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Ex-con background drove Floyd to slap Manny dummy, says Pacquiao

  Manny Pacquiao understands what drove Floyd Mayweather to do the "abnormal act" of slapping a dummy, supposedly of the Filipino eight-division world champion, twice and posting it on Instagram.   The family background of the unbeaten American has something to do with his resentment of Pacquiao, whom he beat in their blockbuster encounter on May 2 in Las Vegas, according to the fighting congressman from Sarangani.   READ:Mayweather slaps 'Manny' the dummy, says he's just having fun "We should understand Floyd Mayweather because of his family background," Pacquiao said in a text message to the Inquirer, in reaction to Mayweather's post Wednesday. "He ...

Keep on reading: Ex-con background drove Floyd to slap Manny dummy, says Pacquiao

NCAA: Letran blasts JRU to earn early top spot

If there are still doubts on Letran's potential with coach Aldin Ayo in tow, maybe the Knights' convincing 78-62 win over JRU should silence all those naysayers. The rout gave Letran its second victory in as many games to put the Intramuros-squad at the top of the standings in the NCAA Season 91 men's basketball tourney at the Arena in San Juan on Friday. "We really worked hard for it," said Ayo, who preached Letran its controlled aggression to take the W for the second straight outing. Rey Nambatac showed the way for the Knights this time out with 25 points on a 4-of-8 shooting from threes, as Kevin Racal finally made his presence felt with 15 markers. Mark Cruz added 12 poi...

Keep on reading: NCAA: Letran blasts JRU to earn early top spot

AFP gives conflicting figures on NPA strength

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) released on Friday conflicting figures of the strength of the New People's Army (NPA), which they claimed to be declining because of their combat operations and development projects. AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc first said in a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo that there were about 4,433 communist rebels as of last quarter 2014. For the first quarter of 2015, the NPA figures were down to 4,092 members, Cabunoc said. He said 340 NPA members were neutralized from the first quarter of 2015 to present while 166 firearms were recovered from the rebels. He also said 58 provinces had been declared "peaceful and rea...

Keep on reading: AFP gives conflicting figures on NPA strength

Land claims, sinkholes peril relocation of Benguet slide victims

BAGUIO CITY--New settlers have replaced some survivors of the 2009 storm-triggered landslide at Little Kibungan in Puguis village in La Trinidad, Benguet, where 77 people were killed, but the relocation site for the victims there has still not been developed. La Trinidad Mayor Edna Tabanda said the town government's relocation plans have been obstructed by land claimants and sinkholes found in the relocation site, which was segregated by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from the Benguet State University (BSU) reservation. Tabanda said the municipal government has been busy addressing the mushrooming of buildings near the Little Kibungan landslide, despite a warning from the...

Keep on reading: Land claims, sinkholes peril relocation of Benguet slide victims

Pupils hit by ‘toxic’ gum leave hospital; did not attend classes

SAN CARLOS CITY---Classes at the Guelew Integrated School in Barangay Guelew here resumed on Friday, although many students downed by bad chewing gum a day earlier were absent, according to a school official. Except for one student, all 62 students admitted at the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital (PPH) had been discharged, said Augusto Cayabyab, school principal. "Many are absent today. Maybe they are still resting. Besides, it's already Friday so they may have decided to just come to school on Monday (July 6) instead," said Cayabyab. Dr. Edwin Guinto, city health officer, said 117 pupils were taken to hospitals here on Thursday for suspected food poisoning after they took fruit-f...

Keep on reading: Pupils hit by ‘toxic’ gum leave hospital; did not attend classes

Kiefer Ravena confirms breakup with La Salle’s Mika Reyes—report

Amid lingering breakup speculations over the past months, Ateneo basketball star Kiefer Ravena on Thursday confirmed his split with La Salle Lady Spiker Mika Reyes, a report by Philippine Entertainment Portal said. Asked on the status of their relationship, Ravena said: "Well, hindi na kami." Ravena, however, refused to disclose details regarding the breakup. "But the story regarding how it happened, I don't want to talk about that," he told entertainment reporters. A hesitant Ravena made the confirmation in a press conference for a new television show. "I'm just not in the position to talk about it. It'll be better if it comes from her," he said. Ravena also denied rum...

Keep on reading: Kiefer Ravena confirms breakup with La Salle’s Mika Reyes—report

DOJ finishes probe on Kentex fire, to release report soon

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has finished its review on the findingsof an inter-agency task force that investigated the Kentex factory fire in Valenzuela City that killed 72 people on May 13. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, in a text message on Friday, said she had received the report of thespecialpanel of prosecutors tasked to evaluate findings and come up with recommendations based on evidence gathered in the report of Inter-Agency Anti-Arson TaskForce (IATF) composed of the Department of the Interior and LocalGovernment, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, andNational Bureau of Investigation. "I am now reviewing the report and might release it either next ...

Keep on reading: DOJ finishes probe on Kentex fire, to release report soon

WikiLeaks’ Assange seeks asylum in France; president says no

PARIS --- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has failed in a bid to win asylum in France. Assange wrote a letter to French President Francois Hollande published in Le Monde on Friday, appealing to France's history as a beacon for the repressed. He noted that WikiLeaks recently revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on Hollande and his two predecessors. Hollande quickly said "no" to the request. In a statement, his office noted that Assange is under a European arrest warrant and his life is not in imminent danger. The exchange came after prominent French voices, including soccer legend Eric Cantona and economist Thomas Piketty, appealed for France to grant Assange ...

Keep on reading: WikiLeaks’ Assange seeks asylum in France; president says no

BP to pay record $18.7 billion to states affected by spill

  NEW ORLEANS --- More than five years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history fouled beaches, coated seabirds in thick goo and threatened delicate marshes, BP has agreed to pay a record settlement to affected states in hopes of bringing an end to a legal drama that has cost the company billions. BP and five coastal states announced a deal Thursday to provide $18.7 billion in new money to the states. The company said the settlement would bring its full obligations to an estimated $53.8 billion. The Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 rig workers and spewed millions of gallons of crude. Federal and state government officials touted the record-breaking ...

Keep on reading: BP to pay record $18.7 billion to states affected by spill

SC priority: Resolution of pending 2013 election-related cases

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said the Supreme Court is prioritizing the resolution of pending 2013 election related cases as part of preparations for the 2016 polls. "We have decided that we will really prioritize them, and we are working on them. We are trying to make sure that if we can dispose of everything that has to do with the past elections, we will do that," Sereno told reporters in an interview on Thursday. Asked if the high court could resolve all pending cases before next year's election, she said "I think, yes, in a very reasonable time we will be able to do that... The filing [of Certificates of Candidacy] starts in October, so we are making preparations." Th...

Keep on reading: SC priority: Resolution of pending 2013 election-related cases

Aquino orders DOJ to probe entry of fake rice from China

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will investigate the entry of fake rice from China upon the orders of President Benigno Aquino III. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Friday said she would create a task force to conduct the investigation. "I've been directed by the President to look into that. I will constitute a task force to investigate that," De Lima said in a text message to reporters on Friday. She said she would coordinate with Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Kiko Pangilinan in conducting the investigation. Aside from that, De Lima said she would also ask the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and probably the Philippine Nation...

Keep on reading: Aquino orders DOJ to probe entry of fake rice from China

AFP releases conflicting figures on NPA strength

MANILA, Philippines - The military released on Friday conflicting figures of the strength of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the country after the media quest

‘Egay’ slightly intensifies; signal No. 1 up in 6 areas

  Tropical storm ''Egay'' (international name: Linfa) slightly intensified and slowed down as it moved closer to Northern Luzon on Friday afternoon. The storm packed maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 90 kph, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said. Storm Signal No. 1 was raised in Northern Aurora, Quirino, Isabela, Cagayan including Calayan and Babuyan group of Islands. Egay, last located 445 kilometers east of Baler, moved 10 kph north northwest. The storm will bring moderate to heavy rains within its 400-kilometer diameter. Pagasa warned fishermen and thos...

Keep on reading: ‘Egay’ slightly intensifies; signal No. 1 up in 6 areas

DOJ forms task force vs price fixing, supply manipulation

The Department of Justice on Friday created a task force to stop cartels from manipulating supplies and price fixing of goods such as onions and garlic. In a statement, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima also urged the Supreme Court to establish courts specializing on competition cases. "Effective anti-cartel enforcement requires a dedicated unit equipped with the necessary tools and capacity to handle the complex nature of competition cases," De Lima said. "We also recommended to the Supreme Court the designation of specialized courts to hear and decide competition cases," she said. The task force will be composed of five members from the DOJ's National Prosecution Service (NPS...

Keep on reading: DOJ forms task force vs price fixing, supply manipulation

PAL passenger dies mid-flight

  A passenger died on board a Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight from Abu Dhabi to Manila, the flagship carrier said on Friday.   "The PAL flight from Abu Dhabi to Manila had to be diverted to Bombay. This was a case of death on board, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna told INQUIRER.net in a text message.   Villaluna said the diverted flight was set to arrive in Manila Friday night after being given a clearance. "Our airport and customer relations team are on standby for the arrival of the flight carrying the remains."   She said the family of the passenger has been informed of the incident. "Our airport and customer relations team will be assist...

Keep on reading: PAL passenger dies mid-flight

Jiro wants to see grandma in Japan; wounds self-inflicted–stepdad

A seemingly depressed Jiro Manio went to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) on Tuesday hoping to see his grandmother living in Japan who would not really arrive, the multi-awarded actor's foster father said on Thursday. "Iniisip niya na darating ang 'mommy lola' niya. Hindi naman po dadating talaga 'yun eh, nasa Japan po," said Andrew Manio in an interview with "Aquino and Abunda Tonight." The older Manio said a misunderstanding with the young actor had prompted the latter to leave their home in Cainta, Rizal. * Multi-awarded actor Jiro Manio now roaming Naia for food, clothes "Medyo po nagkasamaan kami ng loob kaya umalis siya ng bahay. Nag-iisip siya. Sabi k...

Keep on reading: Jiro wants to see grandma in Japan; wounds self-inflicted–stepdad

UP Alyansa expels student council chair, calls for resignation over frat violence

Campus political party UP Alyansa has expelled University Student Council Chairman JP Delas Nieves from its ranks over fraternity-related violence at the University of the Philippines in Diliman two weeks ago.

BIR seizes over 42,000 unstamped cigarette packs in Batangas City

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has confiscated over 42,000 packs of locally made and imported cigarettes in Batangas City that lacked tax stamps. In a statement on Friday, the BIR said the illegal products were found in three establishments supplying as well as selling cigarettes last June 26. BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares ordered the conduct of the operation. "Uncovered in the course of the extended search were imported cigarettes such as RGD, D&B and Farstar being sold but are not registered with the BIR for distribution or sale in the Philippines," the tax-collection agency disclosed. The 94 boxes that the BIR seized contained 37,305 packs of imported ciga...

Keep on reading: BIR seizes over 42,000 unstamped cigarette packs in Batangas City

Philippines sends top execs to South China Sea arbitration

MANILA, Philippines - A high delegation of Filipino officials will attend next week the start of the oral arguments on the Philippines's arbitration case aga

AP Exclusive: China Ministry posted bootleg ‘Liar’s Poker’

SHANGHAI --- A complete bootlegged copy of Michael Lewis' bestselling book about Wall Street, "Liar's Poker," was hosted on the official website of the Chinese Commerce Ministry, the agency responsible for intellectual property protection in China, The Associated Press has found. How and why a PDF, in English, of Lewis' raucous memoir about the excesses of Wall Street in the 1980s ended up on the ministry's site remains a mystery. The ministry did not respond to multiple requests for comment this week, but on Friday morning removed the page from their website. China has a long and troubled history with copyright infringement. Despite high-level attempts to bolster enforcement, ...

Keep on reading: AP Exclusive: China Ministry posted bootleg ‘Liar’s Poker’

Palace: Officials addressing issues hounding ‘high risk’ Naia

Another unflattering tag has landed at the Philippines' main airport.   From being named as the "world's worst airport," the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) has been tagged by the International Air Transport Association as a "high risk" airport.   The IATA is an association of various airlines all over the world, including the Philippine Airlines. In a report titled "Immediate and long-term priorities for Manila Airports," IATA said it was concerned with the "safety of ground movement operations and management of the airside infrastructure at Naia."   The report said Naia was "routinely characterized" by various airlines as one of the hig...

Keep on reading: Palace: Officials addressing issues hounding ‘high risk’ Naia

Imelda wants Bongbong for president

MANILA, Philippines - For her 86th birthday, former First Lady Imelda Marcos wished that her son, Sen.

China: Philippines's arbitration case a political provocation

MANILA, Philippines - Beijing reiterated that it will not participate in the arbitration case filed by the Philippines in relation to the maritime dispute ov

Singapore Airlines unveils new SilverKris lounge in Manila

Manila, Philippines -- Singapore Airlines has unveiled its new-concept SilverKris Lounge in Manila at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. Thoughtfully designed and modelled after elements of a home, the new 'home away from home' concept SilverKris Lounge is part of Singapore Airlines' ongoing program to upgrade all its airport lounges around the world. Designed by renowned interior design firm ONG&ONG following extensive customer research, the new SilverKris Lounge features tailored personal spaces that offer a sense of 'being home', specially curated art pieces as well as a culinary spread that provide a taste of both Singapore and the Philippines. Comprehensiv...

Keep on reading: Singapore Airlines unveils new SilverKris lounge in Manila

PNoy orders probe on Ormoc sea mishap as deaths climb to 38

MANILA, Philippines - The number of fatalities in the capsizing of M/B Kim Nirvana near the port of Ormoc, Leyte has climbed to 38, the Philippine Coast Guar

Carpio: Even if PH wins case vs China, struggle will continue

Even if the Philippines wins its case in the international tribunal, its territorial dispute with China will be a long struggle, Supreme Court's Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said Thursday.   From July 7 to 13, the Philippines will face thePermanent Arbitration Court to argue China's position that the Court has no jurisdiction to act on the Philippine government's complaint before the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.   The Arbitral Tribunal will also consider other matters concerning its jurisdiction and the admissibility of the Philippines' claims. The Arbitral Court is expected to issue a ruling by August or September.   Th...

Keep on reading: Carpio: Even if PH wins case vs China, struggle will continue

'Egay' maintains strength, signal no. 1 up in Isabela, Cagayan

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED 4.41 p.m.) - Tropical storm "Egay" maintained its strength and is forecasted to move northwest, according to th

Congress to probe alleged smuggling, proliferation of synthetic rice

MANILA, Philippines - The committees on agriculture in both houses of Congress will separately conduct inquiries into the reported smuggling and proliferatio

Petilla turns over DOE portfolio today

MANILA, Philippines - Barring last-minute changes, outgoing Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla is expected to turn over the energy portfolio to Undersec

Bongbong seeks inquiry on power plant shutdowns

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is suspicious about the unscheduled shutdown of 10 power plants serving the Luzon grid.

Plugged-in laptop left unattended, causes fire in Caloocan

A laptop that was left unattended while it was still being charged has caused a fire in Caloocan City, GMA News' "24 Oras" reported on Thursday.

Video shows police started Makati City Hall scuffle, Binay camp claims

The camp of suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay on Thursday showed the media a cellphone video that supposedly shows police authorities started the scuffle that erupted outside the city hall before the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) was able to post the suspension order two days ago.

NFA inspects Quezon City rice store over suspected synthetic rice

The National Food Authority on Thursday looked into what residents in Novaliches in Quezon City said could be synthetic rice, which has raised similar complaints in Davao City.

Police officer claims VP Binay wants to apologize in person

The ranking police officer who had a heated confrontation with Vice President Jejomar Binay early this week said the country's second most powerful person is trying to make amends with him for the incident.

NBI nabs Iranian accused of raping 16-yr-old girl

The National Bureau of Investigation on Thursday arrested an Iranian national accused of raping a 16-year-old girl.

Mayor Binay to ‘apolitical’ Ombudsman Morales: Your actions speak otherwise

Suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay on Thursday scored Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales anew for supposedly "showing partiality" on the corruption allegations against their family. 

Makati City Hall back to normal as Peña takes the helm

It's back to business at the Makati City Hall as it opened its doors with acting Mayor Romulo "Kid" Peña Jr. at the helm.

Bystanders using NAIA 3 as temporary shelter not unusual, says manager

Much like shopping malls but open 24/7. This was how airport manager Engr. Octavio Lina described NAIA Terminal 3 when asked how former multi-awarded child actor Jiro Manio was able to wander inside the terminal for several days.

LOOK: VP Binay lauded Jamias in 1999, wanted to clone cop in Makati standoff

"If there were more of your kind in the police service, I'm sure that the country would be such a peaceful place to live and work in," Binay said then in the commendation letter dated July 8, 1999. "How I wish we can clone outstanding people like you," he added.

1 hurt in EDSA road rage shooting

A passenger was wounded after an irate motorist fired a gun at them in yet another road rage incident, this time in the middle of the EDSA Ortigas Flyover on Monday, a report on "24 Oras" said Wednesday.

Kid Peña vows sanctions vs. defiant Makati officials

Acting Makati Mayor Romulo "Kid" Peña, Jr. warned city officials that they will face the consequences under the law if they will refuse to recognize his authority as the local chief executive in lieu of the suspended Mayor Junjun Binay.

Makati City Hall on lockdown; operations to resume when acting Mayor Peña takes over

Even before suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay temporarily stepped down from office, the police placed the Makati City Hall under lockdown in response to information that certain groups are planning to cause a commotion there.

Successive UP fires highlight campus' lack of fire measures –report

Citing a Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) official, the USC urged the UP administration to provide adequate measures against future fires. 

SC suspends work in Makati courts; mobile courts on standby

The Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended work at all Makati courts as portions of the Makati City Hall, which houses the courts, remained inaccessible following the standoff caused by the suspension of Mayor Junjun Binay.

Will Same-Sex Marriage Ever Happen in the Philippines?

The United States Supreme Court has finally put its stamp of approval on same-sex unions. This following similar actions by governments in many other first-world democracies around the globe. The high court agreed with the argument that marriage is a very important institution in society. And to deny it to a certain group simply because of their sexual orientation is overtly discriminatory. And when you think about it, the court’s ruling makes perfect sense—whether or not one is gay or straight. In properly functioning democracies (like the U.S.) everyone is equal under the law ...

Who Should be the Next President of the Philippines?

Make no mistake, the next elections will be one of the most important—if not the most important—elections the country will ever have. Never since the Philippines gained self-determination in 1946 has it faced such an existential threat from a hostile foreign country as it now faces from China ...

Pope’s Encyclical May Finally Get Filipinos to Change their Evil Environmental Ways

Pope Francis is about to issue an encyclical on climate change. The 200-page papal letter to Catholic bishops worldwide warns of "unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem" by the end of this century unless drastic changes are made to avert it. This encyclical could not have come any sooner for the Philippines ...

Congress Wants Gloria Arroyo on House Arrest, Seriously?

When President Benigno Aquino III, wasn’t looking (he was in Japan), the House of Representatives quickly passed a resolution urging the Sandiganbayan court to allow house arrest for detained Pampanga Representative and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Since October of 2012, Arroyo, has been detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, on plunder charges for the misuse of nearly $9 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds ...

Grace Poe for Philippine President? Not So Fast!

She is photogenic, carries herself well, and Filipinos all seem to love her. The question to ask though is whether the well-liked lady senator is ready to be the next president? Filipinos it seems have a penchant for electing young “celebrities” with zero experience into positions of power, then simply hope for the best with “bahala na ang Dios.” Look at all the entertainers-turned-politicians who are now mayors, governors, senators and congressmen. None of them has truly stood out to the amazement and wonder of cynics like us. Most manage to simply muddle through…at best. Why, because they are simply not cut-out for the job ...

Filipinos Need to Stand Tall In the Face of Chinese Aggression

President Aquino made the right move by going to Japan to bolster Philippine-Japanese cooperation. While he might be “preaching to the choir” as far as the Japanese are concerned, he nonetheless needs to communicate the graveness of the situation the Philippines currently faces. More than any other country in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is the one most threatened by China’s “salami slicing” tactic of encroachment: taking over one small island after another in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) ...

Rodrigo Duterte Must Never Become President of the Philippines

After consistently maintaining that he had no intentions to seek higher office, Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte hinted that he might actually make a run for the presidency. Mayor Duterte appears to be giving the "finger" to his detractorsThere was no mention of those lofty intentions that most candidates for president "parrot" when they make that fateful announcement. Nothing about God, or country or making life better for future generations. Instead Duterte said he “might” run for president simply because we was annoyed by the criticisms being leveled against him by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Etta Rosales ...

How Filipinos Can Stop China Now

The future of Filipinos will be nothing like their past. Each and every Filipino must realize this. The proverbial lackadaisical “Juan Tamad” lying under a guava tree in an idyllic Amorsolo painting-like setting will no longer exist. Instead a new reality like that of ancient Sparta or modern-day Israel will pervade. China is growing stronger every day and they are quickly turning into an aggressive, tyrannical power. Like Sparta and Israel, the Philippines will be in a constant state of siege for the foreseeable future. If the Philippines is to survive as an independent country, it has to do something…now ...

Pacman's Gamble

The world now knows that while training for his May 2 “Fight of the Century” with undefeated world welterweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao suffered a shoulder injury. According to his trainer, Freddie Roach, this mishap occurred on April 4 in a sparring session when he threw a right hook and his arm “got entangled with those of his sparring partner” ...

Chinese Military Bases Under Construction on Philippine Reefs Must be Destroyed Now!

This is the reality: China’s military leaders are rushing the construction of military bases in six different reef areas inside the Philippines’ exclusive 200 mile economic zone. The Philippines is doing nothing to immediately stop it. In a year’s time, these bases will practically be completed. Once they are completed fighter planes, bombers, helicopters, missiles and heavily armed warships will be stationed there. It will then be practically impossible to remove them ...

Is Vice President Jejomar Binay the Manchurian Candidate?

It was made into two classic films, the first with Frank Sinatra in 1962 and the second with Denzel Washington in 2004. “The Manchurian Candidate”, the 1959 best-selling novel by Richard Condon, told the tale of a group of American soldiers captured during the Korean War who were taken to Manchuria, China where they were brainwashed by Chinese officials. After they were released by their captors, the soldiers were hailed as heroes in the US. One of them, Raymond Shaw, became the Manchurian candidate, the sleeper assassin at the beck and call of the Chinese Communists ...

Pacmania Sweeps the World

Walk down any big city in the Philippines and you feel the excitement gripping everyone; men and women, boxing aficionados or not. Sunday’s match (Manila-time) between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will have the country, glued to screens, large and small in major metropolitan areas as well as far-flung rural barrios. In fact, it is not just the Philippines, but the entire world that will be watching this long-awaited duel between two of today’s biggest boxing giants. In Mexico home to boxing greats like Érik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Márquez, and Oscar De La Hoya to name a few, the fight will be aired live for free on Mexico City television ...

Mary Jane Veloso’s Execution Will Only Highlight the Dysfunction of Filipino Society

On the 28th of April, the Indonesian government will execute Filipina Mary Jane Veloso by firing squad. For this luckless young woman, it will be the culmination of a life that from the beginning, had been dealt a losing hand. First and foremost, she was born a Filipino. In a country where according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) study, 18 million live on 50 pesos or less a day, her chances of being born into poverty were a lot greater than if she was born in Europe or North America—or even in other countries in Southeast Asia ...

There Will Never be Lasting Peace with the Bangasamoro Basic Law

It is incomprehensible to many that despite all the negatives piling up against it, the Aquino administration is still pushing for Congress to ratify the Bangasamoro Basic Law (BBL). First and foremost, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with whom the Philippine government entered into an agreement with, massacred 44 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who were serving an arrest warrant on an international terrorist. Because the SAF officers were in what the rebels perceive as “their” territory provided the Moros with the excuse they needed to savagely slaughter the group. This incident, known as the Mamasapano Massacre occurred shortly after the Moros and the Aquino administration signed the BBL ...

Is Manny Pacquiao Giving Floyd Mayweather an Unfair Advantage?

Doctor Expedito Castillo, a retired internist with training in sports medicine thinks so. Castillo who lives in New York points out that Los Angeles—where Manny Pacquiao now trains for his May 2nd fight, and Las Vegas—where Floyd Mayweather trains and where the boxing match will take place, have enormous differences in terms of elevation. Los Angeles is just 233 feet above sea-level, while Las Vegas is a whopping 2,000 feet above sea-level ...

Just When You Thought Filipino Cops Were the Worst, Here Come US Cops

What in the world has happened to cops in the United States? It seems that today only psychotic, unstable, individuals are joining the police U.S. police force this days. People from all across the globe were more than willing to give American cops the benefit of the doubt, at first. But in instance after instance, from Ferguson, MS and the killing of Michael Brown, a young black man who witnesses say was unarmed and posed no threat at all to police; to today’s cold-blooded murder of Walter F. Scott, 50 by South Carolina police officer Michael T. Slager, 33. Mr. Scott had been stopped by Officer Slager for—of all things—a busted taillight. But as Scott turned and fled, he was fired at 8 times by the officer and died on the spot ...

NPA Celebrates 46 Years of Destroying the Philippines

Founded by Bernabe Buscayno, or “Kumander Dante” as he was more commonly known, the New People’s Army founded on March 29, 1969 celebrates it 46th year of existence. From less than 40 founding members and a handful of rifles, the NPA grew to over 26,000 in the 1980s. Today however the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) places NPA membership at less than 5,000 nationwide. That number is expected to dwindle even further as progress and education creep in to the far-flung towns and barrios that were once breeding grounds for recruits ...

Lee Kuan Yew and Ferdinand Marcos, What a Difference!

An Australian living in the Philippines published a book titled: “The Unlucky Country. The Republic of the Philippines in the 21st Century.” The author Duncan McKenzie came up with the title as the counterpoint to “The Lucky Country” a book written in the mid-sixties that refers to Australia. In his book McKenzie explains that the Philippines is unlucky because, for starters, it is an archipelago and therefore naturally fragmented. In addition, it is a land plagued by “frequent disasters, both man-made and natural” ...

Will the Philippines Ever Speed Up Its Glacially-Slow Justice System?

We’ve all heard the saying “justice delayed is justice denied.” That maxim has been around since time immemorial. In fact the Pirkei Avot (Hebrew for “Ethics of the Fathers”) which dates back to the 1st century B.C. mentions an old rabbi saying that goes: “the sword comes into the world, because of justice delayed and justice denied." In 1215 A.D. a clause from the Magna Carta similarly declares that “to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice." ...

Amal Alamuddin Clooney Wants to Defend Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo...Why?

Okay so she's George Clooney's wife, she's got great looks, a law degree and ambitious enough to make a name for herself apart from that of her superstar husband. Fair enough. So Amal Alamuddin Clooney decides to take on high profile cases of injustice around the world. Even better. But filing a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Council on behalf of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? What's up with that? Better do your homework Mrs. Clooney. It won't take long for you to realize that Arroyo is getting exactly what she deserves ...

Manny Pacquiao Should Not Be Given a Tax Exemption

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has proposed a bill to grant Manny Pacquiao a special tax exemption for the income he will earn from his May 2nd boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pimentel justifies his bill as a "fitting tribute" to the Filipino eight-division world champion adding that "Manny is now part of our history and of world sports history. Let’s give him this tax incentive in recognition to his invaluable efforts to promote boxing and the country around the world"...

With Negotiators Like These on Our Team, Who Needs an Opposing Side?

What on earth happened to these two women—supposedly handpicked by the president himself to argue on behalf of the Philippine government in peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front—who now seem to be mouthpieces for the Moros? Have Secretary Teresita Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chair of the negotiating panel become mesmerized by the tough "macho" image the rebels project? Or have they been around these terrorists far too long that they're experiencing a "Stockholm-syndrome" like phenomenon? ...

Why is the NBI Going After Those Who Uploaded the Sagonoy Video?

According to NBI Director Virgilio Mendez, they have identified the individuals who uploaded the video showing the coldblooded killing of PO2 Joseph Sagonoy. The cellphone video was purportedly taken by Muslim rebels during the Jan. 25, 2014 encounter between the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel group. The video shows a wounded Sagonoy who is shot twice in the head at close range ...

Twice the Heroes—the SAF 44 Who Lost Lives in Mamasapano

The 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (SAF) who were brutally killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015 are heroes twice over: first, they paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country; second, they exposed for all to see, the dangers the country will face if the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is passed ...

No More Bangsamoro, Period!

With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly clear that the idea of a Bangsamoro is a bad idea. Just as the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) spearheaded by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was a bad idea (and declared unconstitutional in 2008 by the Supreme Court). Just as the failed Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during the 1990s was a bad idea ...

After the Mamasapano Massacre, Plans for a Bangsamoro Must Be Scrapped

What happened in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25 is a "game changer"—make no mistake about it. Reality as we saw it before this event is not the reality we see now...everything is different; everything has "changed. When the Philippine National Police's (PNP) elite team known as the Special Action Force or SAF set out to arrest Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, it had actionable intelligence that the Malaysian fugitive was hiding in the town of Mamasapano. Marwan, an expert bomb maker, is a core member of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah. He also has a USD 5 million bounty on his head as one of the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists ...

President Aquino Should Fly to Saudi Arabia and Pay His Last Respects to King Abdullah

Presidents and prime ministers, kings and queens; from Prince Charles and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, President Francois Hollande of France, President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and many other heads of state from all corners of the globe have gone or are headed to Riyadh to pay their respects to the late King Abdullah. Even U.S. President Barack Obama cut short his state visit to India to fly to Saudi Arabia ...