titles to be disputed
are the boys and girls singles
12-, 14-, 16-and-under plus
the doubles in the 14-, 16- and
18-and-under age groups.
Roxanne Resma, coming off a
victory in the premier division of
the PSC-Philta meet, is eyeing twin
titles in the 16- and 18-and-under
classes where she is the top seed.
Monica Cruz, meanwhile,
plays Jardelesa in one of the top
matches in the girls 16-and-un-
der category with Denise Jimenez
and Angelica Mosqueda tangling
in the other game. Bianca Cruz
takes on Kristin Salimbangon
while Chloe Sazara and Kathrine
Manuela meet in the other match.
Ranz Javier opens his bid in
the boys 16-U against John
Otico while Austin De los San-
tos and Paolo So collide in the
other game and Jumari Gonza-
les faces Lenard Cheng.
BRISBANE, AustraliaMaria Sharapova
has injured her right collarbone and decided
to withdraw from the Brisbane International
as a precaution ahead of the Australian Open.
The French Open champion pulled out
of the Brisbane tournament on Tuesday af-
ter feeling pain while practicing before her
opening match.
I still have quite a bit of time to prepare
for Australia. Im on the right track, been
training really well, so I just dont want to
jeopardize what Ive gained in the offseason
so far, the No. 2-ranked Sharapova said.
Just have to make a smart move here.
The 25-year-old Russian also withdrew
from the Brisbane International last year
because of injury but recovered quickly to
reach the Australian Open nal, where she
lost in straight sets to Victoria Azarenka.
She said the latest injury also forced her
to withdraw from a recent exhibition tourna-
ment in South Korea, but was not at all
related to the right shoulder problem which
has plagued her since 2008.
I had a bit of inammation in my collarbone,
and I sent (scan results) to a doctor in New York
and he told me I couldnt really do much over-
head training for about a week, she said. So to
be fair, I havent really given myself a chance to
pretty much hit any serves or anything over my
head ... So I just kind of ran out of time here.
Sharapova said shed started practicing her
serves again on Monday and it wasnt enough
time to properly prepare for a tournament fea-
turing eight of the top 10 women. The Austra-
lian Open starts Jan. 14 at Melbourne Park.
The four-time major winner told a news
conference earlier in the Brisbane tournament
that she felt relaxed and relieved to have nally
broken a Grand Slam drought by winning the
French Open last year. The win at Roland Gar-
ros completed a career Grand Slam and was her
rst major title since the 2008 Australian Open.
On Tuesday, she reiterated she was feel-
ing so much better. AP
CHICAGOSquandering a
healthy lead is nothing new to
the Charlotte Bobcats - hang-
ing onto one is.
Kemba Walker had 18 points
and eight rebounds, and the
Bobcats ended an 18-game los-
ing streak with a 91-81 win over
the Chicago Bulls on Monday.
Gerald Henderson added 16
points and reserve Ben Gordon
had 15 to help Charlotte snap
the second-longest skid in team
history. It was the Bobcats rst
win in their last 10 road games.
Were a desperate team
right now, Henderson said.
This losing streak has been
very tough on us.
Luol Deng scored 20 points
and grabbed 12 rebounds for
Chicago. Carlos Boozer also
had a double-double with 19
points and 14 boards.
Charlotte fended off several
rallies by the Bulls, who never
held a lead, to win for the rst
time since Nov. 24.
Tied at 65 heading into the
fourth quarter, Bobcats coach
Mike Dunlap decided to try
something different.
I put the playbook in the
freezer and just let our guys go
at them, he said.
Charlotte went on a 10-0 run
to pad its lead as boos began rain-
ing down from the irritated Bulls
faithful, who have endured incon-
sistency as they await the return of
former MVP Derrick Rose, who is
recovering from knee surgery.
The Bulls had chipped away
at a 12-point decit in the third
quarter, eventually tying the
game on Richard Hamiltons sec-
ond-chance jumper with 39 sec-
onds left, but Chicago went ice-
cold from the eld in the fourth,
shooting 23.1 percent. AP
By Eddie Alinea
THE Philippines will be defending its
Big League World Series Championship
in a new venue this yearSussex County
in Delaware.
For the past 10 years, Lower
Sussex has shown to be a won-
derful host for the Senior League
tournament. To move a second
World Series to Sussex County
made the best sense for our organi-
zation and the Big League Softball
World Series. We are comfortable
and condent that the local tour-
nament committee will transition
well into operating concurrent
tournaments, Keener added.
Vanderberg Park in Kalama-
zoo served as host to the Big
League Softball World Series for
19 seasons. The 2012 BLSWS
Champion was Philippines Dis-
trict 1 from Manila, which be-
came the rst team from outside
of the United States to win the
Hosting two World Series at
the same time means we are dou-
bling up on everything, Dono-
van said. Having more games
means starting play earlier in
the day, with more volunteers
handling game duties at more of
elds. Running the tournament is
easy, its the coordination that is
the challenge. This is a great hon-
or for us, and we look forward to
providing the Big League play-
ers with a great experience.
Members of Little League
Internationals relocation com-
mittee visited the Lower Sussex
Little League Complex in No-
vember, and provided a report
to the Executive Committee of
the Little League International
Board of Directors as part of the
decision-making process.
Little League Baseball and Soft-
ball is the worlds largest orga-
nized youth sports program, with
more than 2.5 million players and
a million adult volunteers in every
US state, plus scores more from
other countries. The Little League
International Board of Directors, a
volunteer board, is responsible for
the management of the property
and affairs of Little League.
leads charge
of QC team
NATIONAL team mainstay Al-
vin Lobreguito of Vice Mayor
Joy Belmontes Champs for Joy
sports program dominated his fa-
vorite event and led the charge of
the Quezon City Wrestling Team
to the overall championship in the
recent Wrestling Association of
the Philippines 2012 Buno fourth
quarter tournament at the New Era
University Gym in Quezon City.
Lobreguito ruled the 55-ki-
logram category as the QCWT
amassed a 415-point overall per-
formance to win.
The Ifugao Wrestling Team came
a far second with 253 points. Teams
from Baguio City and Taytay, Rizal
were tied from third to fourth posi-
tions on identical 241 points.
A total 192 grapplers, a record
high in any WAP national-level
competitions, took part in the
three-day tilt supported by the
Philippine Sports Commission,
according to association presi-
dent Albert Balde. Eddie Alinea
KIA sending Arcilla, Patrimonio to Australian Open
SOME of the biggest names in Philip-
pine tennis and non-professional ath-
letes took part in the 31st PCA Open
co-sponsored by KIA at the Philippine
Columbian Association.
The PCA Open that started last Nov.
10 proved to be an exciting and thrilling
match as spectators were at the edge of
their seats with every strong back hand or
powerful smash made by the players.
Six-time champion Johnny Arcilla won
after a hard-fought match that lasted for
four hours against Davis-Cupper Ruben
Gonzales with a 7-5, 7-6 (7-1), 0-6, 7-6
(7-5) score, while Clarice Patrimonio was
chosen from the womens division after
placing third in the tournament.
Both players will be participating at
the Kia Amateur Australian Open in Mel-
bourne from Jan. 24 to 27, 2013 and will
be the Philippines representatives.
Its fantastic that KIA is very involved
in sports, said mens championship win-
ner Arcilla, They are developing young
athletes to compete in the Australian Open
and its a good opportunity for them.
Kia will be sponsoring the trip of both
This will denitely be a great experi-
ence for me, said Clarice Patrimonio,
I am grateful that I will be able to play
in the Australian Open. And Ill do my
best because Ill be representing the
A test driving activity was held and Jan
Philip Bacosa was named winner among
the many hopefuls, who participated in
the Kia Lucky Drive to Australia. He is
given the privilege of going to Melbourne
to watch the Australian Open 2013 live.
In this Dec. 7, 2012 le photo, Russias Maria Sharapova eyes the ball during a Gillette Federer Tour exhibition tennis match with Denmarks
Caroline Wozniacki in Sao Paulo, Brazil. No. 2-ranked Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Brisbane International before her opening
match after feeling pain in her right collarbone during practice. The French Open champion on Tuesday said she would head immediately to
Melbourne to start preparing for the Australian Open, starting Jan. 14. AP
Japanese champion Takashi Uchiyama raises his hands after
defeating Costa Rican challenger Bryan Vasquez in their WBA
super featherweight boxing title bout in Tokyo. AP
JANUARY 2, 2013
Manila Standard TODAY
PH tennis to develop juniors Mendoza, Lim
By Peter Atencio
TWO outstanding junior players
will be the focus of support from
the Philippine Tennis Association
and the Philippine Sports Com-
mission this year.
Philta secretary general Ro-
meo Magat said the development
of Jurence Mendoza and AJ Lim
will be one of their main con-
cerns in the coming months.
The 16-year-old Mendoza is
set to see action in a series of in-
ternational competitions starting
this January with the 13-year-old
Their campaign begins when
they join the Australian Open
junior singles qualifying in the
second week of January.
Mendoza is now ranked no. 81
in the world, while Lim is cur-
rently at no. 491.
We have to support them if
they are to continue in their de-
velopment, said Magat.
Magat said that for the rest of
the year, they will seek at least
P2 million each for the foreign
exposures of Mendoza and Lim.
Lim, who saw action in 14
international meets throughout
2012, rose in the rankings after
he won Chickeeduck Hong Kong
Open Junior Tennis Champion-
ships last October in Hong Kong.
He took the singles crown with
a rousing 6-2, 6-3 triumph over
Swiss netter Adrian Bodmer.
Lim saw action in eight inter-
national meets last year, taking
the Phinma International Junior
Week 1 singles honors following
a 6-3, 6-3 beating of Japanese foe
Yusuke Takahashi.
Meanwhile, Fil-American
Treat Huey, who is the worlds
No. 35 in the doubles, teams up
with Dominic Inglot again in
the Australian Open mens tour-
They will be joined by Phil-
ippine Columbian Association
Open champion Johnny Arcilla
and womens singles semifinal-
ists Clarice Patrimonio.
INDIANA 88 Memphis 83
Charlotte 91 CHICAGO 81
Miami 112 ORLANDO 110 (OT)
HOUSTON 123 Atlanta 104
SAN ANTONIO 104 Brooklyn 73
OKLAHOMA CITY 116 Phoenix 96
NBA talents coming
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
FORMER mentor and one-
time national coach Joe Lipa
believes Alfrancis Chua
will make a good coach for
the Barangay Ginebra San
Miguel Kings.
Philippine Basketball Asso-
ciation chairman Robert Non
announced that Chua, who was
a consultant for the Gin Kings,
would take over in the New
Year, while former head coach
Siot Tangquincen would drop
down to assistant coach.
Lipa, who coached Chua
when Philips Sardines won
the Philippine Amateur Bas-
ketball League championship
years ago with Benjie Paras as
the anchor of the squad, told
the Manila Standard that Chua
would suit the Ginebra team.
He (Chua) is very smart,
technically sound and a good
motivator, said Lipa, who
added that besides being a
charismatic individual, Chua
is a very pragmatic thinker,
and is blessed with a sense of
Lipa recalled that Chua also
suited up in some Chinese Tai-
pei leagues, before returning to
play for him in the PABL ama-
teur league.
The veteran coach steered
the Philippines to a bronze
medal in the Asian Games in
Seoul in 1986, with a squad led
by Allan Caidic, Alvin Patri-
monio, Jerry Codinera and Jojo
Lastimosa, among others.
Chua previously took over
from Norman Black at the now
disbanded Sta. Lucia Realty in
2004, after also serving as the
American coachs consultant.
He was also the coach of the
Tanduay Rhum Masters after
the franchise returned to the
PBA in 1999.
In an online poll conducted
by AKTV, which covers the
PBA games, 36.7 percent said
they supported the change,
while only 6.8 percent said
they were against it. A major-
ity though of 56.48 percent ad-
opted a wait-and-see attitude.
ATENEO star Alyssa Valdez
emerged as the leading scorer in
the University Athletic Associa-
tion of the Philippines womens
volleyball tournament for the
second straight year.
The former standout from
University of Santo Tomas
high school led the league-
leading Lady Eagles to a ve-
game winning run prior to the
Christmas break.
Based on the stats released by
the leagues ofcial statistician
TMX Sports, Valdez registered
101 points on 91 attacks, nine
service aces and a block.
The Batangas native is also
the tournaments top spiker with
a 45.96 percent success rating.
National Universitys Din-
din Santiago, a former high
school teammate of Valdez, is
in second place with 94 points.
The 61 sensation had 74
points, 13 service winners and
seven blocks.
Santiago leads the league in
service winners with a 0.62 av-
erage per set. Her teammate,
Myla Pablo runs third with 85
points, while Rosemarie Var-
gas of Far Eastern University
is in fourth spot with 65 points.
Vargas trails Santiago in the
race for the Best Server with 0.57.
Ateneos Fille Cainglet rounds
up the Top 5 with 57 points.
Actions resumes on Jan. 5
at the Filoil-Flying V Arena.
Peter Atencio
Lipa: Chua
will make a
good Gin
Kings coach
Lady Eagle
is volleyball
top scorer
Subic Bay to host Asian Triathlon Championships
Durant, Westbrook lift Thunder past Suns, 114 to 96
Air21, which made its rst
playoff appearance this confer-
ence (Philippine Cup), is set to
get Michael Dunigan, who brief-
ly played for the Memphis Griz-
zlies in the pre-season of the Na-
tional Basketball Association.
Dunigan recently played for
the Perth Wildcats in the National
Basketball League in Australia.
On the other hand, Meralco
will have Eric Dawson, who
also had a brief stint with the
San Antonio Spurs early this
season in the NBA.
He was a solid force for the
Austin Toros in the 2011-12
NBA D-League season, where
he averaged a double-double of
17.2 points and 10.7 rebounds
per outing to earn himself the
Impact Player of the Year award.
Globalport, which nished
last this All-Filipino confer-
ence, is set to tap Justin Wil-
liams, who had quick stints
with the Houston Rockets and
the Sacramento Kings.
Even the teams, who are still
ghting it out in the ongoing
Philippine Cup are also making
moves outside the hardwood.
Rain or Shine will have 73
Croatian slotman Bruno Sundov,
who played in the Euro leagues
as well as several squads in the
NBA beforehand.
Alaska and Barako Bull are
also in negotiations with sev-
eral marquee NBA free agents
available, while San Mig Coffee
is likely to bring back Denzel
Bowles, the Best Import of the
Commissioners Cup last sea-
son, where he led the squad to
the championship.
The rst two teams to secure
an import for the next confer-
ence are Petron Blaze and Ba-
rangay Ginebra.
The Boosters acquired 68
former New York Knicks Re-
naldo Balkman, who is sched-
uled to arrive late this week,
while the Gin Kings got 611
Herbert Hill for their campaign.
Just like last season, the
second conference allows
teams to get imports without
a height limit.
The Commissioners Cup
rolls on Feb. 8.
SUBIC Bay Freeport will once again be
the nations hot spot for triathletes as it
will host the K-SWISS Subic Bay ASTC
Asian Triathlon Championships 2013 on
April 27, 28 and 29.
A joint project of the Triathlon Associa-
tion of the Philippines, the International
Triathlon Union, the Asian Triathlon Con-
federation and the Subic Bay Metropoli-
tan Authority Tourism Department, the
three-day event marks the 20th edition of
the longest running and premier standard
distance triathlon in the country as well as
the third time the Freeport will host the
Asian Triathlon Championships.
In the event sponsored by K-Swiss, Spee-
do, Davids Salon, Asian Centre for Insula-
tion Philippines, Gatorade, Fitness First and
the Philippine Sports Commission, Elite
participants as well as those under the U/23,
Elite Juniors, age-group sprint (750 M swim
20 Km bike 5.4 Km run) and mini-sprint
(350 M swim 9.8 Km bike 3 Km run)
categories will race on April 27.
The next day will have age-groupers
and Inter-Club competitors racing the
standard distance (1.5 Km swim 40 Km
bike 10 Km run).
Finally, the Asian Mixed Team Re-
lay championships and the debut of the
Paratriathlon competition will take place
on April 29.
Over $12,000 in total prize money are
at stake for winners in the Elite, U/23 and
Junior Sprint categories, while medals
and trophies will be awarded for the Top
5 nishers of the standard distance age-
group categories, the Top 3 nishers for
sprint distance categories, and for the ve
members of the Top 3 teams in the Inter-
Club competition.
The TRAPs rst two events slated are
the PSC Aquathlon on Jan. 27 and the
opening leg of the National Age-Group
Triathlon series at Dungaree Beach, Subic
Bay Freeport on Feb. 3.
Interested parties are welcome to contact
the TRAP via email (rreyes_upm@yahoo.
com,, landline
710-8259 and 399-6598, mobile phones
(0916-5046513, 0921-9954764, 0915-
6394233) or by visiting
OKLAHOMA CITYReceiving eight
stitches above his right eye might have
been painful, but it wasnt enough to keep
Russell Westbrook from practicing his
whirling dervish ways Monday night for
the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Westbrook returned from the wound
to finish with 24 points, nine assists
and seven rebounds, Kevin Durant
scored 30 points and the Thunder
pulled away in the fourth quarter for
a 114-96 win over the Phoenix Suns.
When you see blood, you dont know
what to do, Durant said of Westbrook.
I was glad he came back here and got
stitched up and was able to play again.
He came out there with a lot of anger and
it showed on both ends of the oor. He
pushed us over the top.
Oklahoma City extended its home-
court winning streak to 12 games
longest in the NBAand won on New
Years Eve for the fth straight year
since the franchise moved from Seattle.
The Thunder closed 2012 by winning 15
of its last 17 games.
Luis Scola scored 24 points to lead
Phoenix, which dropped its sixth
straight game and fell to the Thunder
for the seventh straight time. The Suns
havent beaten Oklahoma City since
December 19, 2010.
Westbrook left the game late in the rst
half with a cut over his right eye that re-
quired stitches. In his absence, the Thun-
der started the second half with Reggie
Jackson at point guard and went on a 12-0
run to seize control. Oklahoma City never
trailed again, although Phoenix pulled
within two points twice in the opening
minutes of the fourth quarter.
It was just energy, Durant said. We
just upped our energy level. We were
moving the basketball so well. Everybody
was touching it. We got good shots.
After missing about seven minutes of
game time, Westbrook came straight from
the locker room with tape above his eye,
checked in with 6:24 left in the third quarter
and went to work. He drew a foul and made
both free throws, and after a two-handed
dunk by Durant, Westbrook drilled a 17-foot
jumper, then hit three free throws after being
fouled behind the arc.
Westbrook then assisted on a basket
by Serge Ibaka and followed with a
3-pointer to put Oklahoma City ahead
82-68, its biggest lead of the game, at
the 3:44 mark.
Russ is tough, Oklahoma City coach
Scott Brooks said. He competes. He does
a lot of good things. Russell plays with a
lot of emotion, a lot of toughness. He just
plays hard. Im so proud of the way he
plays every night. He doesnt miss games.
He doesnt miss practice. He just com-
petes every time down the court.
Like a lot of our guys, hes not al-
ways perfect, but his effort most nights
is always good. Russell came back and
gave us good effort and energy and
toughness. AP
By Jeric Lopez

WITH less than a month left before the
start of the Philippine Basketball As-
sociation Commissioners Cup, several
teams are already trying to gain an edge
by getting imports this early, most of
whom are coming from the National
Basketball Association.
Denzel Bowles (right), who played with the
New Orleans Hornets in the Las Vegas NBA
Summer League, is coming back to reinforce
San Mig Coffee, formerly B-MEG, in the
coming PBA Commissioners Cup.
Manila Standard TODAY
Ray S. Eano, Editor
Roderick T. dela Cruz, Assistant Editor
IN BRIEF Foreign
hit $3.9b
Geothermal firm keen on Bataan, Benguet
Aboitizs property
unit seeks partners
Furniture makers anticipate flat exports growth in 2013
Govt expects drilling
of 9 oil wells this year
VOLUME 687.950M VOLUME 677.300M
Closing December 28, 2012
LPG/11-kg tank
Unleaded Gasoline
Auto LPG
Currency Unit US Dollar Peso
United States Dollar 1.000000 41.1920
Japan Yen 0.011621 0.4787
UK Pound 1.610100 66.3232
Hong Kong Dollar 0.129016 5.3144
Switzerland Franc 1.095170 45.1122
Canada Dollar 1.004924 41.3948
Singapore Dollar 0.818197 33.7032
Australia Dollar 1.035947 42.6727
Bahrain Dinar 2.652661 109.2684
Saudi Arabia Rial 0.266667 10.9845
Brunei Dollar 0.814863 33.5658
Indonesia Rupiah 0.000104 0.0043
Thailand Baht 0.032637 1.3444
UAE Dirham 0.272279 11.2157
Euro Euro 1.323800 54.5300
Korea Won 0.000933 0.0384
China Yuan 0.160359 6.6055
India Rupee 0.018203 0.7498
Malaysia Ringgit 0.326904 13.4658
NewZealand Dollar 0.817127 33.6591
Taiwan Dollar 0.034448 1.4190
Source: PDS Bridge
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Friday, December 28, 2012
Closing DECEMBER 28, 2012
HIGH P41.050 LOW P41.110 AVERAGE P41.078
By Alena Mae S. Flores
THE Energy Department
said it expects the drilling
of up to nine oil explorato-
ry wells this year that will
boost the countrys energy
security efforts, a govern-
ment ofcial said over the
For 2012, two wells have been drilled
and one ongoing in Cebu. For [this] year,
between 6 and 9 wells are prognosed to be
drilled, Energy Undersecretary Ramon Oca
told reporters.
Oca declined to name the companies
expected to drill this year. Industry sources,
however, said service contracts set to drill
this year SC 50 (Calauit), SC 55 (Cinco)
and SC 14-C (Galoc phase two).
The Calauit oil eld in SC 50 is located
in 80 meters of water depth in offshore
northwest Palawan. The two discovery wells
made in 1991, Caluit-1 and Calauit-South-1,
owed up to 7,000 and 3,286 barrels of oil
per day, respectively.
The Caluit eld is estimated to contain
around 13 million to 67 million barrels of
SC 55, meanwhile, is located located near
the Malampaya gas eld in Palawan, while
the Cinco area has seen little historical
offshore exploration drilling and no
deepwater spudding.
The Energy Department earlier estimated
that SC 55 had a potential resource of 2.2
trillion cubic feet of gas compared with
Malampayas proven reserves of 2.7 TCF.
The Galoc phase two development, also in
northwest Palawan, involves the drilling of
two wells that will deliver an additional eight
million reserves and increase led production
to 12,000 barrels a day from 5,600 barrels a
day to date.
Oca earlier said many oil and gas
exploration companies delayed programmed
oil exploration drillings to 2013 due to high
cost and lack of available drilling rigs.
The problem is the availability of
appropriate drill rigs and the delivery of long
lead items that [petroleum] contractors have
no control over, Oca said.
The department earlier said it expected
10 oil exploration drillings in 2012, a far
cry from the average of just one annually
in previous years. Oil and gas exploration
companies are taking advantage of the
renewed spike in world oil prices and the
governments aggressive efforts to assist
them in their projects.
Forum Energy plc, which operates SC
72 covering the disputed Recto Bank, had
scheduled to drill an exploratory well this year
but territorial claims from China and other
neighboring countries hampered its efforts.
The number of oil wells drilled in the
Philippines has been very modest and
the countrys 16 sedimentary basins have
remained largely unexplored.
Since the start of the service contract
system in the 1970s, less than 270 wells have
been drilled in the Philippines. Neighboring
Vietnam has nearly 10 times the number of
wells drilled in the Philippines.
LOCAL geothermal developer Clean
Rock Renewable Energy Resources
Corp. said Tuesday it will pursue the
development of the Natib and the Daklan
geothermal prospects in Bataan and
Benguet provinces, respectively.
Clean Rock president Rene Escalona
Puno said the company plans to develop the
two geothermal prospects by conducting
more exploration and studies to reduce
drilling risks.
The Energy Department awarded the
two geothermal concessions to Clean
Rock after a successful bidding under
the so-called 2009 Philippine Energy
Contracting Round.
The Daklan geothermal eld is situated
in the municipality of Bokod, Benguet and
is considered to be one of the more unique
and promising high-temperature sites in
the Cordillera region of Northern Luzon.
The geothermal eld, covering an
area of about 24 square kilometers, was
covered by studies from 1978 to 1980
conducted by the Bureau of Energy
Development and ELC-Electroconsult,
S.P.A. under a Philippine-Italian
technical cooperation.
Then PNOC-Exploration Development
Corp. conducted geothermal exploratory
drillings from 1979 to 1981 to complete
the resource assessment work in the area.
The reserves estimates indicate
the eld has a potential to support a
50-megawatt development provided
sufcient permeability is encountered in
future wells, Clean Rock papers said,
adding the mean geothermal reserves
for Daklan is estimated to be about 62
The Natib geothermal concession
covers 11,928 hectares. Initial studies
indicated Natib as a high temperature
resource with high potential for
development. Alena Mae S. Flores
By Jenniffer B. Austria
ABOITIZ Land Inc., the
property arm of Cebu-based
conglomerate Aboitiz Equity
Ventures Inc., is seeking joint
venture partnerships with other
real estate developers to build
projects in Cebu, a top company
ofcial said.
AEV chairman Jon Ramon
Aboitiz said the company owns
several properties in Cebu, which
could be developed in partnership
with other real estate companies.
We are exploring our options,
including joint partnership in
different areas. We own huge
landbank in Cebu, Aboitiz said.
Aboitiz said the company obtained
another 15 hectares of land beside the
Mactan 1 Economic Zone, which
could be developed into another
special economic zone.
AEV completed the acquisition
of 100 percent interest in property
rm Aboitiz Land from Aboitiz &
Co. Inc., which is the private holding
company of the Aboitiz family, for
P3.2 billion in November.
The acquisition is expected
to improve the conglomerates
earnings capacity.
Aboitiz Land is an ongoing
business with strong recurring
income from its industrial estates
as well as from its many existing
projects. It also has a backlog
of prospective innovative
projects, AEV president and
chief executive Erramon Aboitiz
said in a previous disclosure.
Aboitiz Land is one of the
most trusted Cebu real estate
developers with investments
in residential, commercial and
industrial developments and
property management.
The property rm established a
number of projects over the past
several years and continues to
innovate to meet the discriminating
needs of its diverse markets
from the young and upwardly
mobile, young couples, growing
families, non-Cebu natives who
wish to establish an address in the
city to the international Filipino
community and the overseas
Filipino workers.
By Anna Leah Estrada
FOREIGN funds invested
in the local nancial market
surged last month, bringing
the total to $3.9 billion as of
Dec. 14, the Bangko Sentral
reported Tuesday.
The Bangko Sentral said net
inows of foreign portfolio
investments, or hot money,
hit $202 million in the second
week of December, eclipsing
the $15-million net inows
recorded in the rst week.
This brought net inows to
$3.9 billion since the start of the
year, matching the level recorded
in the same period in 2011.
Foreign portfolio investments
are overseas funds that are
temporarily invested in local
stocks, government securities
and money market.
These foreign funds help
create upward pressure on the
peso, prompting the Bangko
Sentral to tighten macro-
prudential measures to manage
the inows better.
The Philippines is among
the emerging markets that has
become a magnet to foreign
funds that seek higher yields than
the US and Europe which are
affected by a global economic
Foreign portfolio investments
reached $2 billion in November,
up by 55.5 percent from the
same month in 2011, owing to
positive investor reaction on the
lower-than-expected ination,
robust third-quarter corporate
earnings, successful issuance
by the government of 10-year
global peso notes equivalent to
$750 million and strong gross
domestic product growth of 7.1
percent in the third quarter.
Amid global uncertainties
arising from the euro area
crisis, residents investments
abroad increased as some
investors continued their search
for safe-haven assets while
non-residents investments in
the country fell, the Bangko
Sentral said.
By Julito G. Rada
FURNITURE makers expect a
at exports growth in 2013, but
see sales to the domestic market
rising 50 percent on the back of
new property developments.
Myrna Bituin, the Philippine
Exporters Confederation trustee
for the furniture sector, said the
growth in furniture sales would
come from the bullish property
and hotel developments in the
I think it will be a 50-percent
growth. From Luzon, Visayas to
Mindanao, how many hotels are
being built? Bituin asked.
Bituin said furniture companies,
especially those based in Cebu,
Pampanga and Manila, were
working closely with property
and hotel developers to generate
billions of pesos in sales.
She said most of local hotels
and condominiums were
importing furniture from China,
Malaysia and Indonesia.
Starting last year, we have
been meeting with them. They
come to the shows, they have been
going around visiting factories
that they believe can deliver the
furniture, Bituin said.
Bituin urged furniture
manufacturers to be ahead not
only in terms of adopting the
latest technology but also with
designs and trends to capture the
domestic market.
Bituin, however, said the
strong domestic demand could
not cover entirely for the weak
export growth amid the several
issues in the industry.
She said Executive Order No.
23, which imposed a logging ban
in national and residual forests,
was the main reason for the at
exports growth projection this
Bituin said in the government
must also relax the many
requirements of importing
materials to help furniture
makers and make them more
The European Union, the
United States and the Middle
East remained the top export
markets for Philippine furniture.
Exports showroom. Trade Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio (3rd from left) joins foreign dignitaries in closely examining one of the
masterpieces displayed at the design gallery of HallONE at the International Trade Center on Roxas Boulevard corner Gil Puyat
Avenue in Pasay City. Shown during the event on Dec. 20 are (from right) the Netherlands Ambassador to the Philippines Ton Boon
von Ochsse, Swiss Embassy deputy head of mission Juerg Casserine, South Korean economic minister Lim Jae Hoon, South Korean
Ambassador to the Philippines Lee Hyuk and Martine Boon von Ochsse, the wife of Ambassador Boon von Ochsse. HallONE was
revived as a permanent showroom for best Philippine export products, a place for industry meetings and events and a sourcing
venue for local and foreign buyers.
Cloud seeding in Cagayan
THE Bureau of Soils and Water Management
conducted cloud seeding operations over Magat
Dam and the Cagayan Valley region, especially
Isabela province, in response to the request of SN
Aboitiz Power Corp.
Bureau executive director Silvino Tejada said
cloud seeding had increased the water elevation
in Magat Dam in Ramon, Isabela.
The National Irrigation Administration-
Region II reported that cloud seeding operations
from Dec. 21 to Dec. 26 yielded 15 millimeters
of rainfall and raised the dams elevation by 144
Earlier reports showed the water level in
Angat Dam had consistently declined before
falling 6 meters below the dams rule curve of
192 meters.
Our cloud seeding team has been conducting
cloud seeding operation with two or three sorties
a day and it paid off handsomely. Daily sorties
will continue in the next few days, Tejada said.
SN Aboitiz in the second week of December
requested the bureau to conduct cloud seeding
operations over Magat Dam and its watershed areas.
SN Aboitiz operates the Magat hydroelectric dam.
Aside from providing water to about 217,000
hectares of farmland in Cagayan Valley, the
Magat Dam generates over 300 megawatts of
electricity. Othel V. Campos
Mud crab project
THE Agriculture Department is spearheading
the massive propagation of the Zamboanga-
native mud crab in Oriental Mindoro, which has
the potential to raise the countrys $60 million
export of the aquaculture product.
The Philippine exports mud crabs to Hong Kong,
Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, China and Japan.
After the rst phase of the community-based
Participatory Action Research for the giant
mud crab in Oriental Mindoro, the Bureau of
Agricultural Research is now advancing the
program into the second phase involving the
cross breeding of the same specie with the
Mindoro native crabs.
The cross breeding between the giant mud crabs
from Zamboanga Sibugay and the native crab of
Mindoro is necessary to ensure sustainability in
a full life cycle production, said Daisy Ladra, a
mud crab specialist from the Bureau of Fisheries
and Aquatic Resources.
Crabs should produce seedstocks in order to
complete the life cycle. This should be repeated
many times over, which is a usual process in a
breeding program that aims to start an aquaculture
Joining the mud crab project are some 100
members of the Farmers Organization for the Rural
Upliftment of Mindoro. Othel V. Campos
NEVER mind that it came after months of tense
and uncertain waiting. Never mind that it came
out in print media on the page of the section
allocated by a newspaper in its Dec. 30 issue to
jobseekers, death notices and classied ads. What
matters is that Namfrel is alive and well and was
given the job it had most earnestly sought for the
coming May 13 elections.
On Dec. 21, the Commission on Elections, in a
per curiam resolution, appointed Namfrel as one
of its citizens arms.
The Comelec resolution, in all candidness
admitted that Namfrel has been the commissions
constant partner in most elections in the past
years, and that its track record shows that it has
been continuously assisting the commission in
its mandate to make sure that the conduction of
elections is clean, orderly and honest. And since
Namfrel has complied with all the requirements
set forth under Rule 33 of the Comelec rules of
procedure,, the commission, albeit grudgingly
admitted that it cannot nd any reason not
to accredit Namfrel as citizens arm of the
commission in accordance with Section 2(5) of
Article IX of the Constitution, Section 52(k) of the
Omnibus Election Code and other election laws
in connection with the May 13, 2013 National
and Local Elections.
What were Namfrels duties and responsibilities
as such citizens arm? The resolution of Dec,
21 was very liberal. It said: coordination
and cooperation with the other duly accredited
citizens arms and subject to the limitations as pay
be provided by the commission, Namfrel may
engage in three main activities.
The rst is it may conduct poll watching in
various precincts. The second area of activity
permitted was voter assistance. Towards this
end, it may provide assistance to the voters on
election day most especially to the senior citizens,
persons with disabilities, pregnant women,
detainees, indigenous peoples and other member
of the vulnerable sectors. Finally, Namfrel may
assist the commission in voters information and
education drives in very municipality, city and
provinces most especially in far ung areas and
to sectors which experience inaccessibility in
getting information from the commission.
To enable Namfrel to perform its functions, the
Comelec committed, subject to the procedures
and limitations that it may deem proper, to furnish
Namfrel with certain enabling documents. For
instance, to empower Namfrel to help voters
exercise their right to vote, Namfrel will be
provided the electronic copies of the computerized
voters list and the project precincts. Specically,
Namfrel will be given a permanent list of voters
per precinct, the territorial jurisdiction of every
precinct indicated in the precinct maps, the
national central le that is under the custody of
the Comelec that is the composite of the third
copies of all the approved voter registration
records, and the list of deactivated, reactivated,
and/or cancelled voters.
At the heart of the automated election system
that will be put in place nationwide for the rst time
on May 13, is the PCOS (precinct computerized
optical scan) machines which are really the point
of contact between the voter and the Comelec. To
assure itself that the PCOS machines distributed
to the precincts are both genuine and working,
Namfrel will have the audit logs and/or audit
trails of the PCOS machines and, on election day,
may witness the examination and testing of the
equipment or device that needs to be conducted
prior to the casting of ballots.
At a work station that will be allocated to Namfrel
that is directly connected to the transmission server,
it will have rst hand access to the vote count and
transmission and other related processes to assist in
its poll watching and, after the voting, the conduct
of an unofcial parallel count of the votes. After
the casting of ballots, Namfrel will be given any of
the 27th to the 30th copies of the election returns
printed by the PCOS machines after transmission
for the conduct of an ofcial count by any of its
local units.
Giving its go-signal to Namfrels educational
mission, it is authorized to undertake a
widespread stakeholder education and training
program to raise the consciousness of the public
and fully inform the electorate of the features
of the automated election system. The modules
are, naturally, prior to roll out, are to be approved
by the Comelecs Education and Information
The months leading to the May 13 elections and
the few weeks thereafter will certainly be most
challenging for Namfrel. But its chairperson Cora
de la Paz Bernardo has never shrunk from any
worthwhile challenge and the army of Namfrel
volunteers, with its history of involvement in
election monitoring and safeguarding the sanctity
of the ballot, a history that goes way back to 1957,
will undoubtedly be up to the task.
(For comments, e-mail me at thetrustguru@
China to bolster global growth
Singapores economy shrinks
Namfrel rides again
CHINA will work toward bolstering
global economic growth in 2013,
President Hu Jintao said in a New Years
Eve address, amid optimism that a
recovery in the worlds second-biggest
economy is gaining traction.
The nation will step up
efforts to promote strong,
sustainable and balanced
growth in the world
economy, Hu said in the
speech broadcast by state
radio and television. China
achieved stable economic
development in 2012 and will
seek to do the same this year
while making restructuring
of its growth model a focus,
he said.
Hus last New Years
Eve address before he steps
down as president in March
signaled Chinese leaders
condence the economy may
be rebounding after a seven-
quarter slowdown. A recovery
may facilitate the transfer of
power to Xi Jinping, appointed
head of the Communist Party
in November and set to become
president, as authorities seek
to assuage discontent sparked
by corruption and a widening
income gap.
The Chinese people are now
uniting around the leadership
of Xi to work toward building
a well-off society, Hu said.
Chinas new Communist
Party leaders have pledged
to abandon extravagance, cut
down on lavish receptions
and live more frugally, amid
a broader push to stamp out
corruption and win back
peoples trust.
Hus speech didnt indicate
how China, set to complete
its once-a-decade leadership
transition in March, plans to
manage an economy thats
estimated to expand 8.1
percent this year.
Monetary policy
Peoples Bank of China
Governor Zhou Xiaochuan,
in a separate New Years
Eve statement posted on
the central banks website,
said the nation will maintain
prudent monetary policy
and deepen nancial reforms
in 2013. Policy makers will
seek to effectively prevent
nancial risks and keep prices
basically stable, he said.
In another statement on the
PBOC website, Zhou said the
nations management of its
foreign exchange reserves had
seen stable growth in returns
during the past few years.
The global economic situation
will remain complicated in
2013 and Chinas management
of its reserves will face
relatively large challenges,
he said.
Chinas foreign exchange
reserves increased to $3.29
trillion at the end of September
from $3.18 trillion at the end
of 2011, according to central
bank data.
The Shanghai Composite
Index has rebounded 15
percent since reaching an
almost four-year low on Dec.
3 amid optimism Chinas
economic growth will recover.
It gained 3.2 percent in 2012,
its rst annual advance in
three years.
Manufacturing expands
A gauge of Chinas
manufacturing showed a
third month of expansion,
adding evidence that the
economic rebound will
extend into the new year.
The Purchasing Managers
Index was 50.6 in December,
the National Bureau
of Statistics and China
Federation of Logistics and
Purchasing said Tuesday in
Beijing. That compares with
the 51 median estimate in
a Bloomberg News survey
of 27 analysts and 50.6 in
November. A reading above
50 indicates expansion.
A separate gauge Monday
showed manufacturing
expanded at the fastest pace
in 19 months in December,
according to HSBC Holdings
Plc and Markit Economics.
The nal reading was 51.5.
In his speech, Hu also
said China sought long-term
prosperity in Hong Kong and
Macau and for the two so-
called Special Administrative
Regions to be self-governing.
China will seek the
peaceful resolution of
regional and international
disputes, Hu said. Tensions
between the nation and
neighbors including Japan,
Vietnam and the Philippines
have flared in the past year
as a result of disputes over
control of islands in the East
China Sea and the South
China Sea. Bloomberg
Employees take their meal near a heater at a shop selling variety of Chinese traditional dresses in Beijing
Monday. The state-sanctioned China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said Tuesday its monthly
purchasing managers index for December remained at 50.6 on a 100-point scale on which numbers
above 50 indicate activity is expanding. New orders overall grew, but export orders dropped slightly, the
survey said. AP
Pound gained for 4
year versus euro
SINGAPOREs expansion eased
to a three-year low in 2012, ac-
cording to government estimates
that suggest the economy proba-
bly contracted in the fourth quar-
ter, slipping into its rst recession
since 2009.
Gross domestic product rose
1.2 percent in 2012, Prime Min-
ister Lee Hsien Loong said in
his New Year message released
Monday. The growth rate he gave
implies a contraction last quarter
from the previous three months,
said Michael Wan, an economist
at Credit Suisse Group AG.
A government push to limit the
intake of foreign labor has led to a
growing shortage of workers and
higher business costs, contribut-
ing to price pressures that led Sin-
gapore to tighten policy last year
by allowing faster currency gains.
Hiring constraints, coupled with
weak growth in advanced nations,
damped the 2012 expansion, Lee
said, and the export-dependent
economy remains at risk from an
uneven US recovery and Europes
protracted sovereign-debt crisis.
Its a disappointing number,
Wan said. Weve seen huge
weakness in the manufacturing
sector for two keys reasons. One
is the high exchange rate, partly
because of our policy to use the
exchange rate to curb ination,
and the second reason is our do-
mestic policies when it comes to
foreign workers.
The Singapore Trade Ministry
will release fourth-quarter GDP
gures at 8 a.m. today. If its num-
bers conrm the economy shrank
in the three months through De-
cember, it would be the second
consecutive quarter-on-quarter
contraction, meeting the deni-
tion of a recession.
Missed estimates
GDP shrank 5.9 percent in the
third quarter from the previous
three months, the government said
in November. Five of 11 econo-
mists predicted a fourth-quarter
contraction in a Bloomberg News
survey, where the median was for
an annualized expansion of 1.6
The government earlier estimat-
ed GDP would expand about 1.5
percent in 2012 and Lee reiterated
a forecast for the economy to grow
1 percent to 3 percent in 2013.
The island is in a new phase of
growth where it must adjust to a
slower expansion than it has be-
come accustomed to, he said.
Slower growth does not mean
we will face less pressure, Lee,
60, said. Companies especially
must put more effort into rais-
ing productivity. The government
will lend them support to do so.
Only through higher productivity
can we sustain real wage increas-
es for Singaporeans.
Price gains
Consumer price gains have av-
eraged 4.9 percent since the start
of 2011, more than double the 1.9
percent average in the past two
decades. The Monetary Authority
of Singapore forecasts an ina-
tion rate higher than 4.5 percent
in 2012 and in a 3.5 percent-to-
4.5 percent range this year.
MAS faces twin challenges of
stubborn ination and sluggish
growth, said Wai Ho Leong, a
Singapore-based economist at
Barclays Plc. The central bank
may continue to maintain a
gradual appreciation stance, even
in an environment of below-trend
growth, he said. Bloomberg
A tourist photographs ofce towers in the central business district in Singapore. Gross domestic prod-
uct rose 1.2 percent in 2012, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his New Year message Monday. The
growth rate he gave implies a contraction last quarter from the previous three months, said Michael Wan,
an economist at Credit Suisse Group AG. BLOOMBERG
THE pound strengthened for a
fourth year in 2012 against the
euro as investors seeking a haven
from Europes debt crisis pushed
the currency higher, even as the
Bank of England raised its so-
called quantitative-easing target.
UK gilts advanced for a third year,
pushing yields on British two-, ve-,
10- and 30-year bonds to the lowest
on record, as the nancial turmoil in
the euro area and the Bank of Eng-
lands asset-buying program boost-
ed demand. The pound advanced for
the rst time in three years against
the dollar and extended its longest
run of annual gains against the euro
since the 17-nation currencys intro-
duction in 1999.
I dont buy into the euro-pos-
itive story and ultimately sterling
will be better placed against the
euro, said Neil Mellor, a foreign-
exchange strategist at Bank of New
York Mellon Corp. in London.
You cant look at any euro-zone
country and conclude that 2013 is
going to be a positive year.
The pound appreciated 0.3
percent to 81.52 pence per euro
as of 1:41 p.m. London time
Monday, after climbing 0.5 per-
cent on Dec. 28, the biggest in-
crease since Dec. 6. It has gained
2.2 percent against the common
currency in 2012. Sterling was
little changed at $1.6176, having
risen 4.3 percent in 2012.
The pound strengthened 1.6
percent last year, according to
Bloomberg Correlation-Weight-
ed Indexes, which track 10 de-
veloped-market currencies. The
euro declined 0.9 percent and the
dollar fell 2.8 percent.
Gilts held their biggest weekly
gain in a month yesterday as US
lawmakers debated ways to pre-
vent automatic spending cuts and
tax increases that risked triggering
a recession. The pound strength-
ened for a second day against the
euro after data showed UK ex-
ecutives condence for 2013 im-
proved last month, indicating the
risk of a triple-dip recession may
be receding.
A rising pound shows the
challenges new Bank of England
Governor Mark Carney, who
takes over from Mervyn King in
July, will face as he tries to boost
an economy weighed down by
recession in the euro region.
The central bank increased bond
purchases to 375 billion pounds
from 275 billion pounds last
year, a move that usually debas-
es a currency. Bloomberg
ManilaStandardToday WEDNESDAY
JANUARY 2, 2013
US Senate approves scal cliff bill
Republic of the Philippines
Pangasinan Sub-District Engineering Offce
Area Equipment Services Compound
Tuliao, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan
(MST-Jan. 2, 2013)
Dredging/Rehab. of Lepa-Aliaga Creek, Aliaga, Malasiqui,
1. The DPWH Pangasinan Sub District Engineering Offce, through
the PDAF intends to apply the sum of Php 5,000,000.00 being the
Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) for payments under the contract
for Dredging/Rehab. of Lepa-Aliaga Creek, Aliaga, Malasiqui,
Pangasinan, Contract ID No. 13AJ0001. Bids received in excess of
the ABC shall be automatically rejected at bid opening.
2. The DPWH Pangasinan Sub District Engineering Office now
invites bids for Surplus Unclassihed Excavation, Mobilization/
Demobilization, Project Billboard, Occupational Safety and Health.
Completion of the Works is required 75 Calendar Days Bidders should
have completed, within ten (10) years from the date of submission and
receipt of bids, a contract similar to the Project. The description of an
eligible bidder is contained in the Bidding Documents, particularly, in
Section II. Instruction to Bidders.
3. Bidding will be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures
using non-discretionary pass/fail criterion as specified in the
Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9184 (RA
9184), otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act.
4. Interested bidders may obtain further information from DPWH
Pangasinan Sub District Engineering Offce and inspect the Bidding
Documents at the address given below from 8:00 Am - 5:00 Pm.
5. A complete set of Bidding Documents may be purchased by interested
Bidders from the address below and upon payment of a nonrefundable
fee for the Bidding Documents in the amount of Five Thousand Pesos
(Php 5,000.00).
It may also be downloaded free of charge from the website of the
Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) and
the website of the Procuring Entity, provided that bidders shall pay the
fee for the Bidding Documents not later than the submission of their bids.
6. The DPWH Pangasinan Sub District Engineering Offce will hold a
Pre-Bid Conference on January 11, 2013, which shall be opened to
all interested parties.
7. Bids must be delivered to the address below on or before January 24,
2013 @ 02:00 pm at Tuliao, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan. All bids must
be accompanied by a bid security in any of the acceptable forms and
in the amount stated in ITB Clause 18.
Bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders representatives who
choose to attend at the address below. Late bids shall not be accepted.
8. The DPWH Pangasinan Sub District Engineering Offce reserves
the right to accept or reject any bid, to annul the bidding process, and
to reject all bids at any time prior to contract award, without thereby
incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders.
9. For further information, please refer to:
BAC Secretariat
Tuliao, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan
Telefax (075) 653-64-18
BAC Chairman
Republic of the Philippines
Pangasinan Sub-District Engineering Offce
Area Equipment Services Compound
Tuliao, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan
(MST-Jan. 2, 2013)
Repair/Rehabilitation/Improvement along Villasis-Malasiqui-San
Carlos Road, Km.182+459 Km.183+500, with exception, Malasiqui,
1. The DPWH Pangasinan Sub District Engineering Offce, through
the MVUC intends to apply the sum of Php 9,900,000.00 being the
Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) for payments under the contract
for Repair/Rehabilitation/Improvement along Villasis-Malasiqui-
San Carlos Road, Km.182+459 Km.183+500, with exception,
Malasiqui, Pangasinan, Contract ID No. 13AJ0002. Bids received
in excess of the ABC shall be automatically rejected at bid opening.
2. The DPWH Pangasinan Sub District Engineering Offce now invites
bids for Removal/Disposal of Structures/Obstruction, Excavation,
Sub Grade Preparation, Aggregate Base Course, Bituminous Tact
Coat, Bituminous Concrete Surface Course (t=50mm), Cracks
and Joints Sealing, Rehective Thermoplastic Pavement Marking
(White, Rehective Thermoplastic Pavement Marking (Yellow),
Occupational Safety and Health, Mobilization/Demobilization,
Trafhc Management. Completion of the Works is required 75 Calendar
Days Bidders should have completed, within ten (10) years from the date
of submission and receipt of bids, a contract similar to the Project. The
description of an eligible bidder is contained in the Bidding Documents,
particularly, in Section II. Instruction to Bidders.
3. Bidding will be conducted through open competitive bidding proce-
dures using non-discretionary pass/fail criterion as specifed in the
Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9184 (RA
9184), otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act.
4. Interested bidders may obtain further information from DPWH Pangas-
inan Sub District Engineering Offce and inspect the Bidding Documents
at the address given below from 8:00 Am - 5:00 Pm.
5. A complete set of Bidding Documents may be purchased by interested
Bidders from the address below and upon payment of a nonrefundable
fee for the Bidding Documents in the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos
(Php 10,000.00).
It may also be downloaded free of charge from the website of the Philip-
pine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) and the
website of the Procuring Entity, provided that bidders shall pay the fee
for the Bidding Documents not later than the submission of their bids.
6. The DPWH Pangasinan Sub District Engineering Offce will hold a
Pre-Bid Conference on January 11, 2013, which shall be opened to
all interested parties.
7. Bids must be delivered to the address below on or before January 24,
2013 @ 02:00 pm at Tuliao, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan. All bids must
be accompanied by a bid security in any of the acceptable forms and
in the amount stated in ITB Clause 18.
Bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders representatives who
choose to attend at the address below. Late bids shall not be accepted.
8. The DPWH Pangasinan Sub District Engineering Offce reserves
the right to accept or reject any bid, to annul the bidding process, and
to reject all bids at any time prior to contract award, without thereby
incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders.
9. For further information, please refer to:
BAC Secretariat
Tuliao, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan
Telefax (075) 653-64-18
BAC Chairman
Gold price advanced
for 12
straight year
New York got 52 million visitors in 2012
South Koreas exports
fell 5.5% in December
a self-imposed deadline for
action, the Senate passed leg-
islation early New Years Day
to neutralize a scal cliff com-
bination of across-the-board
tax increases and spending cuts
that kicked in at midnight. The
pre-dawn vote was 89-8.
Senate passage set the stage for a nal showdown
in the House, where a vote was expected later
Tuesday or perhaps Wednesday.
Even by the recent dysfunctional standards of
government-by-gridlock, the activity at both ends
of historic Pennsylvania Avenue was remarkable
as the administration and lawmakers spent the
nal hours of 2012 haggling over long-festering
It shouldnt have taken this long to come to an
agreement, and this shouldnt be the model for how
we do things around here, said Senate Republican
leader Mitch McConnell, who negotiated the
agreement with Vice President Joe Biden.
Under the deal, taxes would remain steady for
the middle class and rise at incomes over $400,000
for individuals and $450,000 for couples
levels higher than President Barack Obama had
campaigned for in his successful drive for a second
term in ofce.
Spending cuts totaling $24 billion over two
months aimed at the Pentagon and domestic
programs would be deferred. That would allow
the White House and lawmakers time to regroup
before plunging very quickly into a new round of
budget brinkmanship certain to revolve around
Republican calls to rein in the cost of Medicare and
other government benet programs.
Ofcials also decided at the last minute to use the
measure to prevent a $900 pay raise for lawmakers
due to take effect this spring.
One thing we can count on with respect to this
Congress is that if theres even one second left
before you have to do what youre supposed to do,
they will use that last second, the president said in
a mid-afternoon status update on the talks.
As darkness fell on the last day of the year,
Obama, Biden and their aides were at work in
the White House, and lights burned in the House
and Senate. Democrats complained that Obama
had given away too much in agreeing to limit tax
increases to incomes over $450,000, far above
the $250,000 level he campaigned on. Yet some
Republicans recoiled at the prospect of raising
taxes at all.
Democratic senators said they expected a
post-midnight vote on the measure. They spoke
after a closed-door session with Vice President
Joseph Biden, who brokered the deal with Senate
Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
The argument is that this is the best that can
be done on a bipartisan basis, said Sen. Dianne
Feinstein, D-Calif., when asked about the case
the vice president had delivered behind closed
Passage would send the measure to the House,
where Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, refrained
from endorsing a package as yet unseen by his
famously rebellious rank-and-le. He said the
House would not vote on any Senate-passed measure
until House members and the American people
have been able to review it. AP
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks about the scal cliff on Dec. 31 in the South Court Auditorium at the White House in
Washington. The president said it appears that an agreement to avoid the scal cliff is in sight, but says its not yet complete and work
continues. AP
NEW YORKGold prices
edged higher Monday after
President Barack Obama said
that a budget deal to avoid the
scal cliff was in sight, if
not yet complete. The advance
capped a 12th consecutive year
of gains.
February gold rose
$19.90, or 1.2 percent, to
$1,675.80 an ounce. Gold
gained almost 7 percent in
2012 after starting the year
at $1,566.80.
Investors have been buying
gold as a safe haven and as
protection against ination
while the value of the dollar
declined. The metal has gained
almost six-fold since the start
of 2000.
In other metals trading,
copper advanced 6.3 cents,
or 1.8 percent, to $3.6525 a
pound, after a report showed
that Chinese manufacturing hit
a 19-month high in December,
indicating that the worlds
second-largest economy is
gaining momentum following
a global slowdown. Copper is
used in many industries and
its price uctuates with the
outlook for global economic
Silver, platinum and
palladium also gained.
Silver for March delivery
rose 25.20 cents, or 0.8
percent, to $30.277. April
platinum advanced $20.80, or
1.4 percent, to $1,542.40 an
ounce and March palladium
gained $3.05, or 0.4 percent, to
$703.35 an ounce.
In energy trading, crude oil
futures prices ended higher
on the New York Mercantile
Exchange, rising $1.02, or 1.1
percent, to close at $91.82 a
Gasoline for January rose
1.21 cents, or 0.4 percent, to
$2.8120 a gallon. Heating oil
was little changed at $3.0451
a gallon. Natural gas for
February fell 11.8 cents to
$3.3510 per 1,000 cubic feet, a
drop of 1.1 percent.
Prices for agricultural
commodities were mixed. In
March contracts, wheat fell
0.75 cents, or 0.1 percent, to
$7.78 a bushel. Corn rose 4.25
cents, 0.6 percent, to $6.9825
per bushel. Soybeans fell 8.5
cents to $14.095 per bushel, a
drop of 0.6 percent. AP
NEW YORKThe Big Apple is a bigger-than-ever tourist draw,
welcoming a record 52 million visitors this year, Mayor Michael
Bloomberg announced Monday.
The estimate, up more than 1 million from last year, caps
several years of effort to make the tourist trade into an economic
development engine for the nations largest city. After reaching a
goal of attracting 50 million annual visitors in 2011, Bloomberg has
now set sights on 55 million by 2015.
The 2012 statistic keeps us on course to meet our goal, the mayor
said in announcing the number at a news conference animated by
some New York razzle-dazzle: It was held at the popular American
Museum of Natural History, and Bloomberg was anked by a half-
dozen of Radio City Music Halls Rockettes.
An estimated 41 million of this years visitors came from elsewhere
in the United States, but the city says its international tourist base
is growing notably. The numbers of Brazilian and Chinese visitors
have nearly quintupled since 2006, the city says.
Roberta and Ricardo Valente were visiting New York on
Monday from Rio de Janeiro with their toddler daughter,
Valentina, and planning to take in New Years Eve from their
hotel room overlooking Times Square. Roberta said shed
noticed more interest among Brazilians in visiting New York
these days.
Its more accessible economically, she said.
The tourism numbers are based on a model that includes surveys,
hotel data, airport trafc and other information and includes business
travelers and vacationers. AP
SOUTH Koreas exports unex-
pectedly fell for the rst time in
three months, suggesting that
tepid global demand and gains
in the won are sapping economic
momentum as a new president
prepares to take ofce.
Overseas shipments dropped
5.5 percent in December from a
year earlier, after a revised 3.8
percent increase in November,
the Gwacheon-based Ministry
of Knowledge Economy said in
a statement Tuesday. The me-
dian estimate in a Bloomberg
News survey of 12 economists
was for a 0.8 percent advance.
The report on sales that make up
about half the nations economy is
the rst since Park Geun Hye won
the Dec. 19 presidential election.
Gross domestic product may ex-
pand as much as 3.8 percent this
year as overseas demand improves
and Park boosts spending on wel-
fare, according to HSBC Holdings
Plc, a rate that compares with the
2.1 percent for 2012 estimated by
the Finance Ministry.
We may see some more turbu-
lence ahead before a full-force recov-
ery in the second half, led by exports,
Lee Sung Kwon, an economist at
Shinhan Investment Corp. in Seoul,
said before the release. The new
government and central bank will try
to support the economy for the time
being with more spending and low
borrowing costs.
The ministry said in a state-
ment that exports declined as
last month had three fewer
working days than December
2011. Average exports on work-
ing days rose 7.6 percent to $2.1
billion in December from a year
ago, the ministry said.
Imports fell 5.3 percent from
a year earlier in December, the
ministry said. The trade surplus
was $2 billion after a $4.4 bil-
lion excess in November.
Shipments abroad face the head-
wind of a strengthening won, which
advanced 7.7 percent last year, top
among Asias 11 most- traded cur-
rencies. The won gained 0.2 percent
against the dollar to 1,070.53 at the
close on Dec. 28 in Seoul, and the
Kospi index of stocks advanced 0.5
percent. Local nancial markets
were closed Monday. Bloomberg
Manila Standard TODAY
starts in
2 months
Agency approves new
anti-tuberculosis drug
Iran test-res missiles near Strait of Hormuz
India improves cash-transfer scheme
Israel eases restrictions on Gaza
A Raad air defense system with Taer missiles is displayed by Irans Revolutionary Guard, during a military parade commemorating the
start of the Iraq-Iran war 32 years ago, in front of the mausoleum of the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran,
Iran. Irans navy said Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 it test-red a range of weapons during ongoing maneuvers near the Strait of Hormuz, the
passageway for one-fth of the worlds oil supply. AP
New York posts
52m tourists in 12
NEW YORK City attracted a
record 52 million tourists this
year, an all-time high and a 2.1
percent increase over 2011, of-
cials said.
Visitors to the most populous
US city spent $36.9 billion, up
from $34.5 billion in 2011, and
created an estimated $55.3 billion
in economic impact, according to
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and
NYC & Company, the marketing
and tourism ofce.
Bloomberg, who set a goal
of 55 million visitors and $70
billion in economic impact by
2015, has promoted tourism as
a way to become less reliant on
Wall Street. Since 2006 he has
created 18 marketing ofces in
North America, South America,
Europe, Asia and Australia. Lei-
sure and hospitality provided
356,000 jobs this year, 26 per-
cent more than in 2000, when
there were 282,000.
The tourism industry is thriving,
creating thousands of jobs for New
Yorkers at all rungs of the econom-
ic ladder, Bloomberg said today in
statement prepared for a news con-
ference at Manhattans American
Museum of Natural History.
Even with the addition this
year of 17 new hotels, which
brought the citys total number
of rooms to 91,500, hotel oc-
cupancy averaged 87 percent,
highest in the nation, said Chris
Heywood, an NYC & Company
spokesman. The city collected a
record $504 million in hotel tax
Venezuelans offer
prayers for Chavez
CARACASVenezuel ans
gathered on plazas and in
churches to pray for President
Hugo Chavez amid what seems
an increasingly gloomy outlook
for the ailing leader in his ght
against cancer.
Following an announcement
that Chavez had suffered new
complications from a respiratory
infection after undergoing cancer
surgery in Cuba, people were out
in the streets of Caracas on Mon-
day talking about the leftist presi-
dents chances of surviving.
Hes history now, said Ce-
sar Amaro, a street vendor sell-
ing newspapers and snacks at a
kiosk downtown. He motioned
to a daily on the rack show-
ing side-by-side photos of Vice
President Nicolas Maduro and
National Assembly President
Diosdado Cabello, and said pol-
itics will now turn to them.
In Bolivar Plaza in downtown
Caracas, Chavezs supporters
strummed guitars and read po-
etry in his honor on New Years
Eve. They sang along with a re-
cording of the president belting
out the national anthem.
About 300 people lled a Ca-
racas church for a Mass to pray
for Chavez.AP
Blood clot located in Clintons head
The easing of restrictions is an
outgrowth of the cease-re that
ended the airstrikes and months
of daily rocket re from Gaza at
Israel. Contacts mediated by Egypt
to follow up the truce produced the
concession, and Israel promised to
keep easing the lives of Gazas 1.6
million residents, as long as Israelis
were no longer targeted by rocket
re by Gaza militants.
How long the new arrangement
holds could serve as a test case for
the brittle truce between the bitter
enemies. It also reects a new power
equation, with neighboring Egypt
under the control of the Muslim
Brotherhood, the parent group of
Israel, together with Egypt,
imposed a land and naval embargo
on Gaza after Hamas violently
overtook the territory in 2007.
Although Israel eased the restrictions
in 2010, building materials such as
cement, gravel and metal rods were
still largely banned because Israel
claimed militants could use them to
make fortications and weapons.
Hundreds of smuggling tunnels
under the Gaza-Egypt border gave
Gaza a conduit for all manner of
goods as well as weapons, though
the blockade remained intact.
During eight days of violence
in November, the Israeli military
said 1,500 rockets were red at
Israel, including the rst from
Gaza to strike the Tel Aviv and
Jerusalem areas. The rocket
attacks killed six Israelis and
wounded dozens. Israeli airstrikes
killed 169 Palestinians, many
of them militants, and caused
considerable damage. Israel said
it targeted Hamas installations
and government buildings.
As part of a cease-re agreement
brokered by Egypts new Islamist
leaders, Israel agreed to consider
new border arrangements in return
for a complete cessation of rocket
Now were talking about a
permanent easing, said Maj. Guy
Inbar, a military spokesman. The
longer the calm persists, the more
well weigh additional easing of
restrictions that will benet the
private sector.AP
TEHRAN Irans navy said
Monday it test-red a range
of weapons during ongoing
maneuvers near the Strait of
Hormuz, the passageway for
one-fth of the worlds oil
IRNA quoted Adm. Amir
Rastgari, spokesman for the
exercise, as saying the Iranian-
made air defense system Raad,
or Thunder, was among the
weapons tested, along with
various torpedoes and underwater
and surface-to-surface rockets as
well as anti-ship missiles. The
Islamic Republic said it also
deployed domestically-made
hovercraft during the operation.
The Raad system was on show
during a military parade in Tehran
in September for the rst time.
Iran says is more advanced than
its Russian predecessor and is
designed to confront ghter jets,
cruise missiles, smart bombs,
helicopters and drones. Iran said
the system res missiles with a
range of 50 kilometers, capable
of hitting targets at 22,000
meters .
Tehran has tried to build a self-
sufcient military program since
1992. It frequently announces
technological breakthroughs,
most of which cannot be
conrmed independently.
Irans military leaders have
recently said they believe future
wars will be air- and sea-based
and Tehran has sought to upgrade
its air defense systems and naval
power in anticipation of such a
The drill began on Friday and
ends on Wednesday, one of a
number of exercises Iran holds
The maneuvers come as the
West increases its pressure over
Irans nuclear program. Iran has
said in the past it might close
the strait over Western sanctions
or military threats against its
nuclear facilities, but has stepped
back from those threats in recent
Both the United States and
Israel have not ruled out a
military strike against Irans
nuclear program, which the West
believes is aimed at weapons
Iran denies the charge,
insisting its nuclear program is
only for peaceful purposes like
power generation and cancer
JERUSALEM In a major concession to Gazas
Hamas leaders Monday, Israel dropped its ve-year ban
on construction materials crossing into the territory and
raised hopes there that rebuilding could begin following
a damaging eight-day Israeli air campaign.
KABUL --The next phase
of transferring security from
NATO to Afghan control will
begin in two months and aims
to cover nearly 90 percent of
the countrys population, the
Kabul government announced
The transition, which began
in early 2011, is slated to give
Afghan forces full responsibility
for security by the end of 2014,
when most NATO troops will
have withdrawn.
Misgivings persist about the
readiness of Afghan forces,
although their numbers have
grown rapidly over the past year
to more than 330,000. They
now shoulder most combat
operations, while NATO forces,
including some 66,000 US,
troops are preparing to pull
out. The US intends to keep a
residual force in Afghanistan
past 2014 but the size has yet to
be determined.
US Defense Secretary Leon
Panetta said in a statement said
the forthcoming fourth phase
was another sign of steady
Going forward, our efforts
in Afghanistan will continue to
ensure that the Afghan people
can secure and government
themselves, and to deny safe
haven to al-Qaeda, the statement
said. AP
WASHINGTONSecretary of
State Hillary Rodham Clinton
developed a blood clot in her
head but did not suffer a stroke
or neurological damage, her
doctors said Monday. They say
they are condent that she will
make a full recovery.
In a statement that revealed
the location of the clot, Clintons
doctors said it is in the vein in the
space between the brain and the
skull behind the right ear. She is
being treated with blood thinners
to help dissolve the clot, the doc-
tors said, and she will be released
once the medication dose has
been established.
Clinton, 65, is making excellent
progress and is in good spirits, Dr.
Lisa Bardack of the Mt. Kisco
Medical Group and Dr. Gigi El-
Bayoumi of George Washington
University said in a statement.
Clinton, who was spending a
second day at a New York hos-
pital, developed the clot after
suffering a concussion earlier in
December. She had fainted, fall-
en and struck her head at home
while battling a stomach virus,
her spokesman said. She has not
been seen publicly since Dec. 7.
Phillipe Reines, her spokes-
man, said her doctors discov-
ered the clot Sunday while per-
forming a follow-up exam on
the concussion. She was admit-
ted to New York-Presbyterian
Clintons complication cer-
tainly isnt the most common
thing to happen after a concus-
sion and is one of the few types
of blood clots in the skull or
head that are treated with blood
thinners, said Dr. Larry Gold-
stein, a neurologist who is direc-
tor of Duke Universitys stroke
center. AP
NEW DELHIIndia will send
billions of dollars in social wel-
fare money directly to its poor
under a new program inaugu-
rated Tuesday, aiming to cut out
the middlemen blamed for the
massive fraud that plagues the
Previously officials only
handed out cash to the poor
after taking a cut if they
didnt keep all of it for them-
selves and were known to
enroll fake recipients or reg-
ister unqualified people. The
new program would see wel-
fare money directly deposited
into recipients bank accounts
and require them to prove
their identity with biometric
data, such as fingerprints or
retina scans.
Finance Minister P. Chidam-
baram has described the venture
as nothing less than magical,
but critics accuse the govern-
ment of hastily pushing through
a complex program in a country
where millions dont have access
to electricity or paved roads, let
alone neighborhood banks.
The program is loosely based
on Brazils widely praised Bol-
sa Familia program, which has
helped lift more than 19 mil-
lion people out of poverty since
2003. It will begin in 20 of the
countrys 640 districts Tuesday,
affecting more than 200,000 re-
cipients, and will be progressive-
ly rolled out in other areas in the
coming months, Chidambaram
said Monday. The country has
440 million people living below
the poverty line.
In a huge new experiment
like this you should expect some
glitches. There may be a problem
here and there, but these will be
overcome by our people, Chi-
dambaram said.
He appealed for patience with
the program, which he called a
game changer for governance.
The opposition Bharatiya Ja-
nata Party has accused the rul-
ing Congress party of using the
program to gain political mile-
age ahead of elections expected
in 2014.
As a rst step, the govern-
ment has said it plans to begin
directly transferring money it
would spend on programs such
as scholarships and pensions.
Eventually the transfers are
expected to help x much of the
rest of Indias welfare spend-
ing, though Chidambaram said
the governments massive food,
kerosene and fertilizer distribution
networks which are blamed for
much of the corruption and lost
money would be exempt.
The program will eliminate
middlemen and transfer cash di-
rectly into bank accounts using
data from Aadhar, a government
project working to give every
Indian identication numbers
linked to ngerprints and retina
scans. Currently hundreds of
millions of Indians have no iden-
tity documents. AP
and Drug Administration on
Monday approved a Johnson &
Johnson tuberculosis drug that
is the rst new medicine to ght
the deadly infection in more
than four decades.
The agency approved J&Js
pill, Sirturo, for use with older
drugs to ght a hard-to-treat
strain of tuberculosis that has
not responded to other medica-
tions. However, the agency cau-
tioned that the drug carries risks
of potentially deadly heart prob-
lems and should be prescribed
carefully by doctors.
Roughly one-third of the
worlds population is estimated to
be infected with the bacteria caus-
ing tuberculosis. The disease is
rare in the US, but kills about 1.4
million people a year worldwide.
Of those, about 150,000 succumb
to the increasingly common drug-
resistant forms of the disease.
About 60 percent of all cases are
concentrated in China, India, Rus-
sia and Eastern Europe.
Sirturo, known chemically as
bedaquiline, is the rst medicine
specically designed for treating
multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
Thats a form of the disease that
cannot be treated with at least two
of the four primary antibiotics
used for tuberculosis.
The standard drugs used to ght
the disease were developed in the
1950s and 1960s.
The antibiotics used to treat it
have been around for at least 40
years and so the bacterium has
become more and more resistant
to what we have, said Chrispin
Kambili, global medical affairs
leader for J&Js Janssen division.
The drug carries a boxed warn-
ing indicating that it can interfere
with the hearts electrical activity,
potentially leading to fatal heart
rhythms. AP
AMD-powered Lenovo S405 is
faster and lighter minus the hefty
price tag as compared to other

Revamp your living space
with this years home design
Manila Standard TODAY
Gianna Maniego, Editor
Dinna Chan Vasquez, Assistant Editor
you absolutely
home work relationship
AT THE end of each year, most of us come up with a set of things we want to
change about ourselves. We normally want to lose more weight and save more
money. Sadly, most of our New Years resolutions become things of the past by
January or February but still, we make them year after year.
For some people, New Years resolutions are not just abstract ideas but real things that need to be
done to improve their lives.
Manila Standard Today entertainment editor Isah Red vows that he wont buy any more clothes,
shoes, and bags. This is not an act of frugality but a means to de-clutter.
At the end of the day, you are not able to use everything. They end up ruined, sayang, he says.
Lifestyle editor Gianna Maniego says her resolution is not to be so judgmental or judgy, as we like
to call it.
My resolution is to have a better relationship with my mother. It is not a secret that our relationship
can be best described as tumultuous. I dont want my daughter seeing that as she grows up.
We asked some people what their New Years resolutions are beyond losing weight and saving/making
for the new year
By Dinna Chan Vasquez
Isabel Gatuslao
Graphic designer
Eliminate the meaningless and work only on
what matters the most. Focus and pay attention to
what my gut is telling me.
Johanna Garcia
HSBC Philippines SVP and head of group
communications and corporate sustainability
Gourmet cook
I want to take more chances and trust the little
voice inside my heart because its always right.
This is not to be confused with the voices inside
my head because those are always wrong (this
last sentence is a joke!). On a more serious note,
I would like to stay in the moment (this is a cli-
che, I know, but very apt on what I have in mind).
I want to be happy, healthy and have peace of
mind. I would also love to cook more often and
more creatively and not allow ingredients to go
to waste.
Norma Morales
Wife and mother
Part time laundry woman
Sana magkaroon ako ng oras at puhunan na
makapag tinda ng banana que o sopas at champ-
orado. At sana makaipon ako para makauwi sa
amin sa Leyte. (I hope I have the time and capital
to be able to cook and sell food. I also hope to have
enough money to go to Leyte, my hometown).
Nikka Abes
Head of Communications - Philippines,
Malaysia and Singapore at Nokia
I want to de-clutter and get rid of all the gadgets
and things that are lying around unused. I want to
read more and try to keep my cool with my kids.
Samantha Richelle
My New Years resolution is to travel
more (for work) and be able to converse u-
ently in another language.
Aubrey Bautista
Brand Manager, Benet Cosmetics
I would like to spend more time with my loved
ones and visit my parents in Bulacan every week.
Have weekly dinner dates with my boyfriend. Indulge
in my favorite activities like singing and kickboxing.
Have a new hobby. Limit responding to emails af-
ter work (and going online, too). Wake up early and
sleep early.
Carissa Cruz Evangelista
Wife and mother
Former Trade Undersecretary
Jewelry designer
New Years
r e s o l u t i o n s
most of the time
end up as gen-
eral statements,
given that they
will hold for the
whole year (lose
weight, save
money and be
more organized).
This year, I
wanted to have a
a specic personal and a specic professional New Years
wish. My personal wish is to come up with an organized arts
and crafts space for my kids, three-year-old Gabrielle and
ve-year-old Isabella, who are looking for activities. My
professional New Years wish is that the Beatriz brand of
jewelry grows in terms of creative collections sold and num-
ber of outlets in 2013.
HAPPY New Year to ALL! 2012
had been a very exciting year
for this columnist, and so too for
wines in our country in general.
Numbers from the National Sta-
tistics Ofce (NSO) are not yet
in, but it would seem from gen-
eral trade consensus that the wine
business is in for another record
breaking year. This column has
covered several stories, both local
and international, and below is a
summary of some of most memo-
rable from this humble represen-
Republic Act 10351 Sin Tax
Reform Law
Just prior to Christmas, on
December 20, 2012, President
Aquino signed the landmark Sin
Tax Reform Bill into law. This
came amidst years and months
of public and private debates
among lawmakers in both hous-
es. The sin tax reform bill, also
angled as a health care funding
bill, will nally be implemented
by the start of 2013. The new tax
measure is estimated to increase
government revenues by P34 bil-
lion, around P24 billion of which
is expected from cigarettes, P6
billion from distilled spirits and
P4 billion+ from fermented li-
quors, which will be majority on
beers, but will include wines and
sparkling wines.
This will affect, in the case of
wines, all new imports arriving
this 2013, and not those already in
the inventory and warehouses of
wine importers and distributors.
The net effect for wines is not
that major as I wrote in my 2-part
series last August. (http://manil-
For still wines at 14 percent
alcohol and below, the net effect
is an additional P6.00 per regular
750ml. bottle (or now at P22.50/
bottle on excise tax). For those
above 14 percent alcohol, the
price is an additional P12.00 per
regular 750ml. bottle (or now
P45.00/bottle). But on the Spar-
kling Wine/Champagne category,
the excise tax amount that is al-
ready quite signicant at present,
will further become more exorbi-
tant. For sparkling wines having
net retail price of P500.00 and be-
low, the price will be an additional
P49.90 per regular 750ml. bottle
(or now up to P187.50/bottle on
excise tax). And for those above
P500.00 net retail price, the price
will be an additional P112.32 per
regular 750ml. bottle (or now a
very restrictive P525.00/bottle).
The excise tax alone on the latter
classication can already buy you
a decent fully tax paid mid tier still
wine. And then there is the annual
4 percent increase until the bill is
amended, so expect price increas-
es, especially on entry level wines
and sparkling wines in the coming
weeks and months, and eventually
on all price categories for many
years to come.
Wine events galore
I attended a lot of events in
2012, both locally and region-
ally, and I shared several of these
events in my column. Among the
ones I had great wine drinking
experiences were, in chronologi-
cal order: 1) First Grand Tasting
of Rioja Wines in China, held in
Shanghaiwhile only featuring
Spanish Rioja wines, the 60 partic-
The year 2012
in (wine) review
ipating Bodegas brought their best
stuff, and one could taste old fa-
vorites from Murrieta to Riscal to
new generation Riojas like Roda
and Miguel Merino; 2) VinExpo
Asia-Pacic held in HKthis
bi-annual event which started in
1998, had its most successful fair
to date, setting records in numbers
of attendees, exhibitors and par-
ticipating countries; the event so-
lidied HKs claim to be the best
regional hub for wines; 3) World
Class Wines Tasting Party, held
in Bangkokthis was my rst
Thailand wine event and courtesy
of our friends from World Class
Wines, a big Thai wine importer;
the list of 50 or so wines on open
bar were a modest size, but every
single one were very decent with
several extremely good ones I
tasted and discovered for the rst
time; 4) Wine Fiesta Singapore
on its fth year now, the Singa-
pore Wine Fiesta (which also had
versions in Kuala Lumpur and
Manila) organized by The Singa-
pore Straits Wine Company was
another wine extravaganza hard
to beat by any standards: three
days of wine tastings, 5,000+ visi-
tors, 250+ wines, 50+ winery rep-
resentatives, and plenty of wine
commerce (on the spot wine pur-
chases); and 5) Grand Wine Ex-
perience, held in Manilaon its
12th year, and a pioneering event
in the region, the Grand Wine
Experience 12
edition featured
500+ wines, sumptuous dinner
buffet, and live entertainment;
no selling, no advertising, just old
fashion wine drinking and food
tasting from 5pm till 12mn.
Wine personalities
2012 was another star-studded
year for me in terms of meeting
and interviewing international wine
personalities for this column. While
there were so many new acquain-
tances and even friends I met in
the industry in separate conducive
wine tasting settings, the owners or
heirs of the wineries were the ones
I was most fascinated with. In my
one-on-one interviews, these own-
ers showed genuine love, passion,
stewardship and dedication to their
own wines and their respective
wine regions. Tasting wines with
the owners also made me feel like
I was drinking the wines in their re-
spective cellars surrounded by vine-
yards, amidst the vivid stories and
anecdotes behind the winemaking
of each of the wines. These own-
ers I so fortunately met last year are
(in chronological order): Mr. Peter
Barry of famed Jim Barry Wines
from Clare Valley, South Austra-
lia, Mr. Patrick Maroteaux of
growth Grand Cru Classe Cha-
teau Branaire Ducru, Ms. Maria
Luz Marin of premium boutique
winery Casa Marin from new sub
region Lo Abarca in San Antonio
Valley Chile, Count Stephan von
Neipperg of St. Emilion Grand
Cru Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere,
and my two recent Italian iconic
interviewees: Mr. Francesco Rica-
soli of 12
century winery Barone
Ricasoli from Chianti Classico, and
Mr. Bio Boffa of Piedmonts top
winery Pio Cesare.
Another meaningful year just
passed by, and whether the new
Sin Tax Reform law will be a
buzz-kill or not, 2013 promises to
be another exciting year for wine
lovers alike!
For comments, inquiries,
wine event coverage, wine con-
sultancy and other wine related
concerns, please e-mail me at I am
a proud member of the Federa-
tion Internationale des Journal-
ists et Ecrivains du Vin et des
Spiritueux or FIJEV since 2010.
You can also follow me on twitter
Customs House was the venue again last 2012 of the Wine Fiesta
The 12th Grand Wine Experience was
the last big wine event of the year
Maria Luz Marin of Casa
Marin is one of the winery
owners I interviewed in
JANUARY 2, 2013
home work relationships
Gianna Maniego, Editor
Dinna Chan Vasquez, Assistant Editor
Having a weight of only 3.97
lbs. and a width of 21.9mm, the
S405 is a handy laptop perfect
for travelers. It ts inside any
backpack and also not cumber-
some to carry around. For color,
the Ideapad S laptops come in
metallic nishes of crimson red,
silver grey, and cotton-candy
The S405 is powered by
AMDs A-series processors.
AMD is known for manufactur-
ing processors with powerful
Radeon graphics chipsets in only
one package. Known as Fusion
Technology, the mix of two pro-
cessors in a single chip makes
things simpler and faster. Having
this in the S405 makes it cheaper
compared to other laptops in the
market, it also makes it more
manageable in terms of power.
Thinking of the needs of its
user, Lenovos S405 employs
a number of peripherals for
faster and more comfortable
usage. The device employs a
USB 3.0 for high-speed data
transfers and also a pair of USB
GLOBE Business has recently treated its
clients to a special dinner where they en-
joyed the excellent food and the refreshing
aromas of teas and other concoctions.
Blue Avelino, Globe Business head for
small and medium business segments,
shared how Globe Business is ensuring the
best experience for their business partners
and subscribers.
Globe Business subscribers are already
beginning to level up their experience in their
telecoms services as our upgrades go online,
Avelino said.
Meanwhile, Globe Business head of
product development J . D. Montelibano
discussed the latest service from Globe
Business, which is the Globe Business
PayrollCloud and the Cloud technology
that powers it.
Globe PayrollCloud is a computerized,
Cloud-based service that makes payroll and
provides other vital HR services.
Each partnership is precious to us. Its all
part of Globe Business commitment to keep
nding ways to make business better for our
partners, he said.
NEW year, new look, and a new homehomeowners
like the idea of revamping their living spaces, often in-
spired by the trends and moods they want to feel in their
own abode.
According to lifestyle maven and renowned host of For
Your Home Vicki Payne, 2013 colors are glowing with
sophisticated selections that will inspire people to
embrace a neutral pallet.
Payne added that neutral shades evoke a sooth-
ing backdrop. Hence, it is ideal to go for trendy
home accessories that bring out intricate and
sculptural shapes, intriguing textures, and interest-
ing motifs that transcend as focal statementsthe exact
features that define Ethan Allens new collection called
American Colors.
Ellswor th queen poster bed
Its the extraordinary
classiness of Ethan Al-
lens canopy poster bed
that will surely make any
bedroom more interest-
ing. Exuding a blend of
modern edginess and rug-
ged good looks, Ellsworth
Queen Poster Beds head-
board and canopy frame
projects a modest appeal
because its square, verti-
cal posts contrast with
strong horizontal lines.
Cr istal chair
Inject an eclec-
tic dose of style into
your living room with
Ethan Allens Cristal
Chair. Its dynamic
carved back and legs
are truly stunning
statements that will
further its function as
a chair, for it is an in-
stant visual interest in your living space.
Michaela twelve-light
With its twelve glass-
bent arms in two tiers,
twelve strings of faceted
European crystal beads,
and glass rings with hang-
ing pear-shaped drops, the
Michaela Twelve-Light
Chandelier promises to
truly be the sparkle your
room is yearning for.

Colin night table
Artfully distressed
and nished by hand
with worn edges, the
Colin Night Table
will easily blend with
any antiques. A versa-
tile little piece with a
sophisticated country
look, its simple yet
classy faade makes it
an interesting piece beside a sofa, chair, or bed.
Julian chest
Inspired by eigh-
teenth century French
antiques in Paris, the
Julian Chest is ele-
gantly fashioned with
rounded corners and
uted legs. Function-
ality wise, its three
drawers make it a
stylish storage solution for many settings; and when it comes
to looks, the Julian Chests simplicity and beauty lend a classic
feel to any interior.
LIGHT and fast. Those two words encom-
pass Lenovos latest Ideapad S line of
ultraportable laptops. These laptops are of
the ultra thin variety, yet the pricing is good
enough not to burn a hole in your wallet.
2.0 ports. For storage, the lap-
top comes with a hefty 500 GB
or 1TB disk space. It also has
a 32GB SSD variant for faster
loading and responsiveness.
For entertainment, the S405
comes with an HDMI port, a
14-inch HD widescreen dis-
play, stereo speakers and Dol-
by Advanced Audio v2 certi-
fication. The setup makes the
unit perfect for movie watch-
ing and gaming.
The S405 comes with a boat-
load of Lenovos application de-
signed for the convenience of the
user. One of such is Lenovos In-
telligent Touchpad, a feature that
allows the user to zoom, scroll,
and manipulate les through the
use of gestures. The laptop also
employs Lenovos Quick Start
feature which allows the user to
immediately jump online in just
a matter of seconds. In case of
data corruption, the S405 also
employs Lenovos OneKey Res-
cue System which reloads and
reboots the computer back to its
original factory setting at a press
of a button.
Be it at work, entertainment,
or for gaming, the Lenovos Ide-
aPad S405 proves to be a wel-
come companion made for any
application at any given time.
The marriage between AMDs
processor and Lenovos systems
makes the S405 a powerful ma-
chine that conserves both space
and time, not to mention cheaper
compared to its counterparts.
Undoubtedly, Lenovos Ideapad
S405 gives you the best deal
when it comes to price, power,
and comfort.
Globe welcomes new partnerships
The Globe Business A Taste of Success, a special dinner to welcome new partnerships
with selected prestigious clients. The event was hosted by Daphne Osena-Paez; Blue
Avelino, Globe Business Head of Small and Medium Business Segments; Globe Business
Brand Ambassador,Kenneth Cobonpue and Michelle Perlas, Marketing Manager also from
Globe Business.
THE Property Company of
Friends, Inc. (PRO-FRIENDS),
one of the fastest growing real
estate developers in the Philip-
pines, has unveiled Ilustrata
Residences, its rst-ever resi-
dential condominium project in
Metro Manila.
Located along Santolan Road
in Cubao, Quezon City, the
residential condominium offers
young professionals and start-
up families the unique advan-
tage of comfortably and conve-
niently living in the city while
being detached from the metros
Strategically built to connect
its residents from north to south
through Edsa and east to west
through Ortigas Avenue, the
Ilustrata Residences is accessi-
ble to any given route involving
main roads, alternative detours
and public transportation to go
around the city.
Ilustrata Residences is a
mid-rise residential condo-
minium with six buildings
amidst the afuent lifestyle of
Pro-friends unveils rst-ever condominium project
Greenhills, the tree-lined av-
enues of New Manila and the
laid-back ambience of the resi-
dential enclaves along Mari-
posa. With these surroundings,
the Ilustrata Residences offers
its residents their own urban
haven in a prestigious address.
Buyers can own units starting at
P7,500 per month.
We are pleased to have our
most recent city residential con-
dominium built right in the mid-
dle of Metro Manila to cater to
discerning individuals and fami-
lies who are looking for homes
that t their budget, provide
them value for their money and
are easily accessible to any part
of the city, said PRO-FRIENDS
corporate communications direc-
tor Monica Morales.
Ilustrata Residences is situ-
ated at # 39 Boni Serrano Av-
enue, Bagong Lipunan ng Cra-
me, Cubao, Quezon City. For
more information on Ilustrata
Residences, visit http://www.
This studio-type Ilustrata Residences unit is suitable for any young
professional today.
Keeping it timeless
By Ed Biado
AFTER a decade and a half
of stalling in Congress, the
Reproductive Health bill is
now ofcially a law after the
President afxed his signa-
ture to it during the holiday season. Republic
Act No. 10354, the Responsible Parenthood
and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (collo-
quially called the RH law) provides for a na-
tional policy on universal access to contracep-
tive methods, fertility control, sexual education
and maternal care.
Many individuals and groups have cam-
paigned for and against the legislation. After
all thats been said and done, how will this new
law affect the regular Pinoy? Here are some im-
portant provisions:
Reproductive Health is dened in the Act as
the state of complete physical, mental and social
well-being and not merely the absence of disease
or inrmity, in all matters relating to the reproduc-
tive system and to its functions and processes.
This implies that people are able to have a respon-
sible, safe, consensual and satisfying sex life, that
they have the capability to reproduce and the free-
dom to decide if, when, and how often to do so.
This further implies that women and men attain
equal relationships in matters related to sexual re-
lations and reproduction.
Under Section 7 of the Act, [a]ll accredited
public health facilities shall provide a full range
of modern family planning methods, which
shall also include medical consultations, sup-
plies and necessary and reasonable procedures
for poor and marginalized couples having infer-
tility issues who desire to have children.
Meanwhile, Section 9 states that the National
Drug Formulary shall include hormonal con-
traceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and
other safe, legal, non-abortifacient and effective
family planning products and supplies. Take note
that abortion is still illegal in the Philippines and
only non-abortifacient products will be endorsed.
The Act further seeks to integrate respon-
sible parenthood components in anti-poverty
programs (Section 11) and ensures maximum
PhilHealth benets for persons suffering from
serious and life-threatening reproductive health
conditions, including HIV/AIDS (Section 12).
Under Section 14, adolescents shall receive
age- and development-appropriate reproduc-
tive health education...integrated in relevant
subjects such as...values formation; knowledge
and skills in self-protection against discrimina-
tion; sexual abuse and violence against women
and children and other forms of gender based
violence and teen pregnancy; physical, social
and emotional changes in adolescents; wom-
ens rights and childrens rights; responsible
teenage behavior; gender and development;
and responsible parenthood.
Finally, Section 20 mandates the Health De-
partment and LGUs to initiate and sustain a
heightened nationwide multimedia-campaign
to raise the level of public awareness on the
protection and promotion of reproductive
health and rights.
What to expect
from the RH law
AMD juices up
Marlon Magtira, Editor
FACEBOOK has patched a security
vulnerability that would have allowed
hackers to turn on users webcams without
their knowledge and post the videos to
their proles.
Facebook fixes
webcam threat
Webcam vulnerability. FIle photo of Facebook chief executive ofcer Mark Zuckerberg introducing a video-
calling feature to his site last year. A bug was discovered this year which threatened security of Facebook
The bug was discovered in
July by two computer-security
researchers in India, according
to Fred Wolens, a spokesman
for Facebook. Aditya Gupta
and Subho Halder, founders
of a consulting rm called
XY Security, reported their
ndings to Facebook, which
paid them $2,500 in cash for
the information, they said.
Facebook seems to have deemed
this particular bug as serious
because the company paid ve
times its usual price, the two
researchers said.
Facebook is one of a few
technology companies along
with Google and Mozilla, maker
of the Firefox browser that
encourages outsiders to hack
their products in return for cash
payouts. Some companies,
notably Microsoft, have shunned
bug bounties because they
might wind up rewarding
An investigation conducted
by Facebook when it xed the
webcam hole found that no users
appeared to be affected, Wolens
said. This vulnerability, like
many others we provide a bounty
for, was only theoretical, and we
have seen no evidence that it
has been exploited in the wild,
Wolens wrote in an e-mail.
Essentially, several things
would need to go wrong a
user would need to be tricked
into visiting a malicious page and
clicking to activate their camera,
and then after some time period,
tricked into clicking again to
stop/publish the video.
Many companies choose to
pay researchers such as XY
Security for bugs because the
alternative can be much worse.
Such information can fetch high
prices on the black market from
criminals who try to nd ways
to shake down Internet surfers,
costing site administrators more
in the end.
Facebooks peeping Tom
bug could have been exploited
on either Windows or Mac
computers, the researchers said.
The Facebook vulnerability
found by XY Security was related
to how the site veried requests
to record and post webcam
video, they said. People who had
previously granted Facebooks
site access to their webcams
would have been vulnerable, he
Bug bounties are to technology
companies what wanted
posters were to Wild West
sheriffs: a call for the publics
help in identifying security risks,
with the promise of rewards.
Facebook, Google and Mozilla
have paid researchers more than
$2 million combined through
their bounty programs, according
to the companies. Google has
paid as much as $60,000 (plus
a free laptop) for information
about weaknesses in its Chrome
Web browser, and Facebook has
expanded its program to cover
not only the Facebook site but
also the companys corporate
Before reporting the webcam
bug to Facebook, Gupta and
Halder had been building a
reputation in the tech industry as
professional bug-bounty hunters.
The researchers, who are in
their early-20s, had previously
reported software vulnerabilities
to Apple, Google, Microsoft and
EBays PayPal, they said.
WHILE social media networks
have connected people to each
other in new ways, there are still
vast differences in the popularity
of social networks.
This is according to the State
of the Mobile Web report drafted
by Opera Mini which tracked data
from its servers to build a picture of
social media usage in more than 190
The study showed that most
countries have one extremely
dominant social network, but the
statistics also showed some interesting
ndings in certain countries where
the social-network diversity is
somewhat more signicant.
One such country is the innovative
and high-tech Estonia, where
the diversity of social networks
is remarkable compared to most
other countries. Estonia has a high
representation of both Facebook and
Twitter, as well as more regional
networks such as Odnoklassniki and
Other countries such as Israel and
Latvia also show a more diversied
distribution of visits to different
social networks.
Its no surprise that Facebook
tops the list of most popular social
networks globally, with 50.6 percent
of Opera Minis 194 million users
visiting Facebook at least once
during the month of October.
However, there are signicant
differences in the usage of different
social networks globally. In each
country surveyed, one network
usually is on top with a large majority
of users. Other social networks
usually get minor parts of the user
The top-ranking Facebook
territory, in terms of the percentage
of Opera Mini users who visit per
month, is surprisingly Macau, where
more than 90 percent of all Opera
Mini users visit Facebook at least
once per month.
In the Twitter top list of visitors,
Paraguay takes the lead ahead of
Japan. In terms of total user numbers,
and not only percentage of users,
Asian countries are on top of the
list for Facebook (Indonesia, India,
Nigeria, Mexico, Vietnam, South
Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Russia,
The top country list for Twitter
is remarkably similar: Indonesia
on top, followed by India, Nigeria,
Brazil, Russia, Mexico, South
Africa, Turkey, Kenya and the
Facebook and Twitter, are
the only social networks with
true global representation. For
Odnoklassniki, Russia and other
CIS countries make up the top
lists, both percentage-wise and in
raw usage numbers.
For Odnoklassniki, the top-ten
countries, based on unique users,
Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine,
Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan,
Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and
The popularity of Odnoklassniki
and vKontakte is inversely
proportional to Facebook and Twitter,
making these countries a challenge
for social networks originated in the
The same goes for China, where
the usage of social networks does
not follow the same patterns as other
countries. Inside China, the Chinese
social networks are dominant, but
outside they are practically non-
existent in the Opera Mini domain
Most countries have one dominant social network
Korean pop star Psys Gangnam Style,
which swept the world by storm this year, was
also the top trending video for the Philippines
in 2012, according to YouTube.
Being a country that loves music, most
of the trending videos in the Philippines
are music videos, with the exception of
the ofcial trailer of Marvels Avengers
Assemble, added YouTube.
Pinoys again proved that YouTube is an
effective platform to showcase talent and be
discovered, with the example of a YouTube
video featuring Zendee Rose Tenerefe
singing in a mall. The video, which gained
more than two million views, launched her
singing career.
Meanwhile, the top channel in the country
is the popular rap battle, FlipTop Battles.
Pinoys also showed their interest with Korean
music, with SMTown or S.M. Entertainment
and ofcialpsy cited in the top channels.
Top YouTube video in PH:
Gangnam Style by a mile
Top 10 trending videos
and top channels in the
1. PSY Gangnam Style: This
crazy Korean pop music video
surprised the world by becoming the
most viewed video of all time in just
six months.
2. Walk off the Earth: The
most-viewed cover song of 2012,
otherwise known as 5 people, 1
guitar attracted 140 million views
this year.
3. KONY 2012: For one week,
this was the most-shared video in the
world. The cause-based video was
Marchs top search and garnered the
most views ever for a YouTube video
in a single day (31 million).
4. Call Me Maybe Bieber, Gomez,
Pena: This video covering the song
of the summer kicked of a trend of
lip sync videos that spanned from the
Harvard baseball team and celebs to
Olympians and the President (sort of).
5. Epic Rap Battles Obama vs.
Romney: This episode, featuring
well-known Obama impersonator
Alphacat, is from YouTubes Epic
Rap Battles which drew over 250
million views this year (thats 25
million views per episode). It also
points to a larger 2012 trend: videos
of Obama and Romney were viewed
well over 2 billion times.
6. Dramatic Surprise: What
happens when you place a mysterious
sign in the middle of a Flemish
square? The world wanted to know
as this video brought in 25 million
views in the rst week it was posted,
with 10 different countries viewing it
over 1 million times each.
7. Why You Asking All Them
Questions: Comedian Emmanuel
Hudsons popularity exploded this
year, especially in the southern U.S.
with almost half of this videos 39
million views coming from mobile
8. Lindsey Sterling: Lindseys
trademark dubstep violin styles
created a lot of buzz this year-
especially in the U.S., Germany and
This video, which was shot by
fellow YouTube creator Devin
Graham, has over 500,000 likes and
9. Facebook Parenting: A fathers
reaction to his daughters Facebook
post set off a storm of controversy,
discussion, and response videos, with
11 million views in just one day.
10. Stratos Highlights: This live
stream of Felix Baumgartners free-
fall from 128,000 feet shattered
previous live stream records with
8 million concurrent views. Since
then, 14,000 videos have been posted
mentioning Felix Baumgartner and
the recording posted to YouTube has
attracted 30 million views.
Isah V. Red, Editor
Manila Standard TODAY
The specialized curriculum in-
cludes sessions on acting, singing,
and other skill sets relevant to todays
entertainment industry. This diverse
yet holistic approach to professional
learning is the touchstone for GMA
Artist Center (GMAAC) in its pursuit
of artistic excellence.
Stardom requires not only being
at the right place and time. One needs
to work hard, learn from the best, and
excel above the rest, explains David
Fabros, Head of Talent Development
in GMAAC. Fabros joins Head of
Talent Management Arsi Baltazar
and Head of Talent Imaging and
Marketing Simoun Ferrer, to cre-
ate a dynamic learning environment
rmly grounded in current industry
Artist training is at the forefront
of this massive endeavor and the
very able Faculty of the GMA Actors
League workshops includes some of
the industrys nest names. Illustri-
ous veterans such as directors Carlito
Siguion-Reyna, Mark Reyes, Joel
Lamangan, Gina Alajar, Maryo J.
Delos Reyes, Bodjie Pascua, Hero
Bautista, Fernando Josef, Leo Mar-
tinez, and respected actors Vangie
Labalan, Ron Burrus, Ana Feleo,
Roence Santos, and Flor Salanga, fa-
cilitated as mentors in Acting.
Film director and screenwriter
Maryo J. de los Reyes spearheaded
the Character Development Work-
shops, assisted by band frontman and
playwright Yan Yuzon and prolic
instructor Anna Ascalon-Soenen.
Discussions included topics such as
no-acting kind of acting, con-
dent communications, practical lm
set experiences, professional collab-
orative attitudes, and other exciting
Louise delos Reyes, star of the
hit teleserye One True Love, relates
how the workshop radically changed
the way she looks at her profession.
Direk Maryo J. says that intention
in acting has to be clear and three-
dimensional. We can express sadness
or anger differently and more effec-
tively if we understand the intention
of the scene.
Primetime actor Alden Richards
speaks of one of his favorite work-
shop activities. I like the Relation-
ship Exercises as Ive become more
open to other people and made some
really good friends because of them.
For actress Kylie Padilla, the hon-
est feedback system can be surprising
and unexpected, but its where I learn
the most valuable lessons.
From discussing effective tech-
niques to practicing with seasoned
veterans, the artists see clearly how
the entertainment universe works.
The training program prepares the
professional actor for more demand-
ing roles, heightened versatility, and
intensied skills. To think criti-
cally, to always give our best, to love
our job, to be unique, and to be true
to oneself, are the greatest things I
learned from our workshops, relates
Kapuso artist Rita de Guzman.
As the actors primary tool
for his craft, voice gets a thor-
ough workout from U.P. Professor
Kitchie Molina. Expert instruc-
tors and singers Ronald Raz, Atek
Divine Lee
mad as hell
with Baron
ON Dec. 17, at the MVP (Man-
ny V. Pangilinan) Ball at the
Meralco Compound with TV 5
stars and celebrities, a witness
said that Baron was drunk and
gave a stolen kiss to Ang Lat-
ests Divine Lee.
Baron denies the accusation.
There are people putting me
down now that my career is do-
ing well.
Divine is mad, saying. Mag-
pagaling na lang siya (Baron)
sa sakit niya. Helpless siya!
Meanwhile, former Binib-
ining Pilipinas-Universe 1998
Jewel Lobaton, ex-wife of
Senator Koko Pimentel told
the entertainment press that she
and Koko had marital problems
even before they separated.
Jewel is supportive of Koko
and admitted that they are now
in good terms. We dont have
problems regarding child cus-
tody. Our two children know
what happened between me and
Koko. With our separation (le-
gal procedure is on the process)
were closer than before, she
She added that after the split-
up she moved to a two level
home in San Lorenzo in Makati.
My husband still gives nan-
cial support for our children.
Taked to Carlos Agassi at
the Intercon Hotel during the
Christmas Party of Calayan Sur-
gicenter .
He told us that he is getting
married to a half-Welsh and
half-Kapampangan, a product
of Bayo, Margo Midwinter
whom Amir met at a grocery in
Rockwell. Margo on the other
hand is a friend of Jericho Ro-
sales girlfriend.
What a coincidence. At rst
I did not introduce myself as a
showbiz celebrity or artista.
Wala lang. Then she met Echos
girl at sa kanya niya nalaman
kung sino ako, he informed us.
Carlos is in love and is now
planning to marry Margo in two
places in a year as planned. She
wants us to get married in Wales
and here in Manila, he added.
At the moment, after giv-
ing Margo their engagement
Diamond ring (price and carats
undisclosed) by early next year
both lovers are all-set for the
preparation of their wedding.
Im excited. Shes the rst
girlfriend Ive introduced to my
Mom and so far, they like her,
Carlos said.
SHORTCUTS: Guess who
this young and talented actor
whose acting career is gone to
waste. Rumors say that aside
from being a drunk, he also
takes cocaine. Our source told
us: He now looks like an ad-
dictThis Sexy Hunk-actor
when tipsy with alcohol can be
too horny. Pwede siya sa bad-
ing kahit libre. Just make sure
hindi ka mahuhuli ng girlfriend
niya, an informer told us
Congresswoman Lani Merca-
do is used to showbiz gossips
and intrigues. But in politics,
Im trying to adjust and get
used to itTwo thumbs up for
local celebrities Anne Curtis
and Jennlyn Mercado (once
a victim of violence by for-
mer boyfriend Dennis Trillo)
for helping promote One Bil-
lion Rising on Feb. 14 of next
year. The event is a campaign
for the public consciousness to
stop Violence against Women
in the world. The two local ce-
lebrities are now in the same
ranks of Robert Redford and
the Dalai Lama who support
the worldwide campaign
Ruffa Gutierrez, another
victim of physical abuse (by
former husband Yilmaz Bek-
tas) should be part of this
advocacyXian Lim was
seen at Shangri-La Mall with
a male shopping companion.
Our source is curios if the
male companion is straight,
bi or gay
GMA artists
DESIGNED to further enrich an actors skills in the
multi-faceted eld of the performing arts, the intensive
three-month GMA League of Artists Character
Development course integrates several performance
disciplines for various media platforms.
Jacinto, Rhina Palma-Cruz, and
Zebedee Zuniga facilitated other
vocal training sessions. Professional
choreographers Sherwin Ordonez,
Miggy Tanchangco (Party Pilipi-
nas), Danny Vinculado, Donald
Valbuena, and Ana Ignacio (Ballet
Philippines) conducted dance and
movement sessions. Sandy Hon-
tiveros, GMAACs creative consul-
tant since 2011, personally oversees
the dance training workshop. Aside
from learning the fundamentals, the
participants experience rst-hand
the demands of dance as an art form
as they take on different styles.
Being in the spotlight also entails ef-
fectively conveying thoughts and feel-
ings to viewers. Speech coaches from
Ahead Pro and American Institute of
English Prociency put the Kapuso art-
ists through scores of grammar and pho-
netic exercises to enhance their com-
munication skills. Supplementing this
was a Hosting Workshop from three-
time Aliw Awardee for Stage Direction
Freddie Santos. One of GMA Artist
Centers primes, Rocco Nacino con-
fesses, I learned that I immensely enjoy
hostinganother avenue I know I can
now take. Just like an iPhone, an update
comes around and we have to update
ourselves through the workshops.
To develop a deeper understanding
of an actors craft, Classes on Film and
Culture Appreciation showcased note-
worthy performances from renowned
Hollywood and local lms. Multi-
awarded director and screenwriter Jose
Javier Reyes and television director
Mark Reyes were invited to conduct
open forums during these sessions. Oth-
er classes included capsule sessions on
Public Relations (with Shirley Pizzaro
and Lolit Solis), Social Media Utiliza-
tion (Carlos Palma), and Styling and
Make-up (with Jim Ryan Ros, Verna
Marin, Miel Villamor and Sydney
Yap). I really look forward to more ad-
vanced workshops in character develop-
ment and courses like martial arts and
extreme sports next time, shares tween
GMA star Bea Binene.
With the right mix of immersive
educational experience, the best in-
dustry practices, and a nurturing tal-
ent development program, the GMA
Artist Center sets the stage for its
resident artists professional success
and in securing prime stature in the
local entertainment scene, now and
in years to come.
Whats up
New independent lm competition
CineFilipino ofcially announced that
the dates for the much-anticipated lm
festival have been moved to June 26
to July 2.
Launched on Aug. 17 last year,
CineFilipino received almost 150 full
length scripts for its Feature-Length
Filmmakers Section. Because of the
high number of submissions, the deci-
sion was made to extend the delibera-
tion process to devote sufcient time
for each submitted work.
We were pleasantly surprised by
the tremendous support we got from the
Filipino lm community, says Cine-
Filipino Festival Director Vincent Ne-
brida. Our festival staff and selection
committee members are meticulously
reviewing all 146 entries. Moving our
festival date ensures that theres enough
time for diligent evaluation and review
and that nothing is rushed.
He also added, Whats even better
is that there is now ample time for these
projects to be produced in the best pos-
sible fashion. Its great to have enough
time for prep work, and of course, even
more time for principal photography
and the necessary post work.
According to Nebrida, the Top
Eight nalists will be announced on
Jan. 10. Each of the eight nalists
will be granted P 1.5 million to pro-
duce their work. On the other hand,
students can still submit their short
lms until March 29.
For further updates, visit www. and www.facebook.
Sen. Koko Pimentels advocacy
for voter registration recently gar-
nered the Adobo Magazines Ad of
the Month for November-December
this year.
The ad, which humorously features a
zombie attempting to register as living
voter, has been getting global compli-
ments on delivering a political advocacy
message without the usual elements.
Adobo Magazine is the countrys
leading publication for the advertis-
ing and marketing community. The
Ad of the Month is chosen among
the thousands of local ads released
monthlyfrom every medium and
every category. The selection is de-
cided on by the most respected cre-
ative and strategic minds in the local
ad industry. Read the feature in Ado-
bo Magazines November-December
2012 issue out now.
Development program for
Top tandem Kris Bernal and AljurAbrenica went through rigid drama training
before they started production with the TV series Coffee Prince.
Lead actresses Bela Padilla and Sarah Lahbati
learns a little of ballet and other dance forms dur-
ing the Dance Workshops, under Sandy Hontive-
ros and Danny Vinculado.
GMA Artists Enzo Pineda, Bianca Umali, Rita de Guzman, Maricris
Garcia, Louise de los Reyes, Steven Silva, Rhian Ramos, Rocco Nacino,
Kim Komatsu, Lyndt Johnson, Gwen Zamora, are joined by their dance
workshop trainers for this casual group shot inside the studio.
The GMA League of Artists workshop facilitators Yan Yuzon, Maryo J. de los
Reyes, Anna Soenen, Roence Santos, Freddie Santos, Sandy Hontiveros and
Danny Vinculado are joined by the Talent Development team, and their artist
students Rocco Nacino, Benjamin Alves, Mark Herras, and Sheena Halili.
Chynna Ortaleza, Dion Ignacio, Francesca Farr, Dominic Roco, Sarah Lahbati, and Aicelle Santos take on jazz during dance