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EARTH DAY JAM<br />

LifestyleC1<br />

www.manilatimes.net<br />

★ ★<br />

Php15.00<br />

TUESDAY<br />

APRIL 27, 2010<br />

3 SECTIONS 16 PAGES<br />

VOL. 111 NO. 194<br />

Villar ‘one big liar’ – Erap<br />

Enrile: Some<br />

PSE officers<br />

protecting<br />

NP candidate<br />

BY FRANCIS EARL A. CUETO REPORTER<br />

FORMER President Joseph “Erap”<br />

Estrada on Monday called his rival for<br />

the presidency, Sen. Manuel “Manny”<br />

Villar Jr. of the Nacionalista Party (NP),<br />

“one big liar” for “covering up” his alleged<br />

shady deals with the Philippine S<strong>to</strong>ck<br />

Exchange (PSE) involving the Villarcontrolled<br />

Vista Land and Lifescape (VLL).<br />

Estrada considered Villar’s “biggest<br />

lie” his denial of charges that he pressured<br />

PSE board members <strong>to</strong> lift the<br />

lock-up rule on s<strong>to</strong>cks of VLL in 2007<br />

when the NP standard-bearer was still<br />

Senate president.<br />

“The incontrovertible fact is that<br />

Mr. Villar did [pressure the board<br />

members] and the s<strong>to</strong>ck exchange<br />

gave in <strong>to</strong> his request,” Estrada said<br />

during a press conference at the headquarters<br />

of the Pwersa ng Masang<br />

Pilipino (PMP).<br />

He maintained that Villar showed<br />

➤ErapA2<br />

■ Nanay Curing,<br />

the mother of<br />

Sen. Manuel<br />

“Manny” Villar Jr.,<br />

appeals <strong>to</strong> critics<br />

<strong>to</strong> s<strong>to</strong>p spreading<br />

lies about her son<br />

from her<br />

residence in Las<br />

Piñas City on<br />

Monday.<br />

PHOTO BY<br />

RENE H. DILAN<br />

Noynoy pads lead<br />

over Villar in survey<br />

BY ROMMEL C. LONTAYAO REPORTER<br />

WITH two weeks <strong>to</strong> go before election day, Sen. Benigno<br />

“Noynoy” Aquino 3rd has opened up a double-digit lead against<br />

closest rival, Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr., according <strong>to</strong> the<br />

latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).<br />

The survey, commissioned by BusinessWorld and conducted<br />

from April 16 <strong>to</strong> 19, 2010, gave Aquino 38 percent, for a 12-<br />

percent lead over Villar’s 26 percent. Six percent of the 2,400<br />

respondents were undecided.<br />

<strong>Comelec</strong> <strong>rethinks</strong><br />

<strong>manual</strong> <strong>poll</strong> <strong>count</strong><br />

➤SurveyA2<br />

BY BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON REPORTER<br />

NO WAY TO HACK RESULTS OF MAY VOTING – NTC<br />

BY DARWIN G. AMOJELAR SENIOR REPORTER<br />

WITH only 14 days <strong>to</strong> go before the May 2010<br />

elections, the National Telecommunications<br />

Commission (NTC) assured that there is no<br />

Lakas members leaving Gibo pseudo supporters<br />

BY JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA REPORTER<br />

Humans must<br />

avoid contact<br />

with aliens<br />

■ Stephen<br />

Hawking<br />

LONDON: Aliens<br />

may exist but<br />

mankind should<br />

avoid contact<br />

with them as the<br />

consequences<br />

could be devastating,<br />

British<br />

scientist Stephen<br />

Hawking warned Sunday (Monday<br />

in Manila).<br />

“If aliens visit us, the outcome<br />

would be much as when Columbus<br />

➤AliensA2<br />

way <strong>to</strong> hack results of this year’s <strong>poll</strong>s.<br />

“There’s no way <strong>to</strong> hack [the results] because<br />

it is a private network [that is behind<br />

the <strong>count</strong>ry’s first au<strong>to</strong>mated elections]. The<br />

network is encrypted,” Edgardo Cabarios,<br />

DAVAO CITY: A word war between Lakas-Kampi<br />

Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) standard-bearer<br />

Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro and<br />

House Speaker Prospero “Boy” Nograles Jr.<br />

continued and chances of the two patching<br />

things up seemed remote.<br />

NTC direc<strong>to</strong>r of common carrier and authorization<br />

department, said on Monday.<br />

Cabarios added that even telecommunication<br />

companies, or telcos, have no k<strong>now</strong>ledge<br />

Nograles fanned the flame on Monday by<br />

saying that members of the ruling party,<br />

Lakas-Kampi CMD, would soon leave<br />

<strong>Sec</strong>. <strong>Agra</strong> <strong>now</strong> <strong>back</strong> <strong>to</strong> <strong>fighting</strong> mood<br />

BY WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL REPORTER<br />

WITHOUT a trace of his earlier admission<br />

that he was a cry baby, acting<br />

Justice <strong>Sec</strong>retary Alber<strong>to</strong> <strong>Agra</strong><br />

was in a <strong>fighting</strong> mood on Monday.<br />

He vowed that he would not succumb<br />

<strong>to</strong> political pressure and critical<br />

public opinion that called for his<br />

resignation in connection with his<br />

controversial resolution that absolved<br />

Acting DOJ chief cheated in law school<br />

BY ANNIE RUTH SABANGAN<br />

PHILIPPINE CENTER FOR<br />

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM<br />

IT’S not every day that you see<br />

➤FightingA6<br />

subordinates publicly criticizing their<br />

boss, which is what acting Justice<br />

<strong>Sec</strong>retary Alber<strong>to</strong> <strong>Agra</strong> is experiencing<br />

as government prosecu<strong>to</strong>rs assail his<br />

recent decision <strong>to</strong> absolve two<br />

➤NTCA2<br />

➤SupportersA6<br />

■ Two men help<br />

each other in<br />

posting election<br />

materials in Del Pan<br />

Street in Tondo,<br />

Manila, with barely<br />

14 days before the<br />

May 10 <strong>poll</strong>s.<br />

PHOTO BY<br />

JESSIE LAURETA<br />

■ Acting Justice<br />

<strong>Sec</strong>retary<br />

Alber<strong>to</strong> <strong>Agra</strong><br />

during Monday’s<br />

flag-raising at<br />

the Department<br />

of Justice in<br />

Manila on<br />

Monday.<br />

PHOTO BY<br />

JESSIE LAURETA<br />

members of the Ampatuan clan over<br />

the grisly killings last November<br />

in Maguindanao.<br />

By all indications, <strong>Agra</strong> is not least<br />

➤CheatedA6<br />

THE Commission on Elections (<strong>Comelec</strong>) on Monday said that<br />

it needs more time <strong>to</strong> decide on whether it would conduct a<br />

parallel <strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong> for the <strong>count</strong>ry’s first au<strong>to</strong>mated elections<br />

on May 10.<br />

It was reacting <strong>to</strong> a proposal from the elite Makati Business<br />

Club (MBC) for such <strong>count</strong>, whose implementation it said<br />

might be harder than it looked.<br />

James Jimenez, <strong>Comelec</strong> spokesman, referred concerned<br />

groups and citizens pushing for the <strong>manual</strong> tally <strong>to</strong> logistical<br />

E-mail: icdemain@yahoo.com<br />

BY I. CAÑETE DEMAIN<br />

➤ManualA2<br />

THERE’S a YouTube video going around that’s sure <strong>to</strong> catch<br />

attention because it features Sir Ben Kingsley. The respected ac<strong>to</strong>r<br />

plays a bank direc<strong>to</strong>r who’s held up in a carpark by a gang of<br />

hoods. Under threat of being mugged or worse, he coughs up<br />

money for a cause—the Robin Hood Tax campaign.<br />

The novel tax is the brainchild of celebrity-leaders who want <strong>to</strong><br />

turn “the crisis in the banks in<strong>to</strong> an opportunity for good in the<br />

world.” They propose that governments levy a tiny tax (0.005<br />

percent <strong>to</strong> start off) on the financial transactions of banks, hedge<br />

funds and other finance institutions. (Financial transactions<br />

conducted by individuals will be exempt.) When levied on the<br />

billions of dollars moving daily round the global finance system, it<br />

could raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually. The money would<br />

then be used for vital investments in healthcare and education, and<br />

<strong>to</strong> aid the fight against global poverty and climate change.<br />

Sir Ben is the latest <strong>to</strong> join the band of global celebrities who are<br />

supporting the Robin Hood Tax. The activists include business<br />

bigwigs George Soros and Warren Buffet; economists Jeffrey Sachs<br />

and Joseph Stiglitz; ethicist Peter Singer; and ac<strong>to</strong>rs Bill Nighy, Emma<br />

Thompson and Sienna Miller. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown,<br />

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas<br />

Sarkozy have also batted for a tax on financial transactions.<br />

Why are banks in the crosshairs of these modern-day Robin<br />

Hoods? Because the world has suffered a major recession due <strong>to</strong><br />

the irresponsible acts of banks and financial institutions. The<br />

Robin Hood Tax will be a form of payment for the pain they caused,<br />

and a reminder for them not <strong>to</strong> do it again.<br />

REACH US AT:<br />

E-mail: newsboy1@manilatimes.net<br />

Tel. Nos.: 524-56-64 <strong>to</strong> 67<br />

Address: 371 A. Bonifacio Drive,<br />

Port Area, Manila 1018


A<br />

2<br />

news<br />

The Manila Times TUESDAY April 27, 2010<br />

54 percent of au<strong>to</strong>mated machines deployed<br />

BY BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON REPORTER<br />

WITH less than two weeks left<br />

before election day, the number<br />

of Precinct Count Optical Scan<br />

(PCOS) machines deployed nationwide<br />

has reached 41,817, a high-ranking official<br />

of the Commission on Elections (<strong>Comelec</strong>)<br />

said on Monday<br />

<strong>Comelec</strong> Commissioner Gregorio<br />

Larrazabal said that the figure ac<strong>count</strong>s<br />

for some 54 percent of the<br />

<strong>to</strong>tal election machines that must be<br />

deployed around the <strong>count</strong>ry for the<br />

first au<strong>to</strong>mated elections in the Philippine<br />

his<strong>to</strong>ry.<br />

“Delivery started in Visayas<br />

and Mindanao because they are<br />

farther. We will ship <strong>to</strong> Luzon<br />

during the few days before the<br />

elections,” Larrazabal said during<br />

a press conference.<br />

A report from the <strong>Comelec</strong><br />

showed that there are about<br />

35,279 PCOS machines deployed<br />

in hubs around Visayas and<br />

Mindanao while there are about<br />

6,538 in Luzon.<br />

The highest concentration of election<br />

machines is in Tacloban City,<br />

which ac<strong>count</strong>s for some 5,110<br />

PCOS units delivered by land.<br />

Most of the provinces received the<br />

PCOS units by sea through courier<br />

companies Ace Logistics for<br />

Mindanao and Argo Forwarders for<br />

Visayas. For Luzon, the <strong>poll</strong> body<br />

will make use of the services of<br />

Germalin Enterprises.<br />

Earlier, Aboitiz subsidiary 2Go<br />

Shipping Corp. <strong>back</strong>ed out from their<br />

deal with the joint venture of<br />

Smartmatic and Total Information<br />

Management (TIM) <strong>to</strong> ship the PCOS<br />

machines, ballots, ballots boxes and<br />

other election paraphernalia <strong>to</strong> different<br />

parts of the <strong>count</strong>ry.<br />

Big role for Smartmatic-TIM<br />

Smartmatic-TIM won the P7.2-billion<br />

<strong>poll</strong> au<strong>to</strong>mation project last<br />

year <strong>to</strong> supply some 82,200 PCOS<br />

machines. The joint venture was<br />

also tapped for the printing of the<br />

official ballots at the National Printing<br />

Office (NPO) in Quezon City<br />

and for the manufacturing of the<br />

ballot boxes.<br />

The Barbados-based firm is also<br />

the one responsible for the shipment<br />

of PCOS machines and other<br />

election paraphernalia <strong>to</strong> provinces<br />

nationwide.<br />

Based on the <strong>Comelec</strong> report, the<br />

following locations in the Visayas<br />

have received the PCOS machines:<br />

2,050 in Bacolod City; 3,208 in<br />

Iloilo City; 1,148 in Roxas City;<br />

3,063 in Cebu City; 1,327 in<br />

Tagbiliran City and 1,171 in<br />

Dumaguete City.<br />

For Mindanao, the breakdown is as<br />

follows: 1,738 in Zamboanga City;<br />

954 in Dipolog City; 4,218 in Cagayan<br />

de Oro City; 1,991 in Ozamis City;<br />

3,431 in Davao City; 1,750 in<br />

Cotaba<strong>to</strong> City; 1,975 in General<br />

San<strong>to</strong>s City; and 2,145 in Butuan City.<br />

In Luzon, the distribution<br />

breakdown is: 862 in Ilocos Sur;<br />

722 in La Union; 219 in Mountain<br />

Province; 30 in Batanes; 724 in<br />

Masbate; 289 in Romblon; 846 in<br />

Palawan, 1,093 in Legazpi City;<br />

and 343 in Catanduanes.<br />

Larrazabal said that some of the<br />

pre-printed official ballots are being<br />

shipped <strong>to</strong> different provinces<br />

like Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat,<br />

Agusan del Sur, Agusan del<br />

Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Bukidnon,<br />

Lanao del Sur, Palawan<br />

and Masbate.<br />

The NPO on Friday finished<br />

printing more than 50 million ballots<br />

for the May 10 <strong>poll</strong>s, two days<br />

before the self-imposed April 25<br />

deadline set by the <strong>poll</strong> body and<br />

Smartmatic-TIM.<br />

With another miles<strong>to</strong>ne put in<br />

place, <strong>Comelec</strong> Chairman Jose Melo<br />

said that it’s just a matter of time<br />

that successful au<strong>to</strong>mated elections<br />

will be staged in the <strong>count</strong>ry.<br />

The PCOS machines, which are<br />

s<strong>to</strong>red in a warehouse in Cabuyao,<br />

Laguna, will first be housed in provincial<br />

and city hubs before being<br />

delivered <strong>to</strong> <strong>poll</strong>ing precincts at least<br />

two days before election day.<br />

Larrazabal said that some<br />

PCOS units are s<strong>to</strong>red in the city<br />

treasurer’s office and in provincial<br />

offices “in areas where there are<br />

security concerns.”<br />

He added though that it would<br />

be easier for <strong>Comelec</strong> field officials<br />

<strong>to</strong> audit the PCOS machines<br />

if they can be delivered <strong>to</strong> regional<br />

hubs first before being deployed <strong>to</strong><br />

the <strong>poll</strong>ing centers.<br />

■ SURVEY FROM A1<br />

Noynoy pads lead<br />

Its margin of error was plus or<br />

minus 2 percent.<br />

The April survey showed a gain<br />

of one point for Aquino and a loss<br />

of two points for Villar compared<br />

<strong>to</strong> the previous SWS survey. That<br />

survey, conducted March 28 <strong>to</strong> 30<br />

and commissioned by House Minority<br />

Leader Ronaldo Zamora,<br />

gave Aquino, 37 percent and Villar,<br />

27 percent.<br />

Aquino’s running mate, Sen.<br />

Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd also continued<br />

<strong>to</strong> hold a substantial lead over<br />

his closest opponent at 39 percent.<br />

Mayor Jejomar Binay of Makati City<br />

(Metro Manila) over<strong>to</strong>ok Sen. Loren<br />

Legarda for second place, posting a<br />

25-percent rating compared <strong>to</strong><br />

Legarda’s 24 percent.<br />

In the latest survey, former President<br />

Joseph “Erap” Estrada remained at third<br />

with 17 percent, despite going down by<br />

two points compared <strong>to</strong> his previous rating.<br />

Administration candidate and<br />

■ NTC FROM A1<br />

NO WAY TO<br />

HACK POLL<br />

RESULTS<br />

of the security code of the network.<br />

The election results will be transmitted<br />

<strong>to</strong> the central server of the<br />

Commission on Elections (<strong>Comelec</strong>),<br />

municipal canvasser, the<br />

server of the dominant minority<br />

party and that of the dominant majority<br />

party, citizens’ arm and the<br />

Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng<br />

Pilipinas.<br />

The NTC official, however, said<br />

that there is a possibility of delay in<br />

transmitting the data because of error<br />

in Internet connection.<br />

“But it [delay would only last for]<br />

minutes,” Cabarios added.<br />

Earlier, the telcos said that they<br />

would be using mobile GPRS and<br />

Digital <strong>Sec</strong>urity Line (DSL) <strong>to</strong> transport<br />

the election results from the<br />

Precinct Count Optical Scan (PC-<br />

OS) machines.<br />

Representatives of <strong>Comelec</strong> and<br />

the joint venture of Smartmatic and<br />

Total Information Management<br />

(TIM), along with Philippine Long<br />

Distance Telephone Co., Smart Communications<br />

Inc., Globe Telecom, We<br />

are I.T. Philippines Inc. and Digital<br />

Telecommunications (Digitel), earlier<br />

signed a deal <strong>to</strong> ensure accuracy<br />

in the <strong>count</strong>ing and transmitting of<br />

the votes.<br />

The agreement, under which the<br />

telcos will relay the results of the elections<br />

<strong>to</strong> the data and canvassing<br />

centers nationwide, is part of the<br />

P7.2-billion <strong>poll</strong> au<strong>to</strong>mation contract<br />

between Smartmatic and<br />

<strong>Comelec</strong>.<br />

Also earlier, Smartmatic said that<br />

70 percent of the <strong>count</strong>ry has a working<br />

mobile satellite.<br />

For areas with weak signals, it<br />

would be providing mobile satellite<br />

antennas, the Broadband Global Area<br />

Networks or BGANs.<br />

The lap<strong>to</strong>p-sized BGANs are easier<br />

<strong>to</strong> use than normal satellites, which<br />

are bulky and heavy, because they can<br />

be lugged around.<br />

Smartmatic-TIM, the <strong>poll</strong> body’s<br />

supplier of some 82,200 PCOS machines,<br />

said that it is set <strong>to</strong> deploy<br />

5,600 BGANs and 680 Very Small<br />

Aperture Terminals in 30 percent of<br />

the areas with unreliable signals.<br />

The PCOS machine is a paperbased<br />

voting system, wherein the<br />

marked ballot is fed in<strong>to</strong> a scanning<br />

machine that records and electronically<br />

tallies the votes. The results<br />

would then be au<strong>to</strong>matically transmitted.<br />

A PCOS machine covers<br />

about 1,000 voters.<br />

Smartmatic-TIM said that it has<br />

bought from the telcos some<br />

70,000 SIM cards that will be used<br />

for the elections.<br />

former Defense <strong>Sec</strong>retary Gilbert “Gibo”<br />

Teodoro gained three more points <strong>to</strong><br />

increase his rating <strong>to</strong> 9 percent<br />

Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon and<br />

evangelist Eduardo “Brother Eddie”<br />

Villanueva each got 2 percent, good<br />

for fifth place.<br />

The other candidates had voter<br />

preference ratings of less than one<br />

percent each. They were Sen. Maria<br />

Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal, Jesus<br />

Nicanor “Nick” Perlas and John<br />

Carlos “JC” de los Reyes.<br />

Aquino was the frontrunner in all<br />

geographical areas and socioeconomic<br />

classes in the latest SWS survey.<br />

He had 37 percent in the Balance<br />

of Luzon, 33 in Mindanao, 35 percent<br />

in Metro Manila and 46 in the<br />

Visayas. Villar had 25 percent in the<br />

rest of Luzon, 31 percent in<br />

Mindanao, 18 percent in Metro Manila<br />

and 25 percent in the Visayas<br />

Estrada lost points in all geographical<br />

areas—one point in both<br />

■ MANUAL FROM A1<br />

the Balance of Luzon (17 percent)<br />

and the Visayas (7 percent); and two<br />

points in Metro Manila (25 percent),<br />

and four in Mindanao (22 percent).<br />

Teodoro’s ratings improved in all<br />

areas—by five points in Metro Manila<br />

(10 percent), another four points each<br />

in the Balance of Luzon (9 percent) and<br />

the Visayas (11 percent) and a point in<br />

Mindanao (8 percent).<br />

In terms of socioeconomic classes,<br />

Aquino had 53 percent for a gain of<br />

eight points while Villar gained five<br />

with his 22 percent from the class<br />

ABC. Teodoro lost one (11 percent)<br />

and Estrada’s rating dropped by five<br />

(6 percent).<br />

Among the class D or masa<br />

(masses) class, Aquino’s rating remained<br />

unchanged (38 percent),<br />

Teodoro gained four (10 percent),<br />

while Villar (25 percent) and Estrada<br />

(16 percent) lost two points each.<br />

Among class E respondents,<br />

Estrada and Teodoro gained two<br />

points each (23 percent and 6 percent,<br />

respectively) while Aquino lost<br />

one (32 percent), and Villar’s rating<br />

remained unchanged (31 percent).<br />

In another survey conducted by<br />

Manual election <strong>count</strong><br />

■ ALIENS FROM A1<br />

and administrative fac<strong>to</strong>rs that the<br />

MBC proposal entails.<br />

“It’s not a simple matter of just<br />

saying, ‘we want <strong>to</strong> do this and, therefore,<br />

<strong>to</strong>morrow it will be done,’”<br />

Jimenez said.<br />

“Hindi i<strong>to</strong> simpleng bagay lamang.<br />

Sino ba naman ang may ayaw ng<br />

karagdagang seguridad? Sino ba naman<br />

ang may ayaw ng karagdagang validation<br />

dun sa resulta? Ngunit ang problema<br />

ay ang parallel <strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong> ay isang<br />

masalimuot na activity na kailangan ng<br />

maraming elemen<strong>to</strong> na magtutugma para<br />

siya gumana ng maayos [The <strong>manual</strong><br />

<strong>count</strong> is not a simple matter. Who<br />

would reject tightened security for the<br />

votes? Who does not want additional<br />

validation of the results? The problem<br />

is that the parallel <strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong> is a<br />

labyrinthine activity that requires<br />

many elements for it <strong>to</strong> work effectively],”<br />

he added.<br />

A fac<strong>to</strong>r that the <strong>Comelec</strong> has <strong>to</strong><br />

look in<strong>to</strong>, Jimenez said, is how the<br />

parallel <strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong> would impact<br />

on other activities of the <strong>poll</strong> body<br />

for the Philippines’ first nationwide<br />

au<strong>to</strong>mated <strong>poll</strong>s.<br />

The MBC proposed that members of<br />

the Board of Election Inspec<strong>to</strong>rs (BEIs)<br />

<strong>manual</strong>ly <strong>count</strong> the votes for the positions<br />

of president, vice president and any<br />

of these three local elective positions—<br />

governor, congressman or mayor.<br />

The parallel <strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong> was<br />

proposed by the Information Technology<br />

(IT) community, which cited<br />

the Precinct Count Optical Scan<br />

(PCOS) machines having lost the<br />

necessary security measures such as<br />

digital signature and ultraviolet<br />

markings.<br />

“Even if it takes one hour or three<br />

more hours and some tens of millions<br />

of pesos, it [conduct of parallel<br />

<strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong>] is a step well worth<br />

taking because credibility is extremely<br />

important in these elections,”<br />

MBC Chairman Ramon del<br />

Rosario said.<br />

If the difference between the results<br />

of the <strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong> and the<br />

<strong>count</strong> by Precinct Count Optical Scan<br />

(PCOS) machines is 1 percent or less,<br />

the BEI can immediately transmit the<br />

results. But if the difference is more<br />

than 1 percent, then, the proposal is<br />

<strong>to</strong> request full <strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong> for all<br />

the elective positions.<br />

MBC Executive Direc<strong>to</strong>r Alber<strong>to</strong><br />

Lim said that the <strong>to</strong>lerance level of<br />

the errors is 1 per 20,000 ballots.<br />

In time and motion studies conducted<br />

by the business club, there<br />

will be three additional hours for<br />

conducting the parallel <strong>manual</strong><br />

<strong>count</strong>. If there are discrepancies in the<br />

ballots in a precinct, a full <strong>manual</strong><br />

<strong>count</strong> for that precinct will be conducted,<br />

giving an additional two days<br />

for the canvassing of votes.<br />

Financial aspect<br />

Lim said that they are not against the<br />

au<strong>to</strong>mated elections in May, they just<br />

want assurance that the PCOS machines<br />

will be accurate.<br />

The additional step for a parallel<br />

<strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong> will cost an additional<br />

P500 million, much of which will be<br />

allocated for the extra hours put in<br />

by the BEIs.<br />

<strong>Comelec</strong> officials said that the financial<br />

aspect is not the main consideration<br />

since there are other fac<strong>to</strong>rs<br />

that the <strong>poll</strong> body must consider.<br />

The Philippine Bar Association<br />

said that it agrees with the MBC proposal<br />

for the parallel <strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong><br />

not just for three positions but five.<br />

<strong>Comelec</strong> Commissioner Gregorio<br />

Larrazabal said that the commission en<br />

banc would make a decision on the<br />

MBC proposal in the “next few days.”<br />

What a consumer group simply<br />

wants is for the <strong>Comelec</strong> <strong>to</strong> clarify<br />

whether the conduct of a parallel<br />

Manila Standard Today, the Aquino-<br />

Roxas tandem continued <strong>to</strong> dominate<br />

the pre-election <strong>poll</strong>s as both<br />

pulled in double-digit leads over<br />

their closest rivals.<br />

Aquino had 38 percent for a 15-<br />

percent lead over Villar’s 23 percent,<br />

while Roxas had 41 percent, Binay, 26<br />

percent and Legarda, 10 percent.<br />

LP campaign manager Florencio<br />

“Butch” Abad said that the results<br />

showed that Aquino’s message of<br />

good governance and vow <strong>to</strong> end the<br />

culture of impunity and corruption<br />

resonate above all else.<br />

“Voters also repose in Noynoy the<br />

trustworthiness and credibility <strong>to</strong> effectively<br />

deal with the deepening<br />

problem of corruption,” he added<br />

Aquino’s spokesman Edwin<br />

Lacierda said that the results of the<br />

two surveys showed that Villar had<br />

“failed <strong>to</strong> address the issues surrounding<br />

him.”<br />

“We hope that we will be able <strong>to</strong><br />

convince more people in the<br />

upcoming surveys with our good<br />

news of anti-corruption and delivery<br />

of basic services,” he added.<br />

WITH REPORT FROM CRIS G. ODRONIA<br />

<strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong> is feasible.<br />

The <strong>poll</strong> body on Sunday reportedly<br />

said that “it was <strong>to</strong>o late <strong>to</strong> resort<br />

<strong>to</strong> a parallel <strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong>” but<br />

on Monday also reportedly said that<br />

“it had not ruled out the same.”<br />

“This is certainly confusing and it<br />

not only erodes the public’s confidence<br />

in the au<strong>to</strong>mated elections but<br />

also highlights <strong>Comelec</strong>’s lack of<br />

transparency with regard <strong>to</strong> its state<br />

of preparedness,” Raul Concepcion,<br />

Consumer and Oil Price Watch<br />

(COPW) chairman, said in a statement<br />

also on Monday.<br />

“This latest flip-flopping only reinforces<br />

COPW’s doubts that the au<strong>to</strong>mated<br />

elections will work,”<br />

Concepcion added.<br />

He said that the <strong>Comelec</strong> should<br />

immediately finish distributing some<br />

50 million ballots <strong>to</strong> the 77,000 clustered<br />

precincts and mailing sample<br />

ballots with precinct assignments<br />

that would guide voters.<br />

Concepcion added that the <strong>poll</strong><br />

body should assure the public that<br />

the 82,000 PCOS machines would<br />

work during the elections.<br />

During a radio interview also on<br />

Monday, Malacañang deputy spokesman<br />

Gary Olivar said that the parallel<br />

<strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong>, if allowed by the<br />

<strong>Comelec</strong>, will be useless since the law<br />

mandates that it is the results of the<br />

au<strong>to</strong>mated <strong>poll</strong>s that must be followed.<br />

“A parallel <strong>manual</strong> <strong>count</strong> will not<br />

help the stability of the elections. The<br />

au<strong>to</strong>mation of the coming elections<br />

is there precisely <strong>to</strong> address all the<br />

problems in a <strong>manual</strong> system,”<br />

Olivar added.<br />

Instead of criticizing the <strong>Comelec</strong><br />

in the conduct of the au<strong>to</strong>mated<br />

<strong>poll</strong>s, according <strong>to</strong> him, the public<br />

should support the <strong>poll</strong> body.<br />

“We have <strong>to</strong> make up our mind.<br />

Once we decide [on au<strong>to</strong>mation],<br />

let’s go ahead with it. Let’s support<br />

the <strong>Comelec</strong>,” he said.<br />

WITH REPORTS FROM<br />

CARENCE JANELLE C. NAVIDAD,<br />

BEN ARNOLD O. DE VERA AND<br />

JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ<br />

Humans must avoid contact with aliens<br />

landed in America, which didn’t turn<br />

out well for the Native Americans,”<br />

said the astrophysicist in a new<br />

television series, according <strong>to</strong> British<br />

media reports.<br />

The program depicts an imagined<br />

universe featuring alien life forms in<br />

huge spaceships on the hunt for<br />

resources after draining their own<br />

planet dry.<br />

“Such advanced aliens would<br />

perhaps become nomads, looking <strong>to</strong><br />

conquer and colonize whatever<br />

planets they can reach,”<br />

warned Hawking.<br />

The doomsday scenario is suggested<br />

in the series “In<strong>to</strong> the Universe with<br />

Stephen Hawking” on the Discovery<br />

Channel, which began airing in the<br />

United States on Sunday.<br />

On the probability of alien life<br />

existing, he said: “ To my mathematical<br />

brain, the numbers alone<br />

make thinking about aliens<br />

perfectly rational.”<br />

“The real challenge is <strong>to</strong> work out<br />

what aliens might actually be like.”<br />

Glowing squid-like creatures,<br />

herds of herbivores that can hang<br />

on<strong>to</strong> a cliff face and bright yellow<br />

preda<strong>to</strong>rs that kill their prey with<br />

stinging tails are among the<br />

creatures that stalk the scientist’s<br />

fantastical cosmos.<br />

Mankind has already made a<br />

number of attempts <strong>to</strong> contact<br />

extraterrestrial civilizations.<br />

In 2008, American space agency<br />

NASA beamed the Beatles song “Across<br />

the Universe” in<strong>to</strong> deep space <strong>to</strong> send<br />

a message of peace <strong>to</strong> any alien that<br />

happens <strong>to</strong> be in the region of<br />

Polaris—also k<strong>now</strong>n as the North<br />

Star—in 2439.<br />

But the his<strong>to</strong>ry of humanity’s<br />

efforts <strong>to</strong> contact aliens stretches <strong>back</strong><br />

some years.<br />

The US probes Pioneer 10 and 11<br />

were launched in 1972 and 1973<br />

bearing plaques of a naked man and<br />

woman, and symbols seeking <strong>to</strong><br />

convey the positions of the Earth and<br />

the Sun.<br />

Voyager 1 and 2, launched in 1977,<br />

each carry a gold-plated copper<br />

phonogram disk with recordings of<br />

sounds and images on Earth. AFP<br />

■ ERAP FROM A1<br />

Villar ‘one big liar’ – Erap<br />

»In The Manila Times<br />

up “unannounced” at a meeting of<br />

the PSE board when it was discussing<br />

the VLL s<strong>to</strong>cks issue. Senate President<br />

Juan Ponce Enrile echoed at the same<br />

press conference Estrada’s charge that<br />

Villar was a “liar.”<br />

“He is a big liar but a poor one at<br />

that,” said Enrile, who is running for<br />

reelection under Estrada’s ticket.<br />

Enrile claimed that Villar “pressured”<br />

the PSE members through a<br />

veiled threat. He said that during the<br />

meeting, Villar accused the direc<strong>to</strong>rs,<br />

who are mostly s<strong>to</strong>ckbrokers, that<br />

they themselves were violating the<br />

legal limitation on their shareholders<br />

in the exchange. In June 2007, the<br />

PSE exempted 29.28 percent of VLL<br />

shares from the lock-up provision<br />

and allowed the firm <strong>to</strong> sell shares<br />

in a second public offering.<br />

Estrada said that Villar lied when<br />

he did not disclose in his 2007 and<br />

2008 Statement of Assets and Liabilities<br />

and Net Worth (SALN) the<br />

P5-billion <strong>to</strong> P8-billion profit he<br />

and his wife allegedly made from<br />

the sale of their Vista Land stake.<br />

This apparent windfall, the former<br />

president said, was not shown in the<br />

SALN that Villar and his wife, Rep.<br />

Cynthia Villar, jointly filed.<br />

Villar’s lawyer, Nalen Rosero-<br />

Galang, said that Villar’s accusers were<br />

“recycling lies <strong>to</strong> save face” after both<br />

PSE and <strong>Sec</strong>urities and Exchange<br />

Commission said they did not change<br />

or bend any rules <strong>to</strong> allow the public<br />

listing of shares of VLL.<br />

Galang added that proceeds of the<br />

sale of the VLL shares are reflected in<br />

the books of the selling companies,<br />

“which explains why it is not reflected<br />

in the SALN of Sen. Villar.”<br />

She said that the PSE board did<br />

not grant the requested release from<br />

escrow despite Villar’s appearance<br />

before the board.<br />

“This shows that the PSE board was<br />

not influenced, much less pressured<br />

by Sen. Villar’s appearance before<br />

them. The PSE board allowed the release<br />

from escrow of the shares of one<br />

corporation because the board concluded<br />

that those shares were not subject<br />

<strong>to</strong> the lock-up requirement. Contrary<br />

<strong>to</strong> the allegations of Mr. Estrada,<br />

no waiver was granted by the PSE<br />

board,” Galang added.<br />

She cited a formal statement from<br />

the PSE that the VLL transaction was<br />

above board.<br />

“The PSE board earlier approved the<br />

public offering of Vista Land and in a<br />

subsequent meeting in 2007 clarified<br />

that the lock-up rule would not apply<br />

<strong>to</strong> the sale by existing shareholders<br />

owning less than 10 percent of the outstanding<br />

capital s<strong>to</strong>ck of the company<br />

at the time of the offering,” PSE Chairman<br />

Hans Sicat said in a statement.<br />

Galang hinted that Estrada has an<br />

ax <strong>to</strong> grind against Villar who, as<br />

then Speaker of the House of Representatives,<br />

was mainly responsible<br />

for his impeachment and Senate<br />

trial that eventually resulted in his<br />

overthrow in a military and police<strong>back</strong>ed<br />

civilian uprising in 2001.<br />

Enrile, however, was unimpressed<br />

by the PSE clearance of Villar. He<br />

said that the PSE board had executed<br />

“a very craftily and cleverly<br />

done cover-up” when it said that the<br />

Villar-owned Vista Land complied<br />

with existing rules and requirements<br />

for listing and public offering.<br />

“Shame on you and your ilk who sit<br />

at the board of the PSE,” Enrile added.<br />

He charged that some members<br />

of the board might have benefited<br />

from the allegedly irregular share<br />

sale so they are protecting Villar.<br />

PSE intimidated<br />

Enrile said those PSE board members<br />

were intimidated because they<br />

also had the problem of violating<br />

the bourse’s rule of having only a<br />

few s<strong>to</strong>ckbrokers on the board.<br />

He challenged the board <strong>to</strong> declare<br />

as fake the minutes of a June<br />

2007 PSE board meeting that he<br />

used as basis for his accusations.<br />

“I dare the PSE board <strong>to</strong> say that the<br />

copies of the minutes of their meetings<br />

I am holding are fake and if so produce<br />

before the public [its] own version of<br />

the minutes so that they [public] can<br />

judge who is telling the truth and who<br />

[is] covering up,” Enrile said.<br />

Villar earlier dismissed the accusations<br />

as black propaganda that he<br />

used his influence <strong>to</strong> manipulate the<br />

s<strong>to</strong>ck market and secure special treatment<br />

for his companies. He and his<br />

lawyer challenged Estrada and Enrile<br />

<strong>to</strong> sue him and let the courts decide if<br />

he committed any crime or not.<br />

Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino<br />

3rd, the candidate for president of<br />

the Liberal Party (LP), also did not<br />

escape the ire of Pwersa ng Masang<br />

Pilipino (PMP).<br />

The LP supposedly had also received<br />

reports of Villar’s alleged undue<br />

influence on PSE board members<br />

but did not reveal them because they<br />

wanted <strong>to</strong> verify the reports first.<br />

Lawyer JV Bautista, PMP sena<strong>to</strong>rial<br />

candidate, said at the same press<br />

conference that Aquino did not<br />

seem <strong>to</strong> have moral courage.<br />

“He knew about this all along, but<br />

he reportedly lacked proof. He wants<br />

someone else <strong>to</strong> do the work for him.<br />

He needs <strong>to</strong> find moral courage <strong>to</strong> stand<br />

up and fight,” Bautista added.<br />

WITH REPORT FROM<br />

MARIE KRISTINE DE GUZMAN<br />

April 27, 1987<br />

Jealous husband stabs wife<br />

A JEEPNEY driver stricken by jealousy stabbed and wounded his estranged wife<br />

while she was about <strong>to</strong> enter a Protestant chapel near Taft Avenue in the company<br />

of another man. The woman, Alfonsa Villareal, 32, was then about <strong>to</strong> enter the<br />

Bethel Temple with Teody Antipalo, her present live-in partner. She suffered a deep<br />

knife wound in the <strong>back</strong> of her right hand and was treated at the Philippine General<br />

Hospital. The knife wielder was Wilfredo Vasquez, 34, of Malabon.<br />

April 27, 1946<br />

Two men killed; slayers hunted<br />

MARIANO ESTRELLA SANTIAGO, 23 in charge of the Hacienda Zapanta, in<br />

Novaliches, Rizal, was shot and killed by unk<strong>now</strong>n men who ambushed him on<br />

barrio Pulong Malalim. Diong Javier, former boxer, was shot and killed early<br />

morning while walking on Velasquez Street, Tondo, near the tenement houses<br />

by seven men who were in a jeep.<br />

April 27, 1905<br />

Chief constabulary <strong>back</strong> from Samar<br />

BRIGADIER General Henry Allen, chief constabulary, returned from Samar on<br />

the coastguard cutter Leyte. While he refuses <strong>to</strong> make any definite statement<br />

concerning the matter, it is generally believed that General Allen will not<br />

return <strong>to</strong> Samar, but that the pacification of the turbulent southern island will<br />

be left in the hands of Gov. George Curry.


Land distribution issue<br />

hounds Mr. Palengke<br />

RODRIGUEZ, Rizal: The 1,030 tenants of<br />

Hacienda Araneta in Mascap, a village<br />

in Montalban, Rizal, called on<br />

Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd <strong>to</strong><br />

urge his mother, Judy Araneta Roxas,<br />

<strong>to</strong> drop opposition <strong>to</strong> the distribution<br />

of the land placed under <strong>Agra</strong>rian<br />

Reform program 38 years ago.<br />

Felipe Jalago, spokesman for the<br />

farmer-beneficiaries of Hacienda<br />

Araneta, <strong>to</strong>ld a press conference that<br />

the group has challenged Roxas <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>back</strong> his claim of being a champion<br />

of the masses and farmers.<br />

Jalago said most of the farmers<br />

have remitted <strong>to</strong> the Land Bank the<br />

full payment for the land that was<br />

granted <strong>to</strong> them in 1972 under<br />

Presidential Decree 27, which provides<br />

for au<strong>to</strong>matic transfer of the<br />

land <strong>to</strong> the farmers.<br />

Moreover, the farmers have been<br />

paying land taxes since that time.<br />

“We already hold certificates of full<br />

payment and certificates of land tax<br />

payments,” Jalago said.<br />

He added the land could not be<br />

distributed <strong>to</strong> them because the<br />

Aranetas had petitioned for the conversion<br />

of the land in<strong>to</strong> commercialresidential<br />

area, which was denied by<br />

then <strong>Agra</strong>rian Reform secretary and<br />

<strong>now</strong> Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago.<br />

Instead, Santiago ordered the immediate<br />

placement of 7.5 hectares of<br />

the Hacienda Araneta under <strong>Agra</strong>rian<br />

Reform. She later expanded the land<br />

reform coverage <strong>to</strong> 1,266 hectares with<br />

a <strong>to</strong>tal offered price of P3.3 million.<br />

The Aranetas raised the issue <strong>to</strong><br />

nation<br />

inbrief<br />

■ CIVIL Service Commission<br />

Chairman Francisco Duque Jr.<br />

and Health <strong>Sec</strong>retary Esperanza Cabral are<br />

<strong>now</strong> off the hook following the dismissal<br />

of the case against them by the Office of<br />

the Ombudsman for failure of the<br />

complainants <strong>to</strong> substantiate their<br />

allegations of irregularities in the<br />

distribution of medicines. The three-page<br />

ruling of the anti-graft body, approved<br />

by Ombudsman Maria Merceditas<br />

Navarro Gutierrez, junked the case<br />

against the two officials on recommendation<br />

of investiga<strong>to</strong>r-on-case<br />

Maria Laarni Pellesco and OIC-Team<br />

Leader Janice Baltazar. JOMAR CANLAS<br />

■ MAYOR Jun Bernabe of<br />

Parañaque has announced the job<br />

fairs that will be held in different<br />

branches of the SM Supermarket, SM City<br />

Sucat and D.M. Consunji. Positions for<br />

college graduates and undergraduates<br />

will be available including clerk-cashiers,<br />

sales clerks, utility and s<strong>to</strong>ck clerks, office<br />

assistants, inven<strong>to</strong>ry assistants and gift<br />

wrapping staff at SM, while skilled<br />

technical, office and supervisory positions<br />

are available at the D.M. Consunji Inc.<br />

Applicants must submit their resume and<br />

supporting papers <strong>to</strong> PESO-PLRMO at the<br />

Simplicio Cruz Compound in Barangay<br />

San Isidro (beside Uniwide Sucat). The<br />

deadlines for submission of applications<br />

and pre-employment requirements is on<br />

April 28 for SM-Sucat open positions and<br />

April 29 for D.M. Consunji Inc.<br />

JOHANNA M. SAMPAN<br />

■ TOMOCHIKA UYAMA, Minister for<br />

Economic Affairs of the Embassy<br />

of Japan in the Philippines, disclosed that<br />

the 92 Filipinos under the Japan-<br />

Philippines Economic Partnership<br />

Agreement who failed the recent 99th<br />

Japan National Nursing Exam the<br />

examinees still have two chances <strong>to</strong> pass<br />

the exam. For this purpose, the Japanese<br />

government may grant extensions of their<br />

temporary stay. The lone Filipino passer,<br />

Ever Gammed Lalin, has been assigned <strong>to</strong><br />

work at the Ashikaga Red Cross Hospital<br />

in Tochigi Prefecture located in the<br />

Kan<strong>to</strong> Region. LLANESCA T. PANTI<br />

Dear PAO,<br />

I am 32 years old and a Filipino<br />

citizen. My French husband<br />

and were married in the Philippines<br />

in February 2005. I <strong>now</strong> live<br />

in France as a permanent resident.<br />

My husband wants <strong>to</strong> adopt<br />

my illegitimate son who is in<br />

Bicol under the care of my<br />

mother. My son is using my<br />

maiden name, but at the <strong>back</strong> of<br />

his birth certificate, his biological<br />

father signed his ack<strong>now</strong>ledgment<br />

of paternity. My son’s father<br />

is willing <strong>to</strong> give his consent <strong>to</strong><br />

the adoption. Is it possible <strong>to</strong> file<br />

an adoption there in the Philippines<br />

even if we are here in France?<br />

Is it RA 8552 (Domestic Adoption)<br />

or RA 8043 (Inter-Country Adoption)<br />

that is applicable <strong>to</strong> our case?<br />

Where are we going <strong>to</strong> file the Petition<br />

for Adoption since we are<br />

residing in France? What are the<br />

requirements?<br />

Richelle<br />

the Court of Appeals and, later, <strong>to</strong><br />

the Supreme Court, where the case<br />

has languished for years.<br />

“We appeal <strong>to</strong> you [Roxas], your<br />

mother and the Aranetas not <strong>to</strong> pursue<br />

the case anymore so that we can<br />

<strong>now</strong> truly own the land,” said Jalago,<br />

noting that the sena<strong>to</strong>r depicts himself<br />

as the defender of the poor and<br />

the oppressed. “You can remove our<br />

apprehension for the future.”<br />

Families of the farmers trooped<br />

<strong>to</strong> the Roxas family home in the<br />

Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon<br />

City, before proceeding <strong>to</strong> the Department<br />

of Agarian Reform and the<br />

Supreme Court and <strong>to</strong> see Sen.<br />

Loren Legarda <strong>to</strong> ask for their help<br />

in getting the land.<br />

The farmers who have been going<br />

<strong>to</strong> radio stations <strong>to</strong> air their plight<br />

include Estelamarie Quimzon,<br />

Rosanna Masagnay, Lita Mariano,<br />

Zenaida Soriano and Felipe Halago.<br />

Earlier, protesting farmers in the<br />

sprawling hacienda owned by the family<br />

of Liberal Party presidential bet Sen.<br />

Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd called<br />

on the High Court <strong>to</strong> act on their claims<br />

<strong>to</strong> the 6,453-hectare sugar plantation.<br />

Members of the , Alyansa ng mga<br />

Manggagawang Bukid sa Hasyenda<br />

Luisita, United Luisita Workers Union<br />

(ULWU) and Alyansa ng mga<br />

Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon<br />

asked the High Tribunal <strong>to</strong> lift its<br />

four-year temporary restraining order<br />

against the distribution of the<br />

plantation <strong>to</strong> 10,000 farmerbeneficiaries.FRANCIS<br />

EARL A. CUETO<br />

news<br />

Adopting an illegitimate child<br />

A<br />

3<br />

The Manila Times TUESDAY April 27, 2010<br />

Lawmaker slams Defense’s<br />

‘midnight shopping’ spree<br />

DOH vaccination program<br />

PHOTO BY RUY MARTINEZ<br />

The Department of Health has put in place a vaccination program for its workers at the DOH-<br />

NCR office in Mandaluyong City in a bid <strong>to</strong> lead the fight against HIV-AIDS virus in the<br />

Philippines. More than 200 DOH employees were vaccinated on the first day of the program.<br />

GENERAL SANTOS CITY: Police and military<br />

troops in nearby Sarangani<br />

nabbed early Monday morning four<br />

armed men on board two vehicles,<br />

one of which was reportedly owned<br />

by Jinkee Pacquiao, wife of boxing<br />

icon and congressional aspirant<br />

Manny Pacquiao.<br />

The men were allegedly hunting<br />

down the municipal mayor of the<br />

vote-rich coastal <strong>to</strong>wn of Glan.<br />

Pacquiao, reportedly the frontrunner<br />

for the congressional seat in<br />

Sarangani, has dismissed the report<br />

as a ploy by his political opponents<br />

<strong>to</strong> tarnish his image before Sarangans.<br />

Media releases from the provincial<br />

information office of Sarangani said<br />

the local police and elements of the<br />

Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion nabbed<br />

the suspects following information<br />

that they were out <strong>to</strong> ambush incumbent<br />

Mayor Enrique “Yoyong” Yap in<br />

Sitio Tamparan, Barangay Pangya.<br />

Sr. Supt. Resti<strong>to</strong> Gatera, Sarangani<br />

police provincial direc<strong>to</strong>r, identified<br />

Dear Richelle,<br />

The law applicable <strong>to</strong> your case is<br />

Republic Act 8552, or the Domestic<br />

Adoption Act of 1998. As <strong>to</strong> your<br />

query whether it is possible <strong>to</strong> file an<br />

adoption here in the Philippines even<br />

if you and your French husband are<br />

in France, the law requires that in addition<br />

<strong>to</strong> the minimum requirements<br />

provided by <strong>Sec</strong>tion 7(a) of the Domestic<br />

Adoption Law, your husband<br />

BY EFREN L. DANAO SENIOR REPORTER<br />

THERE may not be anything illegal<br />

in the plan of the Department of<br />

National Defense <strong>to</strong> buy modern<br />

equipment for the Armed Forces of the<br />

Philippines, but the timing is off and bad<br />

for the soldiers’ morale, Nacionalista Party<br />

(NP) sena<strong>to</strong>rial candidate Ramon “Mon-<br />

Mon” Mitra said on Monday.<br />

Mitra, a bemedalled Marine officer<br />

and graduate of the Philippine<br />

Military Academy, said the<br />

controversy generated by the plan<br />

of Defense <strong>Sec</strong>retary Norber<strong>to</strong><br />

Gonzalez <strong>to</strong> modernize the Army<br />

is harming the confidence of the<br />

soldiers in the field.<br />

“The DND secretary may think<br />

that we Filipinos are k<strong>now</strong>n <strong>to</strong> be<br />

good in the ‘last-two-minute’ decisions,<br />

but I am sure he k<strong>now</strong>s <strong>to</strong>o<br />

the suspects as Jimmy Mier, 39, a resident<br />

of Zamboanga del Sur; Alfredo<br />

Macabayao of unk<strong>now</strong>n address,<br />

Fredie Mendez and Ronald Elorde,<br />

both of Barangay Calumpang, General<br />

San<strong>to</strong>s City.<br />

Police recovered from the suspects’<br />

vehicles one unit of M-16 armalite<br />

with live ammunitions, one .45-<br />

caliber pis<strong>to</strong>l bearing serial number<br />

90100978 with steel magazine and 18<br />

live ammunitions placed. The guns<br />

were found inside a pair of combat<br />

boots at the <strong>back</strong> portion of the white<br />

Toyota Hi-Ace van driven by Elorde.<br />

Yap said he was onboard his vehicle<br />

when he was waylaid by the<br />

group, but he managed <strong>to</strong> escape<br />

and called for police <strong>back</strong>-up.<br />

Pacquiao said he had been expecting<br />

such scenarios following the result<br />

of the recent survey that showed<br />

he was leading his opponent Roy<br />

Chiongbian by 30 <strong>to</strong> 70 percent.<br />

“Everybody k<strong>now</strong>s that I am a<br />

God-fearing person. They also k<strong>now</strong><br />

must come <strong>to</strong> the Philippines and establish<br />

his residence here in the Philippines<br />

for at least three (3) continuous<br />

years prior <strong>to</strong> the filing of the application<br />

for adoption and should<br />

maintain such residence until the<br />

adoption decree is entered.<br />

Furthermore, it is also required by<br />

law that France, the <strong>count</strong>ry of your<br />

husband, has diplomatic relations with<br />

the Republic of the Philippines and that<br />

you husband has been certified by his<br />

diplomatic or consular office or any<br />

appropriate government agency that he<br />

has the legal capacity <strong>to</strong> adopt in his<br />

<strong>count</strong>ry, and that his government allows<br />

the adoptee (your illegitimate son) <strong>to</strong><br />

enter his <strong>count</strong>ry as his adopted son<br />

(<strong>Sec</strong>tion 7[b], Domestic Adoption Act).<br />

The court may dispense of residency<br />

requirement and certification<br />

of an alien’s qualification <strong>to</strong> adopt in<br />

his <strong>count</strong>ry if your son were a legitimate<br />

child. But since the law allows<br />

an illegitimate child <strong>to</strong> be adopted by<br />

a qualified adopter <strong>to</strong> improve the<br />

child’s status <strong>to</strong> that of legitimacy<br />

that in the military ‘last-twominute’<br />

preparations are not appreciated<br />

in the ranks,” Mitra said.<br />

He questioned the “midnight<br />

shopping” as the Armed Forces modernization<br />

program has long been<br />

delayed anyway. The stalled program<br />

started during the administration of<br />

President Fidel V. Ramos, kicked off<br />

by the privatization of a large portion<br />

of Fort Bonifacio.<br />

“It’s two more weeks [before<br />

Sarangani police link PacMan <strong>to</strong> suspected assassins<br />

who are those who kept on claiming<br />

Sarangani as their political terri<strong>to</strong>ry,”<br />

Pacquiao said in Filipino<br />

during a press briefing at his mansion<br />

in General San<strong>to</strong>s City.<br />

Meanwhile, Michael Abas, Commission<br />

on Elections direc<strong>to</strong>r for Central<br />

Mindanao, said he is waiting the<br />

formal complaint from barangay officials<br />

of Malabod, a k<strong>now</strong>n Pacquiao<br />

political bailiwick in the mountainous<br />

part of Malungon <strong>to</strong>wn, who were<br />

reportedly “harassed” at early dawn<br />

by soldiers of the 73rd Infantry Battalion<br />

last week.<br />

Reports stressed soldiers loaded<br />

on an Army truck came as an advance<br />

security group <strong>to</strong> Sarro officials<br />

who were <strong>to</strong> hold a political<br />

rally at about 10 a.m. in the area.<br />

Col. Rainer Cruz, in a media interview,<br />

said he would investigate<br />

the reported incident and press appropriate<br />

action against any soldier<br />

who would be found guilty of harassing<br />

civilians. ISAGANI P. PALMA<br />

(<strong>Sec</strong>tion 8[c], Domestic Adoption<br />

Act), you may adopt your illegitimate<br />

son in order for your son <strong>to</strong> be raised<br />

<strong>to</strong> the status of a legitimate child. But<br />

still you have <strong>to</strong> come <strong>to</strong> the Philippines<br />

and file the Petition for Adoption<br />

with the Family Court of the<br />

province or city where you reside.<br />

After a decree of adoption is issued<br />

in your petition, then your husband<br />

may file a petition <strong>to</strong> adopt your <strong>now</strong><br />

legitimate son without the need of<br />

establishing his residence in the Philippines<br />

and without submitting the<br />

required certification from his consulate.<br />

However, he must still come<br />

<strong>to</strong> the Philippines <strong>to</strong> file the petition<br />

and <strong>to</strong> attend hearing of the case.<br />

We hope that we were able <strong>to</strong> enlighten<br />

you on the matter.<br />

Edi<strong>to</strong>r’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column<br />

of the Public At<strong>to</strong>rney’s Office.<br />

Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent<br />

<strong>to</strong> dearpao@manilatimes.net or via text<br />

message (key in: Times dearpao and send <strong>to</strong> 2299).<br />

elections] and we will have a new<br />

commander-in-chief [in June], the<br />

soldiers can wait especially that<br />

they already have enough worries<br />

on their plates,” Mitra said, referring<br />

<strong>to</strong> rumors of failure of elections<br />

and the heightened security<br />

needed in critical areas.<br />

He said that instead of “rushing”<br />

<strong>to</strong> buy military equipment,<br />

the Defense department should<br />

focus on ensuring that the military<br />

has “solid and fool-proof” strategies<br />

<strong>to</strong> maintain safety, peace and<br />

order for the elections.<br />

No media interview<br />

for Querubin<br />

Meanwhile, the NP said on Monday<br />

that Marine Col. Ariel<br />

Querubin was being deprived of<br />

his fundamental right <strong>to</strong> free<br />

speech and access <strong>to</strong> media when<br />

the Armed Forces denied the request<br />

of GMA 7 <strong>to</strong> interview him<br />

at this detention cell.<br />

“It seems that Ampatuan is in a<br />

THE Commission on Elections<br />

(<strong>Comelec</strong>) on Monday junked the<br />

petition <strong>to</strong> disqualify former Senate<br />

President Franklin Drilon from<br />

running in the 2010 sena<strong>to</strong>rial race,<br />

citing lack of merit.<br />

In a nine-page resolution, the <strong>poll</strong><br />

body first division moved <strong>to</strong> dismiss<br />

the disqualification case since there<br />

is no doubt on the eligibility of<br />

Drilon’s candidacy for the Senate.<br />

“It has been shown that Drilon<br />

had a hiatus of three years since his<br />

second consecutive term as sena<strong>to</strong>r.<br />

Consequently, there can be no<br />

doubt as <strong>to</strong> his eligibility <strong>to</strong> run for<br />

a senate seat in the 2010 national<br />

elections,” the resolution said.<br />

Drilon served as sena<strong>to</strong>r from 1995<br />

<strong>to</strong> 2001 and again from 2001 <strong>to</strong> 2007.<br />

Earlier, Vladimir Alarique<br />

Cabigao filed a petition <strong>to</strong> cancel<br />

the certificate of candidacy of<br />

Drilon, saying that the former senate<br />

president has already served two<br />

consecutive terms as sena<strong>to</strong>r and<br />

cannot be allowed <strong>to</strong> run for another<br />

since he has only been absent<br />

from the senate floor for three years.<br />

Under <strong>Sec</strong>tion 4 Article 6 of Constitution,<br />

“the term of office of the<br />

sena<strong>to</strong>rs shall be six years,” and<br />

therefore means that Drilon’s threeyear<br />

hiatus cannot be <strong>count</strong>ed as<br />

one term, the resolution said.<br />

The <strong>poll</strong> body first division, which<br />

is headed by <strong>Comelec</strong> Commissioner<br />

Rene Sarmien<strong>to</strong>, however, moved <strong>to</strong><br />

dismiss the case in the merit of Father<br />

Joaquin Bernas’ argument.<br />

“Does the limitation on number<br />

of elections mean that a sena<strong>to</strong>r who<br />

has served two consecutive terms<br />

must wait for six years before he can<br />

run again for the senate? The answer<br />

given <strong>to</strong> this question was that a<br />

sena<strong>to</strong>r could run again three years<br />

after the expiration of his second<br />

term,” Bernas, one of the framers of<br />

the Philippine Constitution, said.<br />

Disqualification move<br />

against Vilma<br />

Meanwhile, concerned citizens and<br />

lawyers trooped <strong>to</strong> <strong>Comelec</strong> on Monday<br />

<strong>to</strong> file a disqualification case<br />

against incumbent Gov. Vilma San<strong>to</strong>s<br />

Rec<strong>to</strong> of Batangas for allegedly violating<br />

pertinent election laws on<br />

better position despite the crimes<br />

he supposedly committed because<br />

he is allowed <strong>to</strong> accommodate media<br />

interviews and was able <strong>to</strong><br />

hold a press conference,” the NP<br />

said in a statement.<br />

The Armed Forces of the Philippines,<br />

in its letter of regret, cited<br />

the prohibition of the military<br />

against engaging in any partisan<br />

political activity. The NP said the<br />

Armed Forces seemed <strong>to</strong> be following<br />

a double standard because it<br />

allowed another sena<strong>to</strong>rial candidate,<br />

obviously referring <strong>to</strong> Gen.<br />

Danny Lim of the Liberal Party, <strong>to</strong><br />

hold TV, radio and print interviews<br />

in his detention facility. Both<br />

Querubin and Lim are facing the<br />

same court martial case for alleged<br />

involvement in the 2006 Marine<br />

standoff.<br />

“As a candidate of a democratic<br />

society, Col. Querubin has every<br />

right <strong>to</strong> be heard by the elec<strong>to</strong>rate<br />

on his views, plans and platforms<br />

for the <strong>count</strong>ry,” NP said.<br />

<strong>Comelec</strong> junks disqualification<br />

case vs. Drilon; Vilma scored<br />

THE Philippine National Police<br />

(PNP) can no longer accommodate<br />

inmates, has sought the court intervention<br />

for the transfer of “Morong<br />

38” <strong>to</strong> the Rizal Provincial Jail because<br />

the agency’s cus<strong>to</strong>dial center could no<br />

longer accommodate more inmates.<br />

PNP spokesman Chief Supt.<br />

Leonardo Espina said the PNP could<br />

accommodate the group since doing<br />

so would place them under subhuman<br />

conditions.<br />

Espina said the PNP headquarters<br />

support service has sent a request <strong>to</strong><br />

the Supreme Court administra<strong>to</strong>r <strong>to</strong><br />

order the lower courts <strong>to</strong> s<strong>to</strong>p issuing<br />

commitment orders at the PNP<br />

cus<strong>to</strong>dial center.<br />

In its five-page omnibus motion<br />

filed before the Branch 78 of the<br />

Regional Trail Court of Morong,<br />

Rizal, the PNP further said the Rizal<br />

Provincial Jail is much nearer <strong>to</strong> the<br />

court than Camp Crame.<br />

poster size and common poster areas.<br />

Lawyers Ferdinand Topacio, Gilbert<br />

Macatangay and Arth Jhun<br />

Marasigan said that the actressturned-politician<br />

has violated “existing<br />

laws and rules regulating the<br />

use of election materials, particularly<br />

on the proper sizes and places<br />

of posting [campaign posters].”<br />

In the complaint, the lawyers said<br />

that Governor Rec<strong>to</strong> has erected billboards<br />

and posters—that go beyond<br />

the allowed poster size of two by 3<br />

feet and 3 by 8 feet—around the province<br />

of Batangas that are not included<br />

under the common poster areas.<br />

They said that the billboards and<br />

posters, thinly disguised <strong>to</strong> circumvent<br />

the law, falls under the definition<br />

of “election propaganda” and<br />

“political advertisements.”<br />

Under Republic Act 9006, or the Fair<br />

Elections Act, election propaganda is<br />

defined as “any matter broadcast, published,<br />

printer or exhibited, which is<br />

intended <strong>to</strong> draw the attention of the<br />

public . . . <strong>to</strong> promote, directly or indirectly,<br />

the election of a particular candidate<br />

<strong>to</strong> a public office.”<br />

Topacio, counsel for former Gov.<br />

Armand Sanchez, who is running<br />

against San<strong>to</strong>s Rec<strong>to</strong> for the guberna<strong>to</strong>rial<br />

position in the province, said that<br />

the violations showed the “true character”<br />

of the actress-turned-politician.<br />

Sanchez ran in the 2007 guberna<strong>to</strong>rial<br />

race in the province but lost<br />

<strong>to</strong> San<strong>to</strong>s Rec<strong>to</strong>.<br />

The lawyer admitted, however, that<br />

the filing of the complaint against the<br />

former movie star and wife of Liberal<br />

Party sena<strong>to</strong>rial candidate Ralph Rec<strong>to</strong><br />

is also political in nature.<br />

Topacio added that there might<br />

be more complaints that will be<br />

filed against San<strong>to</strong>s Rec<strong>to</strong> in the<br />

coming days since there are more<br />

evidences that concerned citizens in<br />

Batangas are currently compiling.<br />

<strong>Sec</strong>tion 264 of the Omnibus Election<br />

Code states that any candidate<br />

found <strong>to</strong> be violating the election law<br />

shall be punishable with imprisonment<br />

of not less than one year but not<br />

more than six years. It also said that<br />

the candidate shall face disqualification<br />

<strong>to</strong> hold public office and may be<br />

stripped of the right <strong>to</strong> suffrage.<br />

BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON<br />

PNP recommends detention<br />

of Morong 38 in Rizal jail<br />

The PNP said in its motion: “Given<br />

the number of the accused, more or<br />

less 100 PNP personnel and 20 PNP<br />

vehicles will be detailed and dispatched<br />

<strong>to</strong> secure the accused anytime<br />

their appearance is required by the<br />

court. As insinuated above, the cus<strong>to</strong>dy<br />

and security of detention prisoners<br />

fall within the jurisdiction of the<br />

BJMP [Bureau of Jail Management<br />

and Penology] and not the PNP.”<br />

Authorities of the PNP said that<br />

groups sympathetic <strong>to</strong> the Morong<br />

38 are expected <strong>to</strong> hold protest actions<br />

outside the camp as happened<br />

on April 9 and 12, which resulted<br />

in a traffic jam along the Boni<br />

Serrano gate of Camp Crame.<br />

To date, the PNP said it has eight female<br />

detainees and 84 male detainees.<br />

Espina said the PNP has also<br />

made efforts <strong>to</strong> transfer several detainees<br />

<strong>to</strong> the BJMP and other detention<br />

facilities. SAMMY MARTIN


A 4<br />

opinion<br />

The Manila Times TUESDAY April 27, 2010<br />

TUESDAY<br />

April 27, 2010<br />

Edi<strong>to</strong>rials<br />

Blocking North Harbor<br />

modernization<br />

SINCE the Philippines became an independent <strong>count</strong>ry,<br />

Manila’s North Harbor (MNH) has been the most pitiful<br />

domestic and international harbor in the world. There<br />

the cargo ships and passenger ferries from the various provincial<br />

ports dock and dislodge their tens of thousands of passengers<br />

every day. There also are discharged the commercial,<br />

agricultural and industrial cargo that are brought in also from<br />

the provinces <strong>to</strong> be carried by trucks either <strong>to</strong> the warehouses<br />

serving the wholesale and retail markets of Metro Manila or <strong>to</strong><br />

be carried farther <strong>to</strong> points north and south on Luzon island.<br />

Lawlessness and gangsterism are characteristics Manila<br />

North Harbor. The movement of people and goods there is so<br />

antiquated. For decades there have been calls for MNH <strong>to</strong> be<br />

modernized and made equal <strong>to</strong> other spic and span, logistically<br />

effective and pleasant port areas in the world.<br />

Finally, just two weeks ago, good news came. A financially and<br />

managerially capable joint venture, the Manila North Harbor<br />

Port Inc. (MNHPI), that had won the government contract <strong>to</strong><br />

manage the MNH’s piers and equip them, install there, state of<br />

the art port facilities, terminals and other necessary infrastructures,<br />

was <strong>to</strong> actually take over the MNH.<br />

MNHPI is a joint venture of Michael Romero’s Harbour<br />

Centre Port Terminal Inc. and M. V. Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific<br />

Investments Corp.<br />

Unfortunately, however, stevedoring groups k<strong>now</strong>n <strong>to</strong> have<br />

been responsible for the shady reputation of MNH have made<br />

trouble, protesting the good news of MNHPI’s arrival and<br />

plans <strong>to</strong> make Manila’s port area and piers a happier, more<br />

efficient and respectable place.<br />

Happily, MNHPI, dealing with the more responsible stevedoring<br />

teams, succeeded in assuring everyone that there would be no<br />

layoffs, contrary <strong>to</strong> the negative propaganda of the troublemakers.<br />

So peace came <strong>to</strong> prevail in that part of the project.<br />

Alas, the shipping companies have followed suit.<br />

The Philippine Liner and Shipping Association of the Philippines<br />

(PLSA) has accused MNHPI of not keeping its promise <strong>to</strong><br />

provide appropriate cargo-handling equipment for ships at the<br />

pier. It claims that their ships cannot unload cargoes fast and as a<br />

result have <strong>to</strong> wait in line for days before they can disgorge their<br />

cargoes, therefore they lose money. This has been the situation in<br />

the Manila North Harbor since time immemorial.<br />

MNHPI’s side of the s<strong>to</strong>ry is this: The shippers refuse <strong>to</strong><br />

remove their cargo from the piers and place these in warehouses,<br />

which will of course require payment for s<strong>to</strong>rage time<br />

and space. The presence of the piles and piles of cargo in the<br />

piers block the trucks hauling shipments away and these<br />

causes the mess and the delays.<br />

As far as the promised modernization Manila North Harbor<br />

goes, the MNHPI avers that it delivered some 159 pieces of<br />

heavy and medium-sized equipment improve and speed up<br />

service. The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) rigorously<br />

moni<strong>to</strong>red the arrival of the equipment. The deliveries were<br />

made by MNHPI even before the joint venture was formally<br />

allowed <strong>to</strong> take over the MNH on April 12.<br />

Why are the ship owners<br />

raising obstacles?<br />

THE ship owners, through PLSA, are <strong>now</strong> complaining<br />

that the many equipment delivered are below the<br />

standards set by the Philippine Port Authority. However,<br />

the fact is that the government’s Port Authority, which was the<br />

lone opera<strong>to</strong>r of MNH before the contract with MNHPI<br />

became effective and the port was actually handover of MNH<br />

<strong>to</strong> the joint venture, set the standards and specifications of the<br />

equipment <strong>to</strong> be set up at MNH. And the turnover of the port<br />

<strong>to</strong> MNHPI was in fact delayed because the PPA had <strong>to</strong> make<br />

sure that the equipment for cargo handling and other port<br />

services conformed <strong>to</strong> the specifications.<br />

The PLSA must admit that the sorry state of the Manila North<br />

Harbor, which was already in need of upgrading even before<br />

World War II, is partly also the result of the ship owners’ failure<br />

<strong>to</strong> do its part in the port’s modernization. The government is<br />

not the only party <strong>to</strong> blame for the unpleasant experience<br />

passengers have <strong>to</strong> endure in the North Harbor. But the shipping<br />

line owners decided just <strong>to</strong> depend on the government,<br />

instead of behaving like proper businessmen who should have<br />

contributed <strong>to</strong> the improvement of their business location.<br />

The PLSA is also complaining about the rigid security<br />

measures that have been established in the port. They should<br />

instead praise MNHPI for instituting these measures. In a very<br />

short time, strict security introduced by MNHPI has made<br />

MNH less like a haven for underworld characters, including<br />

pickpockets, robbers of unsuspecting arriving passengers’<br />

belongings, and other criminals.<br />

Why are the shipping line owners blocking MNHPI’s plans<br />

and efforts <strong>to</strong> make the North Harbor a world class and<br />

properly managed port facility? Some see the answer as power<br />

and control. Ship owners until the advent of MNHPI have<br />

dominated the dominated the port and how laws, rules and<br />

regulations are not implemented. They can overload their<br />

ships with cargo and passengers, flout the essential safety<br />

measures, such as having the correct number of lifeboats and<br />

lifejackets, and keep their ships always in good repair. They<br />

make lots of money disobeying the basic laws and rules –<br />

which is why disasters happen.<br />

One of the things the MNHPI has started <strong>to</strong> do is try <strong>to</strong> save<br />

lives and property by enforcing the law.<br />

The Manila Times<br />

DANTE F. M. ANG 2ND, Executive Edi<strong>to</strong>r (ON LEAVE)<br />

FRED DE LA ROSA, Chairman Edi<strong>to</strong>rial Board<br />

RENE Q. BAS, Edi<strong>to</strong>r in Chief<br />

ROMY P. MARIÑAS, News Edi<strong>to</strong>r<br />

NINI P.YARTE, National Edi<strong>to</strong>r<br />

ARNOLD S. TENORIO, Business Edi<strong>to</strong>r<br />

ROMANO C. JORGE, Lifestyle Edi<strong>to</strong>r<br />

CONRAD M. CARIÑO, Sports Edi<strong>to</strong>r<br />

DANTE F. M. ANG 2ND,<br />

BRIAN M. AFUANG, Art Direc<strong>to</strong>r<br />

RENE H. DILAN, Pho<strong>to</strong> Edi<strong>to</strong>r<br />

<br />

President and CEO (ON LEAVE)<br />

VOLUME 111<br />

NUMBER 195<br />

Telephone All Departments. 524-5665 <strong>to</strong> 67 Telefax 528-1729; Subscription: 524-5664 Local 222<br />

URL http://www.manilatimes.net • e-mail newsboy1@manilatimes.net<br />

Letters <strong>to</strong> the edi<strong>to</strong>r<br />

THE MANILA TIMES is published daily at 371 A. Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila 1018<br />

Contractualization bad for workers and for business<br />

POLICY PEEK<br />

ERNESTO F. HERRERA<br />

LAST Monday, The Manila<br />

Times published a news s<strong>to</strong>ry<br />

where Nacionalista Party sena<strong>to</strong>rial<br />

candidate Susan “Toots” Ople<br />

urged the Bangko Sentral ng<br />

Pilipinas (BSP) <strong>to</strong> recall its Memorandum<br />

Circular 268, which allows<br />

banks <strong>to</strong> freely subcontract out in<br />

bulk jobs normally performed by<br />

their regular employees.<br />

“When permanent bank staff<br />

positions are demolished<br />

wholesale, regular employees<br />

and their families not only lose<br />

their source of livelihood, the<br />

labor unions that protect those<br />

[workers] left behind also get<br />

smashed or diminished considerably,”<br />

Ople said.<br />

“Banks used <strong>to</strong> provide some<br />

of the most durable jobs in the<br />

<strong>count</strong>ry, with many personnel<br />

looking forward <strong>to</strong> stable employment<br />

until they grow old<br />

and retire. This is no longer the<br />

case <strong>now</strong>. Regular bank workers<br />

feel threatened by the BSP circular,”<br />

she added.<br />

The BSP circular allows the<br />

subcontracting <strong>to</strong> independent<br />

service providers of eight banking<br />

operations or divisions:<br />

credit investigation and appraisal,<br />

credit cards, information<br />

technology, clearing, security,<br />

messengerial, tax management<br />

and financial ac<strong>count</strong>ing.<br />

“This is basically labor-only<br />

subcontracting, where the contrac<strong>to</strong>r<br />

merely recruits, supplies<br />

or places workers <strong>to</strong> perform a<br />

job, work or service for the<br />

principal, in this case the<br />

bank,” Ople said.<br />

Labor only subcontracting is<br />

illegal. The Department of Labor<br />

and Employment reiterated this<br />

in Department Order 18-02, Series<br />

of 2002.<br />

And no less than the National<br />

Labor Relations Commission,<br />

the Court of Appeals<br />

and the Supreme Court affirmed<br />

its illegality in the case<br />

of Joel Taripe in 2008.<br />

Article 280 of the Labor Code<br />

provides two exemptions for<br />

fixed-term contracts: 1) When<br />

the term of employment has<br />

been fixed for a specific project<br />

or undertaking, the completion<br />

or termination of which has<br />

been determined at the time the<br />

worker was hired; and 2) when<br />

the work or service <strong>to</strong> be performed<br />

is seasonal and the employment<br />

is only for the duration<br />

of the season.<br />

The Supreme Court upholding<br />

the NLRC and the CA’s decision<br />

favoring Taripe said that<br />

while Article 280 does not proscribe<br />

or prohibit an employment<br />

contract with a fixed period, “it<br />

does not necessarily follow that<br />

where the duties of the employee<br />

consist of activities usually necessary<br />

or desirable in the usual<br />

business of the employer, the parties<br />

are forbidden from agreeing<br />

on a period of time for the performance<br />

of such activities.”<br />

The SC said further: “What<br />

Article 280 of the Labor Code,<br />

as amended seeks <strong>to</strong> prevent is<br />

the practice of some unscrupulous<br />

and cove<strong>to</strong>us employers<br />

who wish <strong>to</strong> circumvent the law<br />

that protects lowly workers<br />

MISSION<br />

IMPOSSIBLE<br />

MARIT STINUS-<br />

REMONDE<br />

from capricious dismissal from<br />

their employment . . .”<br />

Also, the lack of job security<br />

because of rampant contractualization<br />

has led <strong>to</strong> a much-noticed<br />

deterioration of services.<br />

Workers have been taking<br />

these contractual jobs out of<br />

desperation. The jobs are offered<br />

on a ‘take it or leave it’<br />

basis. If they don’t take the job,<br />

there are others in line, more<br />

desperate. And so they do, believing<br />

any job is better than no<br />

job at all. It’s the same principle<br />

used by those companies<br />

who could well afford <strong>to</strong> pay the<br />

minimum wage and other mandated<br />

benefits but don’t. If you<br />

don’t like what we’re doing then<br />

go somewhere else, they say.<br />

What these companies fail <strong>to</strong><br />

realize is contractualization negatively<br />

affects their services in the<br />

long run. It loses them cus<strong>to</strong>mers<br />

and profits.<br />

How much motivation is there<br />

for workers <strong>to</strong> do their jobs well<br />

if after five months they would be<br />

out of work anyway? In some<br />

cases, the unscrupulous workers<br />

would even try <strong>to</strong> take advantage<br />

of their short tenure with a certain<br />

company <strong>to</strong> earn as much as<br />

they can illegally.<br />

Nowadays, for instance, cable<br />

companies are losing a lot of<br />

profits because of cable pilferage,<br />

those “colorum” cable connections.<br />

Do they realize that a lot<br />

of those who offer these illegal<br />

connections are their own contractual<br />

workers? These workers,<br />

k<strong>now</strong>ing they’d be jobless in five<br />

months, offer <strong>to</strong> provide these<br />

colorum cable services, as part of<br />

their “extra-income.” They don’t<br />

feel any loyalty <strong>to</strong> the company,<br />

and they even justify what they’re<br />

doing as pay<strong>back</strong> for not being<br />

given security of tenure.<br />

In many service-oriented industries<br />

like restaurants and hotels,<br />

services have suffered because<br />

owners and management<br />

thought they could cut costs by<br />

resorting <strong>to</strong> contractualization.<br />

Have you noticed how many of<br />

those first class hotels you once<br />

frequented do not offer first class<br />

service anymore? The same goes<br />

for those favorite restaurants. You<br />

can blame contractualization for<br />

that as well.<br />

Even some nurses in hospitals<br />

in the <strong>count</strong>ry are <strong>now</strong> hired on<br />

a contractual basis. And yet we<br />

complain about the exodus of<br />

our medical professionals <strong>to</strong> better-paying<br />

jobs abroad.<br />

In telecommunication companies<br />

what were once regular<br />

jobs like installing lines, repair<br />

services, maintenance work are<br />

contracted out <strong>now</strong>adays. Crews<br />

are paid usually on piecemeal or<br />

on a per job basis. These crews<br />

have no rights, they are paid<br />

less, they have no benefits, they<br />

get less training or none at all.<br />

They are not organic <strong>to</strong> the companies<br />

they serve and could lose<br />

their jobs anytime. Again, how<br />

can you expect them <strong>to</strong> provide<br />

quality service?<br />

As Ople noted, those engaged<br />

by subcontrac<strong>to</strong>rs end up<br />

mistreated as mere temporary<br />

or part-time workers, and deprived<br />

of statu<strong>to</strong>ry wages and<br />

benefits, including manda<strong>to</strong>ry<br />

social security and health insurance<br />

coverage.<br />

Ultimately though, both workers<br />

and the companies suffer.<br />

Contractualization, as it turns<br />

out, is not just bad for the workers.<br />

It’s bad for business as well.<br />

ernestboyherrera@yahoo.com<br />

Jocjoc could end the Roxas supremacy in Capiz<br />

THE province of Capiz caught<br />

election fever months before<br />

most other provinces. Posters and<br />

billboards carrying names of political<br />

neophytes and incumbents<br />

alike were posted everywhere in<br />

the province—and one would<br />

learn that Jocelyn “Jocjoc”<br />

Bolante and former Police Direc<strong>to</strong>r<br />

Bobby Lastimoso, like Sen.<br />

Mar Roxas, are sons of Capiz, and<br />

vying for elective posts.<br />

With a few weeks left before<br />

the elections, the <strong>to</strong>ne has sharpened.<br />

Candidates and supporters<br />

of the Liberal Party—the party of<br />

Sen. Mar Roxas and considered<br />

the ruling party in Capiz—are<br />

<strong>now</strong> resorting <strong>to</strong> below-the-belt<br />

attacks on their opponents. This<br />

is the first time that the opposition<br />

(<strong>to</strong> the Roxas supremacy) is<br />

serious, one local medial practitioner<br />

<strong>to</strong>ld me. And the Liberal<br />

Party doesn’t k<strong>now</strong> how <strong>to</strong> manage<br />

it. A peace covenant between<br />

the candidates has been violated<br />

with libelous tags such as “thief”<br />

thrown at barangay officials identified<br />

with the opposition. Fortunately,<br />

however, attacks remain<br />

verbal and not physical.<br />

Capiz City, here we come, candidates<br />

of the Ugyon Kita party<br />

voice out cheerfully. Unofficial<br />

reports have it that Mr. Bolante<br />

and his Ugyon Kita party are leading.<br />

If they win, Roxas City might<br />

revert <strong>back</strong> <strong>to</strong> its original name—<br />

Capiz. Why the popularity of Mr.<br />

Bolante—wasn’t he tagged as the<br />

man behind the infamous fertilizer<br />

scam? Local observers claim<br />

that the national media was biased<br />

and unfair <strong>to</strong> Mr. Bolante.<br />

And in Capiz, many are delighted<br />

<strong>to</strong> see someone challenge<br />

the supremacy of the Roxases.<br />

The failure of Capiz <strong>to</strong> progress<br />

is blamed on the Roxases who<br />

despite fame and fortune have<br />

done little for their native province,<br />

or so Roxas critics allege.<br />

They say that the Roxases prefer<br />

mediocre local politicians <strong>to</strong> prevent<br />

more talented people from<br />

rising and eventually becoming<br />

threats. Maybe this is the reason<br />

why no local politician was willing<br />

<strong>to</strong> take on Mrs. Jane Castro,<br />

the wife of incumbent Capiz <strong>Sec</strong>ond<br />

District Congressman<br />

Fredenil Castro. It <strong>to</strong>ok a retired<br />

police direc<strong>to</strong>r general <strong>to</strong> challenge<br />

Mrs. Castro.<br />

Congressman Castro, I was<br />

<strong>to</strong>ld, has taken good care of his<br />

district and the mayors in the district.<br />

So they are with him, and<br />

he is with Jocelyn Bolante.<br />

A vic<strong>to</strong>ry <strong>to</strong> the opposition in<br />

Capiz will of course be an embarrassment<br />

<strong>to</strong> Sen. Roxas even<br />

if he is elected vice president.<br />

Sen. Roxas has everything <strong>to</strong><br />

gain from making an extra effort<br />

<strong>to</strong> be the vice president for the<br />

province <strong>to</strong> which his family<br />

owes its political power, an effort<br />

<strong>to</strong> be loved and respected,<br />

not just feared and envied.<br />

Roxas City’s tiny airport is<br />

undergoing renovation and this<br />

is good news. However, the x-<br />

ray machine remains defective<br />

after all these months. Did it<br />

ever work? The <strong>manual</strong> inspection<br />

conducted, while improved,<br />

doesn’t look sufficiently<br />

thorough if purpose is<br />

<strong>to</strong> prevent bringing of bombs<br />

in check-in luggage.<br />

The new Iloilo airport in Santa<br />

Barbara is of a different standard<br />

though the taxi service from and<br />

<strong>to</strong> the airport isn’t visi<strong>to</strong>rfriendly.<br />

Upon arrival, one has<br />

the choice of taking a rent-a-car<br />

service or a metered taxi. I chose<br />

the metered taxi only <strong>to</strong> find out<br />

that a uniform rate of P400 is<br />

charged. So much for the meter.<br />

The same rate is applied by all<br />

taxis on going <strong>to</strong> the airport from<br />

Iloilo City, I was <strong>to</strong>ld when I<br />

<strong>to</strong>ok at taxi from the hotel in the<br />

city. The meter, however, showed<br />

P200. No wonder that my<br />

favorite coffee shop at the airport<br />

closed down—after paying P400<br />

in taxi fare and P200 terminal<br />

fee, there is little left for a snack.<br />

Iloilo’s landscape is brown and<br />

dry, the sad effects of the dry spell.<br />

The only thing that seems <strong>to</strong> be<br />

sprouting are campaign posters.<br />

Life in the province, where majority<br />

of people depend on agriculture,<br />

gets harder when the climate<br />

isn’t cooperating. The outcome<br />

of the elections won’t bring<br />

rains or make the crops grow, but<br />

hopefully it will bring <strong>to</strong> office<br />

people whose response <strong>to</strong> these<br />

calamities will help ease the economic<br />

impact of future calamities.<br />

Extreme weather conditions<br />

have become the norm rather<br />

than the exception, and government—local<br />

and national—must<br />

incorporate this new reality in<strong>to</strong><br />

its policies and planning. The<br />

election fever will soon be over,<br />

but the cycle of life continues.<br />

opinion@manilatimes.net


opinion<br />

A 5<br />

The Manila Times<br />

TUESDAY<br />

April 27, 2010<br />

An au<strong>to</strong> boom is coming<br />

DOMESTIC car manufacturers<br />

are raising their sales targets.<br />

Originally, the industry projected<br />

sales of just 137,000 units, an<br />

increase of a sluggish 3.4 percent<br />

over the 132,444 units sold in<br />

2009. They see a boom coming.<br />

In the first quarter, sales<br />

zoomed <strong>to</strong> 38,709 units, a hefty<br />

35.5-percent increase from<br />

28,563 in January <strong>to</strong> March<br />

2008. In March alone, sales rose<br />

33.8 percent <strong>to</strong> 14,373 units<br />

from March in 2008. Between<br />

February 2009 and March 2009,<br />

the increase was 14.3 percent,<br />

which if annualized or multiplied<br />

by 12 (months) translates<br />

in<strong>to</strong> a 171.6-percent gain.<br />

The 35.5 percent year-on-year<br />

quarterly increase of 35.5 percent<br />

if divided by three months shows<br />

an average increase of 11.8 percent<br />

per month.<br />

Therefore, the trend seems <strong>to</strong><br />

indicate a minimum increase of<br />

12 percent and a maximum of<br />

up <strong>to</strong> 172 percent. This means<br />

au<strong>to</strong> sales could chalk up <strong>to</strong><br />

148,337 units (up 12 percent<br />

from 132,444 units in 2009) or<br />

more than double (a 100-percent<br />

increase) <strong>to</strong> go past 265,000<br />

units this year. With these indica<strong>to</strong>rs,<br />

a 50-percent jump in sales<br />

<strong>to</strong> about 200,000 units doesn’t<br />

seem very aggressive.<br />

The highest industry sales were<br />

in 1996 when 160,499 units were<br />

sold. Very likely, that record will<br />

be exceeded for the first time in<br />

14 years this year. That assumes a<br />

growth rate of 21 percent, which<br />

seems highly achievable. In fact,<br />

Mitsubishi Mo<strong>to</strong>rs, the second<br />

biggest seller, <strong>now</strong> projects a sales<br />

growth of 20 percent over 2009.<br />

Ever conservative, Toyota sees an<br />

increase of 10 percent.<br />

“The strong first quarter result<br />

augurs well for the whole au<strong>to</strong><br />

industry,” says Campi President<br />

Elizabeth Lee. “We will have <strong>to</strong><br />

revise our original forecast upwards<br />

given the first quarter<br />

trend. We are looking forward <strong>to</strong><br />

continued strong sales in the<br />

coming months compared <strong>to</strong> the<br />

same period last year.”<br />

She adds: “2010 is looking <strong>to</strong><br />

VIRTUAL<br />

REALITY<br />

TONY LOPEZ<br />

be a pretty good year for au<strong>to</strong>. It<br />

is an exciting year most especially<br />

for buyers with many new models<br />

<strong>to</strong> be introduced within the<br />

year as well as the upcoming and<br />

much awaited Campi Philippine<br />

International Mo<strong>to</strong>rshow <strong>to</strong> be<br />

held on August 19 <strong>to</strong> 22 this year.<br />

Why the boom?<br />

First, the economy is taking off.<br />

After a paltry 0.9-percent growth<br />

in 2009, the economy is poised<br />

<strong>to</strong> score a tripling in growth rate<br />

<strong>to</strong> more than 3.6 percent, or even<br />

4 percent. The momentum is not<br />

likely <strong>to</strong> be disturbed even with a<br />

new president. The Manila-based<br />

Asian Development Bank assumes<br />

a smooth transition with<br />

the presidential and legislative<br />

elections and that the new government<br />

will pursue a credible<br />

economic and fiscal programs.<br />

That can only mean good news.<br />

<strong>Sec</strong>ond, people have money.<br />

“I have a lot of friends. They<br />

have money but don’t k<strong>now</strong><br />

where <strong>to</strong> put it,” relates Ramon<br />

Ang, the president and COO of<br />

San Miguel Corp. (SMC). This<br />

finding prompted him <strong>to</strong> prod<br />

SMC <strong>to</strong> issue a P38.8-billion<br />

float, which was oversubscribed,<br />

and Petron Corp. <strong>to</strong> make a P10-<br />

billion (up from the original P5<br />

billion) preferred share offering,<br />

which again, was oversubscribed.<br />

“My bankers <strong>to</strong>ld me it<br />

could not be done—a huge bond<br />

float and a large preferred share<br />

offering,” Ang smiles.<br />

Third, remittances remain<br />

strong. They will amount <strong>to</strong><br />

$18.3 billion this year. The<br />

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)<br />

expects a 6-percent increase in<br />

remittances this year. Remittances,<br />

in turn, will underpin a<br />

strong private consumption over<br />

the next two years, says ADB,<br />

along with a firmer labor market<br />

and stronger consumer confidence.<br />

OFW remittances will hit<br />

$18.3 billion this year, up 6 percent.<br />

About half of the $18 billion<br />

will be saved; 7 percent is<br />

spent on vehicles.<br />

According <strong>to</strong> BSP, of the 534<br />

OFW households it surveyed, they<br />

allotted 50.4 percent of remittances<br />

<strong>to</strong> savings in the first quarter<br />

2010, up from 44.8 percent in<br />

Q4 2009. This means idle money,<br />

equivalent <strong>to</strong> $9.15 billion, or<br />

P441.5 billion (at P45 <strong>to</strong> $1).<br />

About 30 percent of remittances<br />

were spent last year on consumer<br />

durables (like appliances) and 6.7<br />

percent on vehicles. Now, 6.7 percent<br />

is equivalent <strong>to</strong> a whopping<br />

$1.22 billion, or P55 billion.<br />

“OFWs are a big contribu<strong>to</strong>r,”<br />

says Danny Isla, the president<br />

of Lexus Manila and vp of<br />

Toyota Mo<strong>to</strong>r Philippines,<br />

“they pump-prime the economy<br />

and their spending habits<br />

generate the boom.”<br />

Fourth, the lingering effects of<br />

last year’s Ondoy devastation have<br />

spilled in<strong>to</strong> bigger au<strong>to</strong> demand.<br />

An industry leader estimates up<br />

<strong>to</strong> 100,000 units need <strong>to</strong> be replaced.<br />

“Many old units still have<br />

<strong>to</strong> be rectified,” says Toyota’s Isla.<br />

Fifth, nearly all the au<strong>to</strong> companies<br />

are conducting aggressive<br />

sales promotion with new car<br />

models and zero-interest financing.<br />

“Even the luxury brands are<br />

offering zero financing,” notes<br />

Isla. Finally, business and consumer<br />

confidence are at their twoyear<br />

high. There is an overall<br />

sense of buoyancy.<br />

Campi’s Lee says au<strong>to</strong> sales<br />

for this year will be driven by<br />

election spending, fleet deliveries<br />

<strong>to</strong> national and local government<br />

agencies and higher remittances<br />

from overseas Filipino<br />

workers. She also cites stronger<br />

growth of entrepreneurial trend,<br />

business expansion, and strong<br />

and aggressive financing environment<br />

as important fac<strong>to</strong>rs<br />

boosting vehicle sales.<br />

biznewsasia@gmaill.com<br />

Local <strong>poll</strong>s more exciting and unpredictable<br />

ALTHOUGH the attention of<br />

the media and most observers<br />

in the May 10 balloting would<br />

be focused on national politics, I<br />

am more interested in some<br />

hotly-contested local posts.<br />

For example, in Manila, the culture<br />

and politics capital of the<br />

<strong>count</strong>ry, will Mayor Alfredo Lim<br />

keep his post or will former Mayor<br />

Li<strong>to</strong> Atienza make a come<strong>back</strong>?<br />

In the 2007 elections, Lim had<br />

Atienza’s son, Ali, for his opponent<br />

after the elder Atienza completed<br />

his three terms. Ali, who was politically<br />

still wet behind the ears,<br />

never had a Chinaman’s chance<br />

against the more grizzled Lim.<br />

But Atienza himself beat Lim<br />

in the 2004 elections.<br />

Now Atienza, who was once<br />

Lim’s vice mayor, has vowed <strong>to</strong><br />

regain the mayoralty post. Although<br />

there is a third candidate,<br />

former PNP chief Avelino Razon,<br />

the real contest is between Lim<br />

and Atienza. Can Atienza s<strong>to</strong>p<br />

Lim’s bid for a second term?<br />

Nograles vs. Duterte<br />

In Davao City, the big question is<br />

whether Speaker Prospero Nograles<br />

would win in the mayoralty race<br />

against Sara Duterte, the incumbent<br />

vice mayor and lawyer-daughter of<br />

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.<br />

Mayor Duterte is winding up<br />

his third term so he is running as<br />

his daughter’s vice mayor.<br />

Nograles, who is ineligible <strong>to</strong><br />

run for his congressional seat after<br />

having served three terms, has<br />

denied that he has a rift with<br />

Duterte. But he complained that<br />

Duterte has refused <strong>to</strong> accept the<br />

MEN & EVENTS<br />

“POLITICS<br />

OF COURSE”<br />

ALITO L. MALINAO<br />

fact that he is the Speaker and still<br />

calls him “Congressman.”<br />

“But if I win as mayor and he<br />

wins as vice mayor, he would<br />

have <strong>to</strong> call me ‘Sir’,” Nograles<br />

said in a TV interview.<br />

Nograles ran and lost <strong>to</strong> the<br />

elder Duterte in his mayoralty<br />

bid in 1998. He was able <strong>to</strong> regain<br />

his old congressional seat in<br />

2001, and has held the post for<br />

three consecutive terms.<br />

Duterte is confident that<br />

Nograles will suffer the same fate<br />

that he had in l998.<br />

After May 10, will Duterte be<br />

forced <strong>to</strong> call Nograles “Sir” or<br />

will the latter just fade in<strong>to</strong> political<br />

oblivion?<br />

The Osmeñas of Cebu<br />

In Cebu, the political battle is a<br />

spillover from the long-standing<br />

family feud among the Osmeñas,<br />

thus making it more exciting.<br />

Cousins Sergio “Serge” Osmeña<br />

3rd and Emilio “Li<strong>to</strong>”<br />

Osmeña are both running for<br />

sena<strong>to</strong>r. The Commission on<br />

Elections at first delisted Li<strong>to</strong><br />

Osmeña but later reinstated his<br />

name in the ballot.<br />

This is definitely going <strong>to</strong> cost<br />

former Sena<strong>to</strong>r Serge some votes<br />

BUDDY CUNANAN<br />

since Li<strong>to</strong>’s name will be ahead<br />

in the ballot. Li<strong>to</strong> was Cebu governor<br />

from 1988 <strong>to</strong> 1992 and a<br />

presidential candidate in l998.<br />

Li<strong>to</strong>’s brother, former Sena<strong>to</strong>r<br />

John “Sonny” Osmeña, is running<br />

for mayor of Cebu City<br />

against cousin Georgia, the estranged<br />

sister of Serge and Mayor<br />

Tommy Osmeña.<br />

Tommy, who has completed<br />

his three term limit, is running<br />

for congressman in Cebu City’s<br />

south district. He is not supporting<br />

his sister Georgia nor his<br />

cousin Sonny but Vice Mayor<br />

Michael Rama.<br />

Marcos-Romualdez clan<br />

It would also be interesting <strong>to</strong><br />

k<strong>now</strong> if Ferdinand “Bongbong”<br />

Marcos will make it <strong>to</strong> the Senate.<br />

If he wins, then he would be<br />

retracing the political odyssey of<br />

his father, Ferdinand Marcos.<br />

Like Bongbong, the late strongman<br />

was congressman of Ilocos<br />

Norte before he ran for the Senate<br />

and later for president.<br />

To keep its stronghold in the<br />

province, the matriarch of the<br />

Marcos-Romualdez political clan,<br />

Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, is running<br />

for the post vacated by<br />

Bongbong while her other daughter,<br />

Imee, also a former congresswoman,<br />

is running for governor<br />

against her cousin, the incumbent<br />

governor, Michael Keon.<br />

In Tacloban City, former<br />

mayor Alfredo “Bejo” Romualdez,<br />

Imelda’s brother, <strong>now</strong> in his mid-<br />

70s, is running as vice mayor of<br />

his son, incumbent Tacloban<br />

Mayor Alfred Romualdez.<br />

The elder Romualdez said<br />

that their family was consolidating<br />

its forces <strong>to</strong> help the candidacy<br />

of Bongbong.<br />

Mayor Romualdez’s wife, Tacloban<br />

City Councilor and former ac<strong>to</strong>r<br />

Cristina Romualdez, and his<br />

cousin, Leyte first district Rep.<br />

Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, a<br />

son of former Leyte Gov. Benjamin<br />

“Kokoy” Romualdez, are<br />

also running for reelection.<br />

Jocjoc as Capiz governor<br />

But the biggest news after the<br />

May 10 elections would be if<br />

Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante, the alleged<br />

architect of the P728-million<br />

fertilizer scam, would win<br />

as Capiz governor. Capiz is the<br />

home province of LP vice presidential<br />

bet Mar Roxas.<br />

Bolante is facing plunder<br />

charges at the Ombudsman but<br />

up <strong>to</strong> <strong>now</strong>, the charges have not<br />

been filed with the Sandiganbayan.<br />

Technically there is still<br />

no impediment <strong>to</strong> his running<br />

for public office.<br />

Bolante is running under his<br />

Ugyon Kita Capiz party, which is<br />

affiliated with the Nacionalista<br />

Party, against incumbent Gov.<br />

Vic<strong>to</strong>r Tanco of the Liberal Party.<br />

Reports said that some local leaders<br />

have junked Tanco and are<br />

<strong>now</strong> supporting Bolante.<br />

What if Bolante wins?<br />

“Then the Philippines deserves<br />

<strong>to</strong> be in the Guinness Book of<br />

World Records,” quipped Noynoy<br />

Aquino during his campaign sorties<br />

in Capiz.<br />

opinion@manilatimes.net<br />

Espiritu: Villar and Vista Land should be praised<br />

IN their latest attempt <strong>to</strong> bring<br />

down Sen. Manuel Villar Jr, the<br />

tag team of former President<br />

Joseph Estrada and Senate President<br />

Juan Ponce Enrile claimed<br />

that the Nacionalista Party standard-bearer<br />

pressured the Philippine<br />

S<strong>to</strong>ck Exchange (PSE) <strong>to</strong> bend<br />

its rules during the initial public<br />

offering of his Vista Land Inc in<br />

2007 so that he could raise money<br />

for his presidential campaign.<br />

This, apparently, is a bald-faced lie.<br />

No less than the PSE and the <strong>Sec</strong>urities<br />

and Exchange Commission<br />

(SEC) have cleared Villar of any malfeasance.<br />

In response <strong>to</strong> the Estrada/<br />

Enrile allegations, the PSE said that<br />

Vista Land had properly complied<br />

with its listing and public offering requirements.<br />

The SEC also confirmed<br />

the PSE’s statement and stressed that<br />

there was nothing irregular about<br />

Vista Land’s public offering in<br />

2007. Villar has dared Estrada and<br />

Enrile <strong>to</strong> produce documents showing<br />

his purported wrongdoing and<br />

charge him in court.<br />

It’s obvious that the objective of<br />

the “Estrile” partnership is <strong>to</strong> hurl<br />

as much mud, factual or otherwise,<br />

at Villar and subject him <strong>to</strong> trial<br />

by publicity. Aiding them in this<br />

unscrupulous endeavour are blatantly<br />

partisan media outlets like<br />

The Philippine Daily Inquirer and<br />

the ABS-CBN television network.<br />

Why is “Estrile” bent on destroying<br />

Villar? Estrada and Enrile view<br />

Villar as the main obstacle <strong>to</strong><br />

Estrada’s reclaiming the presidency,<br />

which he lost when he was unceremoniously<br />

ousted from Malacañang<br />

in 2001. Estrada is currently in<br />

third place in the surveys, behind Liberal<br />

Party bet Sen Noynoy Aquino<br />

and Villar. Sources say that Estrada<br />

and Enrile have an original copy of<br />

the Bos<strong>to</strong>n psychiatric report, care of<br />

Ernes<strong>to</strong> Maceda (who was very close<br />

<strong>to</strong> the Aquino family during their<br />

exile in the US), that shows that<br />

Aquino received treatment for mental<br />

illness. If “Estrile” succeeds in<br />

bringing down Villar, the duo will<br />

train their guns on Aquino and unleash<br />

the damaging report.<br />

❋ ❋ ❋<br />

I had a good chat with former<br />

Ambassador <strong>to</strong> the UK Edgardo<br />

Espiritu, one of the most respected<br />

financial experts in the <strong>count</strong>ry,<br />

about the Vista Land controversy. He<br />

echoed the PSE and SEC statements,<br />

clearing Villar and the company of<br />

any misconduct. “I don’t understand<br />

why they are being criticized,” he<br />

said. “They should even be praised.”<br />

Espiritu, who also served as finance<br />

secretary, president of the<br />

Philippine National Bank and<br />

Metrobank, and chairman of the<br />

Asian Development Bank board of<br />

governors, said that the Vista Land<br />

IPO was the first of its magnitude<br />

that was initiated by a Filipino<br />

(Villar) and hailed as a success by<br />

the international finance community.<br />

“Vista Land was a model <strong>to</strong><br />

attract foreign capital,” he maintained.<br />

In fact, over 85 percent of<br />

the shares were taken by foreign<br />

inves<strong>to</strong>rs, not by OFWs as Estrada<br />

and Enrile wrongly claimed.<br />

“The Vista Land IPO was a venture<br />

that I was very proud of,”<br />

Espiritu said. During his stint as<br />

envoy <strong>to</strong> the Court of Saint James,<br />

officers of Vista Land travelled <strong>to</strong><br />

London and other major financial<br />

capitals <strong>to</strong> explain the deal <strong>to</strong> international<br />

institutional inves<strong>to</strong>rs.<br />

Espiritu stressed that strict due diligence<br />

was carried out on the Vista<br />

Land IPO by these groups. “They<br />

wouldn’t have bought in<strong>to</strong> it if<br />

they didn’t believe in Vista Land.”<br />

Espiritu laments that Estrada and<br />

Enrile did the nation a great disservice<br />

by dragging the Vista Land IPO<br />

in<strong>to</strong> the current cross-party mudslinging.<br />

Their untruthful allegations<br />

against Villar, the company,<br />

and the PSE could erode foreign inves<strong>to</strong>r<br />

confidence in the economy<br />

and the <strong>count</strong>ry’s financial institutions.<br />

“After their tirade, which foreign<br />

inves<strong>to</strong>r will still believe in the<br />

Philippines?” Espiritu asked woefully.<br />

“This is self-destructive.”<br />

❋ ❋ ❋<br />

Estrada and Enrile are, in fact,<br />

tainted sources. Always on the<br />

wrong side of his<strong>to</strong>ry, Enrile was<br />

Marcos’ martial law administra<strong>to</strong>r,<br />

in charge of the <strong>count</strong>ry’s security<br />

apparatus, which carried<br />

out some of the most reprehensible<br />

human rights violations. He<br />

even faked his own ambush so<br />

that Marcos could justify the imposition<br />

of martial law.<br />

Estrada, for his part, has the gall<br />

<strong>to</strong> accuse Villar of manipulating the<br />

PSE’s rules, when he has not yet<br />

cleared himself of his complicity in<br />

the BW Resources Scam. “Vista<br />

Land is completely different from<br />

BW,” Espiritu pointed out. “While<br />

Vista Land was <strong>to</strong>tally above board,<br />

BW was an outright rigging and manipulation<br />

of the s<strong>to</strong>ckmarket and<br />

many people lost their life savings.”<br />

At that time, Espiritu was Estrada’s<br />

finance secretary and was approached<br />

by officers of the PSE who<br />

asked for his help, fearing the collapse<br />

of the s<strong>to</strong>ck market due <strong>to</strong><br />

over P2-billion past-due transactions<br />

as a result of the scam. Shortly<br />

after, Espiritu resigned and later testified<br />

at Estrada’s impeachment<br />

trial at the Senate.<br />

What is the best proof that Villar<br />

and the Vista Land IPO were transparent<br />

and fair? Simple, Espiritu<br />

says. “Are any of Vista Land’s foreign<br />

inves<strong>to</strong>rs complaining?”<br />

neighborsnbn@gmail.com<br />

»analysis<br />

Thailand’s pro-establishment<br />

Yellows call for martial law<br />

BY THANAPORN PROMYAMYAI<br />

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE<br />

BANGKOK: Thailand’s pro-establishment<br />

Yellow Shirts called<br />

Monday for the imposition of<br />

martial law <strong>to</strong> end mass antigovernment<br />

protests by the rival<br />

Red Shirts, warning they may<br />

take action themselves.<br />

The Reds were on alert for a<br />

crackdown by the security forces<br />

on their fortified camp in the<br />

heart of Bangkok, where tensions<br />

remained high after a grenade<br />

attack late Sunday on the<br />

house of a former premier injured<br />

11 people.<br />

Twenty-six people have died<br />

and almost 1,000 have been<br />

injured in the capital this<br />

month in Thailand’s bloodiest<br />

civil violence in almost two<br />

decades, despite a state of<br />

emergency in Bangkok and<br />

surrounding areas.<br />

The Yellows, formally k<strong>now</strong>n as<br />

the People’s Alliance for Democracy<br />

(PAD), have said they will<br />

take action <strong>to</strong> “protect the <strong>count</strong>ry”<br />

if authorities do not deal with<br />

the thousands of anti-government<br />

Red Shirt protesters.<br />

A one-week deadline set by the<br />

Yellows for an end <strong>to</strong> the crippling<br />

protests expired with no end in<br />

sight and the movement called on<br />

its supporters <strong>to</strong> begin their own<br />

peaceful demonstrations.<br />

“The prime minister k<strong>now</strong>s<br />

well that in this situation military<br />

measures are needed because it<br />

was hard <strong>to</strong> resolve it through<br />

politics,” said Suriyasai Katasila,<br />

spokesman for the Yellows’ New<br />

Politics Party.<br />

“There should be an announcement<br />

of martial law,” he<br />

said. “If the situation does not<br />

improve, PAD will consider intensifying<br />

its measures.”<br />

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva<br />

has rejected an offer by the Reds,<br />

who mostly support former premier<br />

Thaksin Shinawatra, <strong>to</strong> disperse<br />

if elections are held in three<br />

months’ time—softening earlier<br />

demands for snap <strong>poll</strong>s.<br />

Appearing on national television<br />

Sunday alongside his army<br />

chief, Abhisit vowed <strong>to</strong> retake the<br />

sprawling protest site that has<br />

paralyzed Bangkok’s main retail<br />

district, but gave no indication of<br />

when a crackdown might come.<br />

Thailand is largely split between<br />

the mainly rural poor and<br />

urban working class Reds, and<br />

Global view<br />

the Yellows who staged their<br />

own street protests that heralded<br />

a 2006 coup ousting their<br />

enemy Thaksin.<br />

Yellow protesters in 2008<br />

blockaded Bangkok’s two main<br />

airports, before a controversial<br />

court verdict removed Thaksin’s<br />

allies and allowed a parliamentary<br />

vote that brought in the current<br />

government.<br />

The Yellows had remained<br />

largely silent since the Reds began<br />

mass rallies in mid-March<br />

demanding immediate elections,<br />

but there are <strong>now</strong> growing<br />

fears of clashes between the<br />

rival groups.<br />

The anti-government movement<br />

remained as defiant after<br />

another night passed with no<br />

sign of a crackdown on their<br />

base, which has been fortified<br />

with barricades made from piles<br />

of truck tyres and sharpened<br />

bamboo poles.<br />

“If Abhisit fails <strong>to</strong> crack down<br />

on us, he will have <strong>to</strong> leave office,”<br />

said one of the Reds’ leaders,<br />

Nattawut Saikuar.<br />

If he succeeds in breaking up<br />

the protests, the Reds will rally<br />

across the <strong>count</strong>ry and prepare<br />

for a return <strong>to</strong> the capital, he said.<br />

Many of the anti-government<br />

protesters have begun shedding<br />

their trademark red clothing and<br />

wearing other colors <strong>to</strong> make<br />

themselves harder <strong>to</strong> identify.<br />

The red-clad movement has<br />

also blocked the path of hundreds<br />

of police officers headed<br />

for the capital <strong>to</strong> reinforce security<br />

forces.<br />

When troops tried <strong>to</strong> sweep the<br />

Reds out of Bangkok’s his<strong>to</strong>ric<br />

area on April 10 they suffered a<br />

humiliating retreat in the face of<br />

bloody street <strong>fighting</strong> that left 25<br />

dead and hundreds injured.<br />

The military has warned protesters<br />

they will face live weapons<br />

fire in any new clashes.<br />

Ramping up the pressure on<br />

Abhisit, the Election Commission<br />

earlier this month called<br />

for his ruling Democrat Party <strong>to</strong><br />

be abolished over allegations of<br />

an illegal political donation in<br />

2005 and misuse of a commission<br />

grant.<br />

The first <strong>count</strong> will be forwarded<br />

<strong>to</strong> the At<strong>to</strong>rney General,<br />

who has 30 days <strong>to</strong> consider it. The<br />

election body has until the end of<br />

Monday <strong>to</strong> forward the second<br />

case of alleged grant misuse directly<br />

<strong>to</strong> the constitutional court.


A<br />

6<br />

news<br />

The ˜Manila Times TUESDAY April 27, 2010<br />

One dead, thousands homeless in QC slum fire<br />

ONE person died and thousands<br />

were left homeless when a fire<br />

<strong>to</strong>re through a shanty <strong>to</strong>wn in the<br />

Philippine capital, authorities said on Monday.<br />

Sunday’s blaze, likely started by<br />

a faulty power line, raged for more<br />

than seven hours and destroyed<br />

hundreds of homes in a depressingly<br />

familiar scene for the crowded<br />

city, where fires regularly engulf<br />

densely populated slums.<br />

Obet Madarang, an aide <strong>to</strong> the<br />

■ CHEATED FROM A1<br />

<strong>Agra</strong> cheated in law school<br />

aggravated by the criticisms. On Monday<br />

at the flag ceremony of Justice department<br />

personnel, he declared: “I stand by that<br />

decision and the process I went through<br />

<strong>to</strong> arrive at it . . . I bow neither <strong>to</strong> political<br />

dictates nor <strong>to</strong> public opinion.”<br />

He admitted <strong>to</strong> being a crybaby but said<br />

won’t quit his post. “’Di po ako magbibitiw<br />

sa aking posisyon, Wala akong balak atrasan<br />

ang mga hamon sa aking opisina . . . .matibay<br />

si Al <strong>Agra</strong> kahit iyakin [I will not resign from<br />

my position and I have no intention <strong>to</strong> <strong>back</strong><br />

off from the challenges of my office. Al <strong>Agra</strong><br />

is durable even if he cries],” <strong>Agra</strong> added.<br />

But then this isn’t the first time <strong>Agra</strong> has<br />

had <strong>to</strong> endure the ire of his fellow men of<br />

justice, and closest buddies in law school.<br />

Two decades ago, one of his professors<br />

at the Ateneo de Manila Law School also<br />

got infuriated after discovering that <strong>Agra</strong><br />

and six of his friends had exactly the same<br />

wrong answers in an exam—down <strong>to</strong> the<br />

decimal points. To their teacher, that was<br />

hint enough that the students had cheated.<br />

“It was a scandal at the time,” said an<br />

Ateneo staffer privy <strong>to</strong> the incident but who<br />

declined <strong>to</strong> be named. “There were about<br />

100 students who <strong>to</strong>ok the exam. <strong>Agra</strong> and<br />

his classmates were accused of cheating by<br />

their professor who had them investigated.”<br />

The case reached the dean’s office and<br />

went all the way up <strong>to</strong> the office of the<br />

university president, said the staffer.<br />

<strong>Agra</strong> won’t reply<br />

Over the last five days, the PCIJ had tried <strong>to</strong><br />

get <strong>Agra</strong>’s side of the issue. On Thursday he<br />

<strong>to</strong>ld the PCIJ over the phone that he prefers<br />

a face-<strong>to</strong>-face interview early this week.<br />

On Friday, via a text message, the PCIJ<br />

requested him <strong>to</strong> fix the date, time and<br />

venue of the interview. The PCIJ called<br />

again. <strong>Agra</strong> said he had changed his mind<br />

about the face-<strong>to</strong>-face interview and would<br />

<strong>now</strong> prefer <strong>to</strong> answer questions via email,<br />

with a promise <strong>to</strong> send his reply by Sunday.<br />

The PCIJ sent a reminder text on Monday,<br />

and <strong>Agra</strong> texted <strong>back</strong>, “will e-mail later<br />

<strong>to</strong>day.” At the close of office hours 5 p.m.<br />

Monday, <strong>Agra</strong> had not done so.<br />

Two other Ateneo personnel interviewed<br />

separately by PCIJ corroborate the<br />

staffer’s s<strong>to</strong>ry. They also say it was the final<br />

exam in the Law of Wills and Succession<br />

subject under then professor Avelino<br />

Sebastian Jr.<br />

Sebastian, who has retired from teaching<br />

at the Ateneo, in a recent phone interview<br />

with the PCIJ neither confirmed nor<br />

denied that <strong>Agra</strong> was among those he had<br />

found cheating in his class.<br />

Nonetheless, according <strong>to</strong> one of the<br />

Ateneo personnel, the incident happened<br />

in 1988 when <strong>Agra</strong> was on his third year in<br />

law school. As a result, <strong>Agra</strong> had <strong>to</strong> retake<br />

the class, which meant he could not graduate<br />

with the rest of his batch. Originally<br />

belonging <strong>to</strong> Batch ’89, he graduated in<br />

1990 and passed the bar the following year.<br />

But <strong>Agra</strong> would redeem himself from his<br />

rather unpleasant academic past, establishing<br />

himself early in his career as a defender<br />

of the defenseless. Unfortunately, said his<br />

present critics, he later moved <strong>to</strong> the other<br />

side of the fence and became a defender of<br />

a highly unpopular but impeachmentproof<br />

president, Gloria Arroyo.<br />

In the late 1980s, though, the then<br />

young lawyer was earning praise from activists<br />

for, among other things, helping<br />

found and later heading the non-government<br />

organization Saligan ng Alternatibong<br />

Lingap Panlegal (Saligan).<br />

Saligan is an Ateneo-based alternative<br />

lawyers’ group catering <strong>to</strong> the needs of the<br />

poor and marginalized sec<strong>to</strong>rs of society.<br />

A do-gooder<br />

“He was respected as one of the founders<br />

of Saligan,” said lawyer Marlon Manuel<br />

who had worked with <strong>Agra</strong> as a law student-intern<br />

and later replaced the latter as<br />

Saligan’s executive direc<strong>to</strong>r after 1994. “He<br />

was very committed in his work. As an alternative<br />

lawyer, he worked for social justice<br />

and human rights. Everybody in our<br />

group looked up <strong>to</strong> him.”<br />

Efficient s’ya talaga [He is very efficient],”<br />

said Saligan lawyer Raissa Jajurie, who began<br />

working with <strong>Agra</strong> when she was still a<br />

law student in 1989. “While driving his car<br />

he would have a notepad with him, jotting<br />

down things that he didn’t want <strong>to</strong> forget.<br />

Kumbaga sa karpintero [Like a carpenter], he<br />

was the one who built the house.”<br />

Jajurie added: “He jumpstarted the operations<br />

of the organization. I would like <strong>to</strong> think<br />

that he was sincere in founding Saligan.”<br />

Former education secretary and Liberal<br />

Party (LP) general campaign manager<br />

Florencio “Butch” Abad.” who is also<br />

among Saligan’s founders, described the<br />

young <strong>Agra</strong> as “one of the idealistic lawyers<br />

that we had.”<br />

“He worked pro bono for poor people<br />

who could not afford legal expenses for<br />

their cases,” said Abad.<br />

But while labor law was one of <strong>Agra</strong>’s<br />

early interests, he would branch out <strong>to</strong><br />

local governance and election laws. These<br />

led him <strong>to</strong> dealing with influential politicians<br />

who sought lawyers specializing in<br />

these legal fields. Eventually, <strong>Agra</strong> would<br />

wind up doing what his colleagues in alternative<br />

lawyering would consider highly<br />

objectionable.<br />

During the Estrada administration, <strong>Agra</strong><br />

got involved in local governance work and<br />

had then Mayor Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada of<br />

San Juan City, who was also national president<br />

of the League of Municipalities of the<br />

Philippines, as his client.<br />

In 2004, <strong>Agra</strong> became the election lawyer<br />

of the K-4 coalition made up of the<br />

then ruling party Lakas-Christian Muslim<br />

Democrats, Liberal Party, Nationalist People’s<br />

Coalition and the Nacionalista Party.<br />

The coalition pushed for the presidential<br />

candidacy of Gloria Arroyo, who by then<br />

had occupied Malacañang for three years.<br />

Many doubted President Arroyo’s 2004<br />

<strong>poll</strong> vic<strong>to</strong>ry because of lingering allegations<br />

of widespread fraud as a result of the<br />

highly publicized “Hello, Garci” wiretapping<br />

scandal in 2005.<br />

Switched <strong>to</strong> Gloria side<br />

Subsequent events would finally bring<br />

<strong>Agra</strong> <strong>to</strong> President Arroyo’s turf.<br />

Following then LP president Franklin<br />

Drilon’s 2005 call for President Arroyo <strong>to</strong><br />

resign over allegations of massive cheating<br />

in the 2004 <strong>poll</strong>s, a faction of the party led<br />

by Mrs. Arroyo’s ally, Li<strong>to</strong> Atienza, broke<br />

away from Drilon’s group and elected<br />

Atienza as the faction’s new president.<br />

The Drilon and Atienza factions became<br />

locked up in a legal battle that began at<br />

the Commission on Elections (<strong>Comelec</strong>)<br />

and ended up at the Supreme Court. In<br />

mayor of Quezon City where the fire<br />

occurred, said one person was confirmed<br />

<strong>to</strong> have died, while four others<br />

were injured.<br />

He said 2,600 families, equating<br />

<strong>to</strong> about 15,000 people, had lost<br />

their homes at Tatalon and were<br />

<strong>now</strong> in desperate need of relief assistance<br />

in sprawling Metro Manila’s<br />

most populous city.<br />

“We have enough food but we are<br />

lacking drinking water and portable<br />

<strong>to</strong>ilets,” Madarang <strong>to</strong>ld Agence<br />

France-Presse as a huge line of people<br />

queued up for assistance close <strong>to</strong><br />

the charred remains of their houses.<br />

One woman who lost her home,<br />

May Llegue, 28, said survivors appreciated<br />

the food but were worried<br />

about many other necessities that<br />

the government had yet <strong>to</strong> provide.<br />

“We are happy with the food. But<br />

NOTE: This NTP was supposed <strong>to</strong> be published last<br />

Saturday, April 24, 2010 and was not published due <strong>to</strong> an<br />

error by The Manila Times.<br />

March 2006, <strong>Agra</strong> agreed <strong>to</strong> become the<br />

legal counsel of Drilon’s group. Yet after a<br />

few days, <strong>Agra</strong> withdrew from the case<br />

without explaining his decision, according<br />

<strong>to</strong> Drilon’s camp.<br />

“I remember [<strong>Agra</strong>] telling us that he<br />

had decided <strong>to</strong> help us dahil prinsipyo na<br />

ang pinag-uusapan di<strong>to</strong> [because we are talking<br />

about principle here],” said LP Direc<strong>to</strong>r<br />

General Jose Luis Martin “Chi<strong>to</strong>”<br />

Gascon. “We filed the case at the <strong>Comelec</strong><br />

on March 3, Friday, then he withdrew<br />

Monday. GMA [Gloria Macapagal Arroyo]<br />

got <strong>to</strong> him over the weekend.”<br />

While <strong>Agra</strong> supposedly kept mum about<br />

his reasons for leaving Drilon’s group,<br />

some of those privy <strong>to</strong> what had happened<br />

believe his decision had something <strong>to</strong> do<br />

with his then 14-year-old daughter, who<br />

at the time was already a globetrotting<br />

champion tennis player.<br />

“He [<strong>Agra</strong>] is a family man,” a politician<br />

said. “His life revolves around his<br />

daughter. I think he was afraid that his<br />

daughter who was then getting some support<br />

or scholarship from the government<br />

would be affected if [he did not] withdraw<br />

from defending Drilon’s LP.”<br />

Another politician seconds this and said:<br />

“He really wanted his daughter <strong>to</strong> excel. He<br />

was afraid that his daughter might lose support<br />

if he goes against the government.”<br />

Tennis fanatic, <strong>to</strong>o<br />

<strong>Agra</strong> is a k<strong>now</strong>n tennis fanatic who fully<br />

supports his daughter’s dream of becoming<br />

a world-class athlete.<br />

“We look at this as a family project<br />

which requires a commitment from each<br />

and every one of us. We talk regularly, and<br />

assess [my daughter’s] progress on a regular<br />

basis,” <strong>Agra</strong> <strong>to</strong>ld writer Stephanie<br />

Coyiu<strong>to</strong> of The Philippine Star in August<br />

2006, when asked about how he was supporting<br />

his daughter’s tennis career.<br />

<strong>Agra</strong> is president of the Futures Tennis<br />

Scholarship Foundation Inc. that was established<br />

in June 2001, documents obtained<br />

by the PCIJ from the <strong>Sec</strong>urities and<br />

Exchange Commission showed.<br />

<strong>Agra</strong>’s wife, Evangeline, is the foundation’s<br />

treasurer. The other officers and trustees<br />

are Liza Go; Luisi<strong>to</strong> Hipoli<strong>to</strong>;<br />

Vic<strong>to</strong>riano Naluz Jr.; Domingo Feliciano;<br />

and Remegio Flores.<br />

The foundation holds office at the Medical<br />

Plaza in San Miguel Avenue, Pasig City.<br />

In its 2001 <strong>to</strong> 2003 progress report, the<br />

foundation said its goal is “<strong>to</strong> promote the<br />

development of the sport of tennis by providing<br />

assistance and support <strong>to</strong> its beneficiaries<br />

particularly outstanding junior<br />

tennis players.”<br />

It also “provides assistance <strong>to</strong> underprivileged,<br />

deserving and promising tennis<br />

players as well as extend support <strong>to</strong><br />

coaches and tennis professionals” and<br />

“undertakes programs and projects for<br />

grassroots development and formation of<br />

players for international competition.”<br />

The foundation’s financial statements<br />

showed that from 2002 <strong>to</strong> 2006, its “cash<br />

donation and contribution income”<br />

amounted <strong>to</strong> P5.88 million, including<br />

P1.141 million in 2002; P1.444 million<br />

in 2003; P2.111 million in 2004; P690,000<br />

in 2005; and P489,250 in 2006.<br />

Donors galore<br />

Among the corporate donors listed in the<br />

foundation’s 2001 <strong>to</strong> 2003 progress report<br />

were the government-controlled Philippine<br />

Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor);<br />

the International Container Terminal Services<br />

Inc. (ICTSI) of President Arroyo ally<br />

Enrique Razon Jr.; the Philippine<br />

Long Distance Telephone<br />

Co.; Smart Communications;<br />

and San<br />

Miguel Corp.<br />

The foundation has<br />

launched “special projects<br />

and entered in<strong>to</strong> partnership<br />

arrangements with<br />

corporate sponsors,” according<br />

<strong>to</strong> the organization’s<br />

progress report.<br />

Among these was a<br />

Memorandum of Agreement<br />

with Mandaluyong<br />

City that provided the<br />

foundation with funds<br />

“sourced from the Philippine<br />

Development Assistance<br />

Fund earmarked by<br />

the Office of Sena<strong>to</strong>r<br />

Francis Pangilinan.”<br />

In July 2006, <strong>Agra</strong>’s<br />

daughter won the International<br />

Junior Champ prize<br />

in the Girls Double Event<br />

Tennis Competition in<br />

Egypt. The following month,<br />

she paid President Arroyo a<br />

courtesy call in Malacañang.<br />

what we need is bedding because<br />

there are many children who have<br />

no place <strong>to</strong> sleep. And we need<br />

medical assistance for the elderly,”<br />

she said.<br />

Madarang said illegal power lines<br />

that slum dwellers typically set up<br />

were the likely cause of the fire.<br />

“A lot of people are illegally tapping<br />

the power lines. That was also<br />

believed <strong>to</strong> have been the cause of the<br />

last fire here six years ago,” he said.<br />

Nearly four million people in<br />

Metro Manila, about 35 percent of<br />

By then, <strong>Agra</strong> was serving<br />

as President Arroyo’s lawyer<br />

during the impeachment<br />

proceedings at the House of<br />

Representatives. In the same<br />

the city’s population, live in slums,<br />

according <strong>to</strong> the United Nations.<br />

Fires often rip through them, but the<br />

resilient slum dwellers are k<strong>now</strong>n <strong>to</strong><br />

rebuild their homes and lives nearly<br />

as quickly as they are destroyed.<br />

On Monday, vegetable dealer<br />

Melinda Resti, 49, had already reopened<br />

her s<strong>to</strong>re even though the rest<br />

of her building had been consumed<br />

by the blaze.<br />

“The whole second floor and the<br />

<strong>back</strong> of the s<strong>to</strong>re were lost. We barely<br />

have a roof. But the s<strong>to</strong>refront wasn’t<br />

year, <strong>Agra</strong> also s<strong>to</strong>od as legal counsel of Sigaw<br />

ng Bayan, a group identified with the administration<br />

that led the call for Charter change<br />

(Cha-cha) through a people’s initiative and<br />

<strong>to</strong>ok their petition <strong>to</strong> the Supreme Court.<br />

Manuel, then among the lawyers opposing<br />

Cha-cha, recalled that during the oral<br />

argument at the Supreme Court, he found<br />

his group and <strong>Agra</strong> on opposite sides.<br />

“I remember Butch [Abad] jokingly telling<br />

Al before the hearing at the Supreme<br />

Court that he should sit with us and not<br />

at the opposite side,” said Manuel.<br />

Conflict of interest<br />

In March 2007, President Arroyo appointed<br />

<strong>Agra</strong> as head of the Office of the Government<br />

Corporate Counsel, and then later as<br />

chief regula<strong>to</strong>r of the Metropolitan Waterworks<br />

and Sewerage System, a post that he<br />

relinquished in June 2008 because of allegations<br />

of conflict of interest.<br />

Since 1993, <strong>Agra</strong> has served as a professor<br />

at the Ateneo Law School handling classes on<br />

the 1991 Local Government Code, Law on<br />

Public/Government Corporations, Administrative<br />

Law, and Law on Public Officers.<br />

In January 2010, <strong>Agra</strong> assumed the post<br />

of Solici<strong>to</strong>r General and became concurrent<br />

acting Justice secretary in March.<br />

Sitting on an interim basis in the eightman<br />

Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), <strong>Agra</strong><br />

was the body’s only member who did not<br />

support its opposition <strong>to</strong> the Supreme<br />

Court’s ruling that allows President Arroyo<br />

<strong>to</strong> appoint a new chief justice despite the<br />

ban on midnight appointments during her<br />

final three months in office.<br />

<strong>Agra</strong> even filed a separate comment that<br />

asked the High Court <strong>to</strong> fill up all vacancies<br />

in the Judiciary during her final<br />

months in Malacañang.<br />

Only this month, Manuel’s Alternative Lawyers<br />

Group, a coalition of 17 alternative lawyers’<br />

organizations and which <strong>Agra</strong> also helped<br />

organize, sought the acting Justice secretary’s<br />

inhibition from the JBC’s deliberations on the<br />

nominees for the next chief justice.<br />

Manuel said that <strong>Agra</strong>’s participation<br />

would compromise the JBC’s independence<br />

because as Solici<strong>to</strong>r General, <strong>Agra</strong> has<br />

also consistently defended the government’s<br />

position on President Arroyo’s authority<br />

<strong>to</strong> appoint a new chief justice.<br />

Also, this month, <strong>Agra</strong> issued a resolution<br />

exonerating suspended Gov.<br />

Zaldy Ampatuan of the Au<strong>to</strong>nomous<br />

Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)<br />

and Mayor Akmad Ampatuan Sr. of<br />

Mamasapano, Maguindanao of their involvement<br />

in the November 23 massacre<br />

of 57 people in Maguindanao.<br />

<strong>Agra</strong>’s resolution triggered protests not<br />

only among families of the victims of the<br />

Maguindanao massacre, but also among<br />

state prosecu<strong>to</strong>rs who are <strong>now</strong> asking their<br />

superior <strong>to</strong> “revisit” his resolution.<br />

“Otherwise, we dishonor the primary<br />

reason for which our institution exists and<br />

its very name: the Department of Justice,”<br />

said Chief State Prosecu<strong>to</strong>r Claro Arellano.<br />

Disappointed friends<br />

Meanwhile, his former Saligan colleagues<br />

can’t help but get disappointed<br />

with the acts and pronouncements of<br />

someone who was once their men<strong>to</strong>r.<br />

“I don’t have any ideas about what had<br />

happened <strong>to</strong> him,” said Manuel. “He used<br />

<strong>to</strong> be one of us.”<br />

“I feel sad and perplexed,” said Jajurie.<br />

“Four months na lang siya sa posisyon niya,<br />

di naman siya magtutuloy beyond June 2010<br />

[He will only be at his post for four<br />

months; he won’t be there beyond June<br />

2010]. Why did he have <strong>to</strong> do that?”<br />

Yet those who see <strong>Agra</strong> as being a “fall<br />

guy” of sorts in his decision <strong>to</strong> exonerate<br />

two of the Ampatuans in the massacre discern<br />

a similarity with the role he ended up<br />

playing in the law school exam scandal.<br />

While all seven friends were accused of<br />

cheating, it was only <strong>Agra</strong> who bore the<br />

brunt of the group’s supposed wrongdoing.<br />

“Sa <strong>to</strong><strong>to</strong>o lang, nakakaawa si <strong>Agra</strong> [The<br />

truth is, <strong>Agra</strong> was pitiful],” said one of the<br />

Ateneo personnel interviewed by PCIJ. “All<br />

of them cheated but it was only <strong>Agra</strong> who<br />

admitted the wrongdoing. Because he had<br />

no influence at the time, he became the<br />

sacrificial lamb.”<br />

The Ateneo insider said that most, if not<br />

all, of <strong>Agra</strong>’s six friends who were absolved<br />

of cheating, had money or influence or<br />

both, which got them off the hook. One<br />

was even a sena<strong>to</strong>r’s son.<br />

<strong>Agra</strong>, himself from a relatively well-off<br />

family, actually didn’t voluntarily admit that<br />

he was guilty of cheating, said the insider.<br />

“There were just two of them left who were<br />

then still being investigated,” re<strong>count</strong>ed the<br />

Ateneo staffer. “There [had <strong>to</strong>] be someone<br />

penalized [for the cheating] or else the<br />

school’s disciplinary system would collapse<br />

or it would look like it was the professor who<br />

accused them who was the real problem.”<br />

“Thus the two were <strong>to</strong>ld that one of<br />

them must admit <strong>to</strong> cheating or both of<br />

them will fail,” said the staffer. “It was only<br />

<strong>Agra</strong> who admitted <strong>to</strong> cheating, thus he<br />

flunked the subject.”<br />

burned,” she said.<br />

Nearby, Mila Balanza, 53, kept a<br />

sharp watch over the remains of her<br />

food s<strong>to</strong>re, saying she feared some<br />

people would take advantage of the<br />

fire <strong>to</strong> take over her space.<br />

“I hardly have anything left. Even<br />

the few items in my s<strong>to</strong>re were<br />

looted,” she said.<br />

“But I will not leave, no matter<br />

what happens. I will be <strong>back</strong>. I already<br />

bought some cheap lumber so<br />

I can quickly start the rebuilding.”<br />

AFP<br />

■ FIGHTING FROM A1<br />

In <strong>fighting</strong> mood<br />

two members of the influential Amptuan clan of their<br />

criminal liabilities in the Maguindanao mass murder.<br />

Speaking before officials and employees of the Department<br />

of Justice after flag-raising, <strong>Agra</strong> announced<br />

that he neither would inhibit himself from the review<br />

of his controversial resolution nor create a panel of<br />

prosecu<strong>to</strong>rs <strong>to</strong> review it as he earlier announced.<br />

Instead, he said that he would exercise his prerogative<br />

as Justice chief <strong>to</strong> review the case and would<br />

come up with a final ruling this week on a motion<br />

for reconsideration (MR) that had been filed by<br />

counsels of the families of the Maguindanao massacre’s<br />

57 victims.<br />

“It is my intention <strong>to</strong> release the resolution of<br />

the MR this week. Political timing, as has been suggested,<br />

plays no part in my strict schedule. Those<br />

who k<strong>now</strong> me k<strong>now</strong> that delay is not my style,”<br />

<strong>Agra</strong> added.<br />

He said that he would consult prosecu<strong>to</strong>rs involved<br />

and take their opinions and observations<br />

under advisement, and give their recommendations<br />

utmost weight and consideration.<br />

Support for <strong>Agra</strong><br />

Most of those who attended the morning program<br />

wore white as an expression of continued support<br />

for <strong>Agra</strong>, also the concurrent Solici<strong>to</strong>r General.<br />

<strong>Agra</strong>, who was unaware of his subordinates’ move<br />

<strong>to</strong> surprise him by coming out in full force during<br />

the flag-raising, thanked them for standing by him.<br />

“Di po ako magbibitiw sa aking posisyon, Wala akong<br />

balak atrasan ang mga hamon sa aking opisina . . .<br />

matibay si Al <strong>Agra</strong> kahit iyakin [I will not resign from<br />

my position and I have no intention <strong>to</strong> <strong>back</strong> off<br />

from the challenges of my office. Al <strong>Agra</strong> is durable<br />

even if he cries],” he said.<br />

Pending this week’s release of a new resolution<br />

addressing the motion for reconsideration of the<br />

aggrieved parties, <strong>Agra</strong> added, he would no longer<br />

make any public pronouncement and would instead<br />

devote his time <strong>to</strong> consulting the concerned<br />

prosecu<strong>to</strong>rs on the motion, and dealing with other<br />

pending cases at the Justice department.<br />

He disclosed that when he was appointed acting<br />

Justice secretary more than a month ago, there were<br />

some 9,000 pending cases, a number of them dating<br />

<strong>back</strong> <strong>to</strong> the 1990s.<br />

<strong>Agra</strong> said that he wants <strong>to</strong> cut this <strong>back</strong>log by<br />

half by the time he steps aside as Justice chief when<br />

the Arroyo administration ends on June 30.<br />

On April 16, <strong>Agra</strong> issued a resolution directing<br />

government prosecu<strong>to</strong>rs <strong>to</strong> go ahead on the multiple-murder<br />

case against the Ampatuans—led by<br />

former Gov. Andal Ampatuan Jr. of Maguindanao<br />

and his son, Mayor Andal Jr. of Datu Unsay—for<br />

the November 23, 2009 massacre.<br />

But the same resolution ordered the prosecu<strong>to</strong>r<br />

of Maguindanao <strong>to</strong> remove from the charge sheet<br />

the names of Zaldy Ampatuan and his cousin,<br />

Akmad Ampatuan Sr.<br />

■ SUPPORTERS FROM A1<br />

Lakas members<br />

Teodoro because they feel that he has a very slim chance<br />

of winning the race <strong>to</strong> Malacañang on May 10.<br />

He made the statement a day after attending a<br />

political rally organized by his supporters here during<br />

which Teodoro in a speech described Mayor<br />

Rodrigo Duterte and Vice Mayor Inday Sarah<br />

Duterte-Zimmerman as good leaders. The Dutertes<br />

are political rivals of Nograles.<br />

According <strong>to</strong> the lawmaker, Teodoro’s support for<br />

Duterte means nothing where Davao politics or the<br />

next month’s balloting is concerned.<br />

Teodoro’s campaign spokesman Mike Toledo<br />

said that the recognition of Teodoro of the<br />

Dutertes during the rally should not be taken as a<br />

form of endorsement.<br />

On defections from Lakas-Kampi CMD, Toledo<br />

said that it would be better for those who do not<br />

believe in the vision of the administration party<br />

<strong>to</strong> leave.<br />

Teodoro, he added, would rather have a solid<br />

base of supporters than “pseudo supporters.”<br />

The word war started when Nograles threatened<br />

<strong>to</strong> bolt the administration party a few weeks ago.<br />

The House Speaker remained a member of the<br />

ruling coalition but allegedly was supporting<br />

Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Sen.<br />

Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr.<br />

Meanwhile, Toledo blasted a supposedly steppedup<br />

demolition drive against Teodoro with only<br />

more than two weeks away before the <strong>count</strong>ry’s next<br />

leader is chosen.<br />

Part of the drive, he said, was that a vote-rigging<br />

operation would deliver <strong>to</strong> the administration bet<br />

some 10 million votes on May 10.<br />

Another was that the Precinct Count Optical<br />

Scan (PCOS) machines for use in next month’s<br />

voting have been pre-programmed also in<br />

Teodoro’s favor.<br />

“While our first reaction was <strong>to</strong> laugh them [allegations]<br />

off, we are <strong>now</strong> concerned that some<br />

groups could be peddling such wild tales <strong>to</strong><br />

shrewdly condition the mind of the public about<br />

the supposedly large-scale elec<strong>to</strong>ral fraud <strong>to</strong> justify<br />

their respective candidates’ imminent loss <strong>to</strong> Gibo<br />

in the presidential race,” Toledo said.


Architect<br />

takes Cabinet<br />

post as SCAD<br />

chairman<br />

MEXICO, Pampanga: President Gloria<br />

Arroyo has appointed architect<br />

Nes<strong>to</strong>r Mangio as Cabinet secretary<br />

of the reorganized Subic-Clark Alliance<br />

for Development (SCAD).<br />

Executive Order (EO) 876, signed on<br />

March 10, 2010, President Arroyo designated<br />

Mangio, the former chairman<br />

of the Clark International Airport Corp.<br />

(CIAC), <strong>to</strong> the new post. SCAD chairman,<br />

former Vice Mayor Edgardo<br />

Pamintuan is running for Angeles City<br />

mayor against Blue Boy Nepomuceno.<br />

CIAC operates and manages the<br />

Diosdado Macapagal International Airport<br />

(DMIA), which was envisioned by<br />

President Arroyo as the <strong>count</strong>ry’s premier<br />

international gateway.<br />

The SCAD chairman was appointed<br />

by the president from among the members<br />

of the board composed of chairmen<br />

or administra<strong>to</strong>rs of various government-owned<br />

and controlled corporations—the<br />

Bases Conversion and<br />

Development Council (BCDA), Subic<br />

Bay Metropolitan Authority, Clark Development<br />

Corp. (CDC), Philippine<br />

Northrail Corp. and CIAC.<br />

The name of the body was also<br />

changed from the former Subic-Clark<br />

Alliance for Development Council.<br />

EO 876 amended EO 504, which<br />

created Subic-Clark Area Development<br />

Council and defined its powers<br />

and authority, and the most recent EO<br />

733, which reorganized the SCADC.<br />

As chairman of CIAC, Mangio has<br />

been instrumental in various development<br />

projects implemented by at<br />

the DMIA that has made the airport<br />

a preferred international gateway in<br />

the <strong>count</strong>ry.<br />

Mangio has served as National<br />

President of the United Architects of<br />

the Philippines from 1994 <strong>to</strong> 1996.<br />

As an architect and urban and environmental<br />

planner, he has designed<br />

several projects and completed numerous<br />

residential, commercial, institutional<br />

and developments in Manila,<br />

Pampanga, Baguio, the Visayas,<br />

Mindanao and abroad. His expertise<br />

as an architect and urban planner was<br />

tapped by the government when he<br />

was appointed and had served as Direc<strong>to</strong>r<br />

of the BCDA and CDC from<br />

1995 <strong>to</strong> 1998 prior <strong>to</strong> his appointment<br />

as CIAC chairman.<br />

As a businessman, he runs and<br />

manages his own companies as president<br />

and chairman of the board of<br />

the following companies: NS Mangio<br />

Construction and Development<br />

Corp.; NS Mangio and Associates;<br />

Central Country Estate Inc.; The<br />

Lakeshore Marketing, Corp.; Hotel<br />

Gracelane Corp.; and Nobleman<br />

Properties Inc.<br />

MARK ROXAS<br />

The Manila Times<br />

theregions<br />

TUESDAY<br />

A 7<br />

April 27, 2010<br />

No power failure on May 10 – Lagdameo<br />

BY JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA REPORTER<br />

DAVAO CITY: Rep. An<strong>to</strong>n Lagdameo<br />

of Davao del Norte, expressed<br />

optimism that the power crisis<br />

currently being experienced in Mindanao<br />

would soon be over and that power<br />

interruption will not hound the first<br />

au<strong>to</strong>mated <strong>poll</strong>s on May 10.<br />

Lagdameo said power supply in<br />

the island is slowly returning <strong>back</strong><br />

<strong>to</strong> normal because of the power genera<strong>to</strong>rs<br />

put up private power firms<br />

Slay try suspect in Cagayan falls<br />

POLICE in Cagayan Valley believed<br />

that they had solved the recent<br />

slay try of a politician after<br />

they were able <strong>to</strong> pounced on the<br />

suspect, reports reaching Camp<br />

Crame Monday said.<br />

In his report <strong>to</strong> Philippine National<br />

Police Chief Dir. Gen. Jesus<br />

Verzosa, Cagayan Valley Regional<br />

Direc<strong>to</strong>r Chief Supt. Rober<strong>to</strong><br />

Damian identified the suspect as<br />

Medicines for barangay<br />

Dwight Doca, who was surprised in<br />

his residence at Lanna Village,<br />

Solana by Cagayan police’s provincial<br />

intelligence section.<br />

Armed with arrest warrant issued<br />

by Judge Marcelino Wagas of the<br />

Branch 25 of the Regional Trial<br />

Court of Tabuk, Kalinga, Doca did<br />

not make a fight and turn himself<br />

peacefully <strong>to</strong> the authorities.<br />

Recovered by arresting officers in<br />

and also the occasional rainfall that<br />

started filling up rivers which would<br />

help hydroelectric plants <strong>to</strong> resume<br />

normal operations.<br />

“I don’t think we have <strong>to</strong> worry<br />

there would be any brownout on<br />

election day. Power producers<br />

here in Mindanao have assured<br />

us they are working overtime <strong>to</strong><br />

ensure there would be no<br />

brownout on election day.”<br />

Lagdameo added.<br />

The lawmaker also noted that<br />

the power outages being experienced<br />

in some parts of Mindanao<br />

President Gloria Arroyo turns over assorted medicines for the Botica ng Barangay <strong>to</strong><br />

Barangay Chairman An<strong>to</strong>nio Baliling of Fatima, during the launching of "Vaccine Against<br />

A(H1N1) for the Health Workers” at the Municipality of Kalawit, Zamboanga<br />

del Norte on Monday. Looking on are Gov. Rolando Yebes and <strong>Sec</strong>retary Esperanza<br />

Cabral of the Department of Health.<br />

his possession were a .45-caliber pis<strong>to</strong>l<br />

and several live bullets.<br />

Damian said Roca was implicated<br />

in the April 21 foiled ambush<br />

against Edgar Palatao, who is running<br />

for councilor in Solana.<br />

The suspect is undergoing intense<br />

questioning of his alleged involvement<br />

in the slay try against Palattao<br />

and <strong>now</strong> in the cus<strong>to</strong>dy of the<br />

Cagayan police. SAMMY MARTIN<br />

in the past few days is mainly because<br />

of maintenance work being<br />

done on one of the power plants<br />

in Cagayan de Oro City.<br />

Aside from a 24-hour moni<strong>to</strong>ring<br />

of the powerplants, Lagdameo said<br />

power producers are also doing regular<br />

maintenance work <strong>to</strong> their plants<br />

in order for them <strong>to</strong> run all the plants<br />

at full capacity on election day.<br />

Lagdameo, husband of actress<br />

Dawn Zulueta and a stalwart of<br />

the Lakas-Kampi Christian Muslim<br />

Democrats, is one of the 17 local<br />

officials in Davao that vowed <strong>to</strong><br />

support former Defense <strong>Sec</strong>retary<br />

Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr.’s presidential<br />

bid.<br />

In an earlier interview the<br />

lawmaker promised <strong>to</strong> work<br />

hard <strong>to</strong> ensure the vic<strong>to</strong>ry of<br />

Teodoro citing volunteerism<br />

that is <strong>now</strong> hugely <strong>back</strong>ing their<br />

standard-bearer.<br />

“I fully support the continued<br />

run of Gibo for the presidency<br />

despite all obstacles being faced<br />

[by him],” said Lagdameo who is<br />

running unopposed in the city’s<br />

second district.<br />

Unidentified kidnappers<br />

free Zamboanga trader<br />

ZAMBOANGA CITY: Kidnappers have freed a<br />

Filipino trader after two weeks in captivity<br />

in the southern Philippines.<br />

The victim, Nena Toremocha, was<br />

released over the weekend in Lanao<br />

del Norte province where her family<br />

fetched her.<br />

No group claimed responsibility<br />

for the kidnapping.<br />

Police confirmed the release,<br />

but security officials would not say<br />

if ransom was paid <strong>to</strong> the kidnappers,<br />

who were believed <strong>to</strong> be<br />

rogue members of the Moro Islamic<br />

Liberation Front, the <strong>count</strong>ry’s<br />

largest Muslim rebel group<br />

<strong>fighting</strong> for independence in the<br />

restive region of Mindanao.<br />

The 62-year old seaweed trader was<br />

kidnapped April 12 by gunmen in the<br />

<strong>to</strong>wn of Olutanga in Zamboanga<br />

Sibugay province. AL JACINTO<br />

‘Tuyo’ recipes showcased<br />

in drying contest in Bataan<br />

BALANGA, City, Bataan: Fried dried fish or<br />

tuyo with soft fried eggs and <strong>to</strong>ma<strong>to</strong>es<br />

may be good enough for breakfast for<br />

some but how about trying other recipes<br />

and you may have some surprises<br />

for your taste buds.<br />

Ordinary housewives in fishing villages<br />

in the City of Balanga on Monday<br />

showcased five of their recipes with<br />

tuyo as main ingredient during the<br />

tuyo cooking and drying/laying contests<br />

at the Plaza Mayor de Balanga.<br />

These were Tuyo Bataan/Bicol Express,<br />

Tuyo Omelette, Tuyo Kaldereta,<br />

Sweet and Sour Spicy Tuyo and Tuyo<br />

Con Chile Express. “Masarap,” said<br />

many who tried the recipes. Can you<br />

imagine tuyo as palaman sa tinapay?<br />

[sandwhich filling]<br />

“Balanga tuyo is famous in<br />

Bataan, in the <strong>count</strong>ry and in some<br />

parts of the world because its delicious<br />

and different from others that<br />

we should be proud of,” said Mayor<br />

Joet Garcia before the contests.<br />

The mayor and his wife, Isabel, enjoyed<br />

tasting the different tuyo recipes.<br />

The provincial office of the Department<br />

of Trade and Industry led by Provincial<br />

Direc<strong>to</strong>r Yay Lasam has included<br />

dried fish under the One Town<br />

One Product program of government.<br />

Sweet and sour spicy tuyo bagged<br />

the first price of P5,000 plus certificate<br />

of recognition, followed by<br />

Tuyo Con Chile Express and Tuyo<br />

Bataan Express with P3,000 and<br />

P2,000 cash price, respectively.<br />

Kilos and kilos of fresh tunsoy in<br />

banyeras were laid for drying on elevated<br />

bamboo platforms along the<br />

major streets of Balanga adjacent <strong>to</strong><br />

the Saint Joseph Cathedral, the<br />

Plaza mayor de Balanga, the city hall<br />

and commercial district.<br />

ERNIE B. ESCONDE<br />

‘Peacekeepers’ in hot pursuit<br />

of armed groups in Masbate<br />

LEGAZPI CITY: The newly deployed members of the<br />

former United Nations (UN) peacekeepers who<br />

are <strong>now</strong> augmented <strong>to</strong> the Special Task Force (STF)<br />

Masbate is <strong>now</strong> massively pursuing over the partisan<br />

armed group employed by various politicians<br />

in Masbate.<br />

The Philippine Army in Bicol led by Maj. Gen.<br />

Ruper<strong>to</strong> Pabustan, commanding general of the<br />

Army’s Ninth Infantry Division deployed a week<br />

ago some 250 army soldiers formerly members<br />

of the 10th UN peacekeepers in Haiti <strong>to</strong> help out<br />

the Task Force Masbate <strong>to</strong> chase the political<br />

armed groups terrorizing the hapless community<br />

in the far-flung areas of “Marlboro <strong>count</strong>ry” in<br />

the Philippines.<br />

Army Major Harold Cabunoc, regional information<br />

officer of the Army’s regional command<br />

<strong>to</strong>ld The Manila Times that a week after the deployment<br />

of former UN peacekeepers they’re able<br />

<strong>to</strong> seized four suspected members of the partisan<br />

armed group (PAG) in Barangay Naocondiot,<br />

Placer Masbate.<br />

The former UN peacekeepers are among the<br />

combined elements of the STF Masbate which<br />

was sent <strong>to</strong> check and run after the reported presence<br />

of gun-<strong>to</strong>ting gunmen in the <strong>count</strong>ryside.<br />

Cabunoc identified the arrested persons as follows:<br />

Ronald Santianes, Dennis Salvador, Ardi<strong>to</strong><br />

Gailan and Sonny Espinosa. They are currently<br />

detained in Masbate Provincial Police Office as<br />

criminal cases are filed against them.<br />

The STF Masbate has confiscated 10 high-powered<br />

firearms and 77 low-powered firearms from<br />

98 arrested PAG members as of <strong>to</strong>day. The suspects<br />

surrendered upon seeing that they were surrounded<br />

by heavily armed soldiers. One caliber<br />

.357 Smith and Wesson Revolver and copies of<br />

official ballots for the upcoming elections were<br />

recovered from the suspects.<br />

The task force was augmented with additional<br />

forces after the deployment of a 250-men strong battalion<br />

of former UN peacekeepers on April 16.<br />

The newly deployed soldiers are already assigned<br />

<strong>to</strong> the different municipalities in the island<br />

province of Masbate where election-related<br />

violent incidents had been taking place even before<br />

the campaign period and getting intense as<br />

election draws near.<br />

The Commission on Election (<strong>Comelec</strong>) in<br />

Bicol placed the island province of Masbate as<br />

consistent election “hotspot” since time immemorial<br />

as partisan politics remain unresolved as<br />

bigtime political players employed and maintained<br />

its goons.<br />

As this developed, the Special Task Force<br />

Masbate is strongly guarding the 724 Precinct<br />

Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines that arrived<br />

at the Masbate City from the <strong>Comelec</strong>.<br />

Lawyer Zacarias Zaragoza, regional direc<strong>to</strong>r of<br />

<strong>Comelec</strong>-Bicol, said during the <strong>Comelec</strong> Joint<br />

Consultative Conference that over 4,000 PCOS<br />

machines are <strong>now</strong> ready for distribution in clustered<br />

precincts voting center in various <strong>to</strong>wns and<br />

cities throughout the six provinces of Bicol.<br />

Zaragoza said the PCOS machines would be<br />

ready for testing on May 8 and 9 respectively <strong>to</strong><br />

ensure that no failure of the machine operation<br />

would happen during the May 10 elections.<br />

He asked the Department of Education <strong>to</strong><br />

make available all public school classrooms for<br />

the PCOS machine testing on the scheduled date.<br />

The police and military were also directed<br />

<strong>to</strong> closely coordinate with the local <strong>Comelec</strong><br />

and the Board of Election Inspec<strong>to</strong>rs concerning<br />

the guarding of the machines and the security<br />

aspects during the testing course and<br />

the actual election procedures during the May<br />

10 elections. RHAYDZ B. BARCIA<br />

Blast hits Sarangani governor’s convoy<br />

ZAMBOANGA CITY: An improvised bomb exploded<br />

Monday at a convoy carrying a provincial governor<br />

in the southern Philippines.<br />

The bomb exploded between the car of Gov.<br />

Miguel Rene Dominguez of Sarangani and his<br />

aides while traveling <strong>to</strong> the <strong>to</strong>wn of Glan on his<br />

way <strong>to</strong> meet former Defense <strong>Sec</strong>retary Gilbert<br />

Teodoro Jr. who is <strong>now</strong> running in next month’s<br />

presidential <strong>poll</strong>s.<br />

It was unclear who planted the bomb, but<br />

Dominguez said he was not hurt in the explosion.<br />

“I am okay,” he said.<br />

The blast occurred hours after security forces<br />

arrested four people for carrying illegal weapons<br />

in the <strong>to</strong>wn, whose Mayor Enrique Yap was<br />

the target of an assassination attempt.<br />

The four men—Jimmy Mier, Alfredo<br />

Macabayao, Fredie Mendes and Ronald Elorde—<br />

were arrested after they flagged down Yap’s vehicle.<br />

The mayor sped off after seeing the armed<br />

men and sought police help.<br />

Police and military seized an M16 rifle and a<br />

.45-caliber pis<strong>to</strong>l from the men who were in two<br />

vans during a chase. It was unk<strong>now</strong>n whether<br />

the four suspects are followers of rival candidates<br />

or not. AL JACINTO


ITALY BOOKS FED CUP FINAL TICKET<br />

ROME: Italy’s love affair with the Fed Cup continued on<br />

Sunday (Monday in Manila) as the reigning champions<br />

booked a place in the final against the United States after a<br />

5-0 whitewash against the Czech Republic. Needing only the<br />

first rubber of the day, <strong>to</strong>p seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta<br />

scored the decisive point with a 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 win over Petra<br />

Kvi<strong>to</strong>va <strong>to</strong> book a fourth final in the last five years. AFP<br />

Lifter Llena<br />

<strong>to</strong> compete<br />

in Mongolia<br />

PROMISING lifter Patricia Llena will<br />

compete against some of the<br />

region’s best in the Asian<br />

Powerlifting Championships slated<br />

from May 1 <strong>to</strong> 6 at the Central<br />

Palace of Art and Culture in<br />

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.<br />

The <strong>to</strong>urnament serves as Llena’s<br />

build up for the 2010 Youth<br />

Olympics in August in Singapore.<br />

“It’s a good chance <strong>to</strong> scout<br />

possible rivals in the Youth Olympics.<br />

It’s also a good venue <strong>to</strong><br />

improve my skills as best lifters from<br />

all over Asia are expected <strong>to</strong><br />

participate,” said Llena.<br />

The 16-year-old Llena was officially<br />

named as the <strong>count</strong>ry’s representative<br />

in the Youth Olympics following her<br />

three-bronze medal finish in the<br />

recently concluded Asian Youth and<br />

Junior Weightlifting Championship in<br />

Tashkent, Uzbekistan.<br />

Llena, a San An<strong>to</strong>nio, Nueva Ecija<br />

native, placed third in the snatch (80<br />

kilograms), clean and jerk (101<br />

kilograms) and <strong>to</strong>tal (181 kilograms)<br />

of the girls’ 63-kilogram class.<br />

Last year, Llena <strong>to</strong>pped the World<br />

Sub-Junior and Junior Powerlifting<br />

Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil<br />

with three gold medals. She<br />

defeated three-time world champion<br />

Talybova Yana of Russia.<br />

Llena also finish in 10th spot in<br />

the 2009 World Youth and Junior<br />

Weightlifting Championship held in<br />

Chang Mai, Thailand.<br />

Besides Llena, other entries of the<br />

Philippines in the Youth Olympics are<br />

tennis player Francis Casey Alcantara<br />

and the boys’ national youth threeon-three<br />

basketball squad.<br />

Alcantara and the basketball<br />

team were given wild card entries<br />

by their respective international<br />

federations. Youth Olympics<br />

hopefuls Banjo Borja, Jessie Khing<br />

Lacuna, Jasmine Al-Khaldi, Dorothy<br />

Hong and Jose Gonzales are still<br />

awaiting confirmation from the<br />

International Swimming Federation.<br />

EMIL C. NOGUERA<br />

A<br />

sports<br />

ANAND WINS SECOND GAME, LEVELS AT 1-1<br />

SOFIA, Bulgaria: India’s defending champion Viswanathan<br />

Anand on Sunday (Monday in Manila) won the second game<br />

8<br />

in his 12-game duel for the world chess title against<br />

Bulgarian challenger Veselin Topalov, <strong>to</strong> level the scores at<br />

1-1. The Indian grandmaster, who played white, beat<br />

Topalov on the 43rd move of the game. Topalov had won<br />

The ˜Manila Times TUESDAY April 27, 2010<br />

the first game of the series on Saturday. AFP<br />

Puyat captures US junior golf title<br />

BY JOSEF T. RAMOS CORRESPONDENT<br />

FILIPINO Marcel Puyat blasted<br />

a two-under par 70 <strong>to</strong> come <strong>back</strong><br />

from five strokes down and beat<br />

David Lee and Will Zala<strong>to</strong>ris <strong>to</strong> capture the<br />

American Junior Golf Association-Under<br />

Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship<br />

boys’ crown over the weekend.<br />

The 17-year-old Puyat at the TPC<br />

Craig Ranch course in McKinney,<br />

Texas delivered three birdies in the final<br />

round <strong>to</strong> banish his lone bogey<br />

mishap on No. 11 for that 70 and a<br />

54-hole <strong>to</strong>tal of 216 <strong>to</strong> snare the title.<br />

Entering the final in joint fourth<br />

with four others, including Zala<strong>to</strong>ris<br />

from Texas, five shots behind Lee,<br />

Puyat stayed focused and used a strategy<br />

<strong>to</strong> score his breakthrough vic<strong>to</strong>ry.<br />

“My game plan was <strong>to</strong> make pars on<br />

the <strong>to</strong>ugh holes and be aggressive on the<br />

easy holes,” said Puyat, who is being eyed<br />

by coaches of University of California,<br />

Los Angeles, Duke University and<br />

Stanford University. “I knew all I had <strong>to</strong><br />

do was stick <strong>to</strong> that plan <strong>to</strong> win.”<br />

The Texas native Lee lost his <strong>to</strong>uch<br />

and skied <strong>to</strong> a five-over 77, dropping<br />

<strong>to</strong> third with a 218 in a tie with Lee<br />

McCoy (68) of Florida and Al<br />

McInerney (74) of Nevada.<br />

Zala<strong>to</strong>ris made two birdies against<br />

two bogeys <strong>to</strong> make the turn at<br />

36, dropping just one shot <strong>back</strong><br />

Wade’s amazing effort keeps Heat in NBA playoffs<br />

MIAMI: Dwyane Wade scored a career<br />

playoff high 46 points <strong>to</strong> spark<br />

the Miami Heat past Bos<strong>to</strong>n 101-<br />

92 on Sunday (Monday in Manila),<br />

denying the Celtics a sweep<br />

of their Eastern Conference firstround<br />

NBA playoff series.<br />

Playing what could have been<br />

his final game for the Heat,<br />

Wade rallied Miami from a 77-<br />

71 deficit entering the fourth<br />

quarter after Bos<strong>to</strong>n had erased<br />

an early 18-point lead for the<br />

hosts and extended the best-ofseven<br />

series.<br />

The Celtics will try again <strong>to</strong> finish<br />

off the Heat in Game 5 on<br />

Tuesday in Bos<strong>to</strong>n.<br />

Wade plans <strong>to</strong> opt out of his<br />

contract with the Heat and test the<br />

free agent market, although the superstar<br />

guard has said he would<br />

like <strong>to</strong> stay in Miami.<br />

If Sunday was his final home<br />

game in a Heat uniform, Wade<br />

made certain it was that would<br />

long be remembered, outscoring<br />

the entire Bos<strong>to</strong>n squad 19-15 in<br />

the fourth quarter.<br />

Ateneo, Lyceum square off for <strong>to</strong>p post in V-League<br />

UNBEATEN squads Ateneo de Manila<br />

University and Lyceum College<br />

clash against each other for<br />

the <strong>to</strong>p post in Group B on the way<br />

<strong>to</strong> the quarterfinal round of seventh<br />

Shakey’s V-League women’s<br />

volleyball on Tuesday at The Arena<br />

in San Juan City.<br />

The winner between Ateneo and<br />

Lyceum in their 4 p.m. match will<br />

The Celtics had won all three<br />

regular-season meetings with Miami<br />

and led the series 3-0 and appeared<br />

set <strong>to</strong> finish off the Heat<br />

when Wade answered.<br />

Wade hit <strong>back</strong>-<strong>to</strong>-<strong>back</strong> threepointers<br />

<strong>to</strong> put Miami ahead 79-78<br />

and added another <strong>to</strong> cap a 12-2 run<br />

that gave the Heat an 85-80 edge.<br />

In Chicago, James scored 37<br />

points, grabbed 12 rebounds and<br />

passes out 11 assists <strong>to</strong> spark the<br />

Cleveland Cavaliers against the<br />

Bulls 121-98, giving the NBA regular<br />

season champions a 3-1 edge<br />

in their Eastern Conference<br />

playoff matchup.<br />

The fifth career “triple double”<br />

for James led a blowout performance<br />

by the Cavaliers, who had 24<br />

points from Antawn Jamison and<br />

19 from Mo Williams.<br />

The Bulls were led by 21 points<br />

each from Derrick Rose and<br />

Joakim Noah, but were unable <strong>to</strong><br />

keep the pace with Cleveland in<br />

the second quarter and unable <strong>to</strong><br />

rally in the second half.<br />

The Cavaliers host Chicago in<br />

remain unbeaten in three games.<br />

The final elimination day on Thursday<br />

is Ateneo tangles with Adamson<br />

and Lyceum battles University of<br />

San Jose-Recole<strong>to</strong>s.<br />

Defending champion University<br />

of San<strong>to</strong> Tomas tries <strong>to</strong> rebound<br />

from its loss <strong>to</strong> San Sebastian, when<br />

it takes on University of Saint La<br />

Salle-Bacolod at 2 p.m. for the No.<br />

Game 5 Tuesday needing<br />

only one more vic<strong>to</strong>ry<br />

<strong>to</strong> advance as<br />

James focuses on winning<br />

an NBA title.<br />

Meanwhile, George<br />

Hill scored a game-high 29<br />

points and the San An<strong>to</strong>nio Spurs<br />

pushed the second-seeded Dallas<br />

Mavericks <strong>to</strong> the brink of elimination<br />

from the NBA playoffs<br />

with a 92-89 vic<strong>to</strong>ry.<br />

Argentine star guard Manu<br />

Ginobili scored 17 points<br />

for the Spurs despite playing<br />

with a nasal fracture<br />

and Richard Jefferson<br />

added 15 as San An<strong>to</strong>nio<br />

seized a 3-1 edge in the<br />

first-round Western Conference<br />

best-of-seven series.<br />

In other Western Conference<br />

playoff game, Carlos<br />

Boozer scored 31 points and<br />

grabbed 12 rebounds <strong>to</strong> lead<br />

Utah past Denver 117-106,<br />

giving the Jazz a 3-1 lead over<br />

the Nuggets in their firstround<br />

series.<br />

AFP<br />

2 slot in Group A.<br />

The <strong>to</strong>p four teams in each<br />

group after the single round elimination<br />

will advance <strong>to</strong> the quarters<br />

where they will again be divided<br />

in<strong>to</strong> two with the Nos. 1 and 3<br />

teams making up the first group<br />

and the Nos. 2 and 4 squads composing<br />

the other side.<br />

The Tigresses are fancied against<br />

the Lady Stingers, who are also in<strong>to</strong><br />

the quarters with an even 1-1 card.<br />

Focus will be on the Thai imports<br />

of both teams with Ateneo’s Sontaya<br />

Keawbundit, who unloaded 26<br />

spikes in two games, going up<br />

against Lyceum’s Porntip Santrong,<br />

who had been more prolific with a<br />

26-kill average after two games.<br />

JOSEF T. RAMOS<br />

off Puyat, who birdied No. 7.<br />

Puyat, one of the US-based golfing<br />

scholars of ICTSI, birdied No.<br />

16 <strong>to</strong> surge ahead by three and held<br />

on <strong>to</strong> a one-stroke win as Zala<strong>to</strong>ris<br />

came charging home with two birdies<br />

in the last three holes for a 71<br />

and a 217 for second.<br />

Puyat, who opened with a 72 for<br />

joint sixth then moved up <strong>to</strong> a share<br />

of fourth despite fumbling with a<br />

two-over 74, said his hard work has<br />

finally paid off with the win.<br />

Nadera eyes<br />

lead in Asian<br />

chess games<br />

FILIPINO International Master<br />

(IM) Barlo Nadera is still in contention<br />

along with solo leader<br />

Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So in<br />

the 9th Asian Individual Chess<br />

Championships being held at the<br />

the Subic Exhibition and Convention<br />

Center.<br />

Nadera posted an upset win over<br />

GM Saleh Salem of United Arab<br />

Emirates <strong>to</strong> improve his score <strong>to</strong><br />

3.5 points and vaulted in<strong>to</strong> a tie<br />

for seventh <strong>to</strong> 19th places after the<br />

fifth round.<br />

The 55th seed Nadera is a full<br />

point behind So and half a point<br />

behind second placers GM Gopal<br />

Narayana Geetha of India and GMs<br />

Yu Yangyi, Ding Liren, Ni Jua and Li<br />

Chao of China.<br />

Nadera will face GM Ehsan<br />

Gahemmagham of Iran in the sixth<br />

round of the <strong>to</strong>urnament organized<br />

by the National Chess Federation of<br />

the Philippines.<br />

“I still have four rounds <strong>to</strong> catch<br />

up with <strong>to</strong>urnament leaders. I just<br />

stay composed and relaxed <strong>to</strong><br />

come up with vic<strong>to</strong>ry like this<br />

one,” said Nadera.<br />

GM John Paul Gomez defeated<br />

IM Kirl Kuderinov of Kazakhstan.<br />

So <strong>to</strong>ok the solo lead by trouncing<br />

GM Susan<strong>to</strong> Megaran<strong>to</strong> of Indonesia.<br />

The Filipino chess wizard <strong>now</strong> has 4.5<br />

points on four wins and one draw.<br />

EMIL C. NOGUERA<br />

Lariba grabs 3 crowns in METTA Cup<br />

RISING young star Ian Lariba captured three<br />

crowns while Indonesia snared most of the<br />

titles in the last day of second Metropolitan<br />

Table Tennis Association (METTA) National<br />

Invitational Cup over the weekend at the<br />

Ninoy Aquino Stadium.<br />

The 15-year-old Lariba, a member of the<br />

Philippine team since 2007, gained the girls’<br />

15-and-under singles plum, girls’ 17-andunder<br />

singles crown and the women’s open<br />

singles title in the event organized by METTA<br />

President Ting Ledesma.<br />

“My coach <strong>to</strong>ld me <strong>to</strong> play with a lot of<br />

heart besides training,” said Lariba.<br />

Indonesia <strong>to</strong>ok four titles in the <strong>to</strong>urnament<br />

supported by Annona Corp., Mae Gas<br />

Refilling Plant and Marketing, Sonia Trading<br />

and Topcoms/Star Sports Korea.<br />

Lariba outclassed Jaezl Ingeniero, 3-0, for the<br />

girls’ 15 singles crown, while she easily disposed<br />

off Rose Fadol of Bacolod, 3-0, for the girls’ 17<br />

title and beat former national player Sendrina<br />

Balatbat, 3-1, for the women’s open crown.<br />

Indonesian Anang Apriyan<strong>to</strong> won the boys’<br />

12 singles crown against Francis Garganian<br />

of Bacolod, 3-0; Bima Negara <strong>to</strong>ok the boys’<br />

15 singles title against fellow Apriyan<strong>to</strong>, 3-1;<br />

sportsinbrief<br />

■ NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana: American Jason Bohn<br />

snapped a five-year win drought Sunday<br />

(Monday in Manila), making birdies on three of the last<br />

four holes <strong>to</strong> complete a wire-<strong>to</strong>-wire vic<strong>to</strong>ry at the US<br />

PGA Zurich Classic. Bohn, who turned 37 on Saturday,<br />

fired a bogey-less final-round five-under par 67 <strong>to</strong><br />

finish 72 holes on 18-under par 270, defeating<br />

<strong>count</strong>ryman Jeff Over<strong>to</strong>n by two strokes for his first<br />

triumph since the 2005 B.C. Open.<br />

AFP<br />

■ ROME: Roger Federer admitted he was shocked<br />

his old rival and four-time French Open champion<br />

Rafael Nadal had been written off as a spent force. World<br />

No. 1 Federer, who will renew his rivalry with the Spaniard<br />

at the Rome Masters this week, likened the criticism aimed<br />

at Nadal <strong>to</strong> the experience he went through a year ago. AFP<br />

■ UNIVERSITY of the East (UE) scored with<br />

a 22-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-22 vic<strong>to</strong>ry against<br />

University of Cordilleras (UC) on Monday in the<br />

opening round of 2010 National Inter-Collegiate<br />

Volleyball Championship at the UC gym in La Trinidad<br />

and Syaiful Lakoro won over Negara, 3-0, for<br />

the boys’ 17 crown.<br />

Yon Mardiyono won against fellow Indonesian<br />

Dian Jacobs, 3-0, for the men’s singles<br />

open of the <strong>to</strong>urnament sanctioned by the<br />

Table Tennis Association of the Philippines.<br />

LOPTTA of Bacolod City swept all matches<br />

<strong>to</strong> beat host METTA, 3-0, for the men’s nonrank<br />

title of the event, whose awarding<br />

ceremony was attended by Philippine Sports<br />

Commission Chairman Harry Angping and<br />

Mayor Alfredo Lim of Manila.<br />

In other results, Via Bonzon of Huaching<br />

beat Samantha Ingeniero of P. Gomez, 3-2, for<br />

the girls’ 12-and-under crown, Johanne<br />

Remaneses defeated Nico Cruz of San Beda,<br />

3-2, for the men’s non-rank crown.<br />

College of Saint Benilde’s Cecille Niemo<br />

crushed Mabeth Compendio of G 5000, 3-0,<br />

for the women’s non-rank crown in the<br />

<strong>to</strong>urnament participated by at least 400<br />

table tennis players all over the <strong>count</strong>ry.<br />

Other champions were Nes<strong>to</strong>r Ferre of<br />

Table Tennis Association of North District (50<br />

above men’s singles); Bill Yap of Hua Ching<br />

(Platinum) and Lauro Crisos<strong>to</strong>mo of METTA<br />

(40 above men’s singles). JOSEF T. RAMOS<br />

Benguet. UE take its first win in the annual <strong>to</strong>urnament<br />

organized by the Philippine Volleyball Federation,<br />

headed by President Pedro Mendoza. Saint Louie<br />

University (SLU) beat University of Baguio, 3-0, for the<br />

other women’s result. In the men’s side, UE won over<br />

SLU, 3-0, and UC defeated Emilio Aguinaldo College,<br />

3-0, for first win. JOSEF T. RAMOS<br />

■ PROFESSOR Robert Mil<strong>to</strong> Calo of the Technological<br />

University of the Philippines (TUP)<br />

was elected president of the Federation of School Sports<br />

Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) recently for the year<br />

2010 held at TUP Audi<strong>to</strong>rium in Manila. Calo who replaced Dr.<br />

Godofredo Gallega, also serves as president of the Philippine<br />

Inter-School Colleges Universities Athletic Association, one of<br />

the hundred league-organizations affiliated with the FESSAP.<br />

■ ABOUT 300 racers <strong>to</strong>ok part in the first leg of<br />

the Powerade Philippine Duathlon Open 2010<br />

held recently at the Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, with<br />

the national duathlete champions August Benedic<strong>to</strong> and<br />

Monica Torres <strong>to</strong>pped the elite class. Tarlac City’s August<br />

Benedic<strong>to</strong> finished first in the Men’s Division clocking in<br />

at 1:20:20 while World’s No. 5 Monica Torres <strong>to</strong>pped the<br />

Women’s Division with a time of 1:37:52.


TERM OF THE DAY<br />

Inflation<br />

The percentage increase in the price level per year.<br />

Source: Bureau of Micro, Small and<br />

Medium Enterprise Development-<br />

Department of Trade and Industry<br />

business<br />

business@manilatimes.net<br />

B<br />

1<br />

The Manila Times TUESDAY April 27, 2010<br />

Galleon-NAV-00.6871-04/26/2010<br />

BSP maintains upward bias<br />

in April inflation forecast<br />

BY LAILANY P. GOMEZ REPORTER<br />

THE Philippine central bank on<br />

Monday said its inflation forecast for<br />

March would hold for April as well.<br />

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas<br />

(BSP) said this month’s average price<br />

increase would fall within a higher<br />

range of 3.9 percent <strong>to</strong> 4.8 percent,<br />

similar <strong>to</strong> its forecast for last month.<br />

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco<br />

Jr. said the fac<strong>to</strong>rs behind the forecast<br />

are higher oil prices and electricity<br />

rates.<br />

He said lower rice prices and the<br />

slight appreciation of the peso likely<br />

tempered inflation this month.<br />

“Overall, based on the current assessment<br />

of inflation risks, including<br />

the likely trend in oil and non-oil<br />

commodity prices, this estimate<br />

would allow inflation <strong>to</strong> settle within<br />

the 2010 target range,” Tetangco said.<br />

The April forecast is still within the<br />

BSP’s full-year target of 3.5 percent <strong>to</strong><br />

5.5 percent. For next year, it set an inflation<br />

target of 3 percent <strong>to</strong> 5 percent.<br />

Last week, the policy-making<br />

Monetary Board kept its key interest<br />

rates steady, but raised its inflation<br />

forecast for this year and 2011<br />

amid higher fuel prices and expectations<br />

of an increase in transport<br />

»INFLATION (in percent)<br />

5<br />

3<br />

4.4<br />

3.9 <strong>to</strong> 4.8<br />

1<br />

0<br />

March<br />

actual<br />

April<br />

forecast<br />

fares and wages.<br />

BSP Assistant Governor Cyd<br />

Tuano-Amador had said monetary<br />

authorities revised their baseline<br />

inflation forecast <strong>to</strong> 5.1 percent this<br />

year from an earlier estimate of 4.64<br />

percent. The 2011 forecast also was<br />

increased <strong>to</strong> 3.7 percent from 3.45<br />

percent previously.<br />

Amador said the upward revision<br />

was based on the assumption that<br />

there will be increases in oil prices,<br />

wages and transport fares—50<br />

centavos for jeepney fares and P10 for<br />

taxi flag-down rates—next month.<br />

She said the BSP based the assumed<br />

wage increases on the his<strong>to</strong>rical<br />

level of adjustment of an average<br />

P25 per day, which translates <strong>to</strong><br />

a 6-percent increase.<br />

Assuming there will be no adjustments<br />

in wages, transport fares and<br />

oil prices, baseline inflation will be<br />

lower at 4.4 percent this year, still<br />

higher than the earlier forecast.<br />

For next year, the baseline figure<br />

was set at 3.2 percent, assuming no<br />

increases in wages, transport fares<br />

and oil prices.<br />

Power grid opera<strong>to</strong>r <strong>to</strong> accelerate Mindanao capex<br />

BY EUAN PAULO C. AÑONUEVO<br />

REPORTER<br />

THE opera<strong>to</strong>r of the Philippines’ power<br />

transmission monopoly said it would<br />

ramp up its capital expenditures in<br />

Mindanao this year <strong>to</strong> address the region’s<br />

electricity supply shortfall.<br />

In a press briefing, Roque Corpuz,<br />

National Grid Corporation of the<br />

Philippines (NGCP) president, said<br />

it may need around P10 billion for<br />

this year’s capex.<br />

A significant portion of the amount<br />

would likely go <strong>to</strong> the completion of<br />

the Mindanao “loop,” he said.<br />

These include the Maramag-<br />

Bunawan Transmission Project, Abaga-<br />

Kirahon Transmission Project and the<br />

Kirahon-Maramag transmission line.<br />

These projects aim <strong>to</strong> put up a<br />

<strong>back</strong>bone transmission system from<br />

Northern Mindanao, where most of<br />

the region’s hydro plants are located,<br />

<strong>to</strong> Southern Mindanao,<br />

which hosts most of its industrial<br />

and commercial cus<strong>to</strong>mers.<br />

The absence of a direct link between<br />

the two regions is responsible<br />

for the transmission line constraints<br />

that crimped electricity supply<br />

in Southern Mindanao.<br />

NGCP is the consortium that won last<br />

year’s bid for the 25-year concession <strong>to</strong><br />

operate and manage the power grid.<br />

The consortium is composed of State<br />

Grid of China Corp., which has a 40<br />

percent stake; Monte Oro Grid Resources<br />

Corp., with 30 percent; and<br />

Calaca High Power Corp., with the remaining<br />

30 percent.<br />

NGCP said it has been implementing<br />

numerous repairs and upgrade of<br />

the power grid since assuming control<br />

from state-run National Transmission<br />

Corp. (TransCo).<br />

While most of the grid’s assets<br />

were supposed <strong>to</strong> last for 30 years,<br />

they had been deteriorating, if not<br />

had bogged down after only 10 years<br />

under TransCo.<br />

Under the <strong>count</strong>ry’s Transmission<br />

Development Plan, the concessionaire<br />

will have <strong>to</strong> pour in some<br />

$850 million for capital expenditures<br />

over the period 2006 <strong>to</strong> 2010.<br />

■ The peso<br />

closed at<br />

44.23 against<br />

US dollar on<br />

Monday,<br />

stronger<br />

than Friday’s<br />

44.33 finish.<br />

Peso, s<strong>to</strong>cks rise amid<br />

improving risk appetite<br />

IMPROVING risk appetite following<br />

Greece’s request for a financial<br />

bailout buoyed the peso and Philippine<br />

share prices on Monday.<br />

At the Philippine Dealing System,<br />

the local unit closed at 44.23<br />

against the green<strong>back</strong> from last Friday’s<br />

44.33 finish.<br />

One trader said the peso also<br />

got a lift from the Bangko Sentral<br />

ng Pilipinas announcement that<br />

remittances will grow by 8 percent<br />

and not 6 percent as forecast<br />

earlier.<br />

The peso opened at 44.31 and<br />

traded <strong>to</strong> a high of 44.315 and a low<br />

of 44.15. Total trading volume<br />

reached $771.350 from last week’s<br />

$603.15 million.<br />

Traders said they see the peso at<br />

a range of 44.00 and 44.30 within<br />

the week.<br />

At the Philippine S<strong>to</strong>ck Exchange,<br />

share prices resumed their<br />

rise on Monday after Wall Street<br />

recorded its longest string of gains<br />

in six years.<br />

The local composite index rose<br />

by 1.48 percent or 48.14 points <strong>to</strong><br />

3,292.59, less than eight points shy<br />

■ The composite<br />

index increased<br />

48.14 points <strong>to</strong><br />

3,292.59, while<br />

the all-shares<br />

index up by<br />

25.20 points <strong>to</strong><br />

2,043.12.<br />

of the 3,300 psychological level,<br />

while the broader all-shares index<br />

advanced by 1.25 percent or 25.20<br />

points <strong>to</strong> 2,043.12.<br />

Advancers beat decliners 68 <strong>to</strong><br />

32, while 63 s<strong>to</strong>cks were unchanged.<br />

A <strong>to</strong>tal of 949.72 billion<br />

s<strong>to</strong>cks worth P3.59 billion<br />

were traded.<br />

“Right <strong>now</strong>, we’re still caught<br />

in the optimism in the overseas<br />

market and what we’re seeing<br />

<strong>now</strong> is still part of the consolidation<br />

in the s<strong>to</strong>ck market,” said<br />

Astro del Castillo of First Grade<br />

Holdings Inc.<br />

Del Castillo said that as the May<br />

presidential elections draw nearer,<br />

the market is expected <strong>to</strong> move<br />

“sideways.” As of <strong>now</strong>, economicrelated<br />

developments have more<br />

influence on inves<strong>to</strong>rs than <strong>poll</strong>-related<br />

news, he said.<br />

The Dow Jones Industrial Average<br />

gained 0.63 percent or 69.99<br />

points <strong>to</strong> 11,204.28 after a strong<br />

report on new home sales made up<br />

for mixed corporate earnings news.<br />

LAILANY P. GOMEZ AND KRISTA ANGELA<br />

M. MONTEALEGRE<br />

»US UNVEILS NEW $100<br />

■ Brian Doherty (right), Economic<br />

Counselor of the US Embassy, points<br />

<strong>to</strong> the 3D security ribbon, one of the<br />

unique features of the new $100 bill.<br />

The US Embassy in Manila and the US<br />

<strong>Sec</strong>ret Service unveiled the new<br />

design for the note, which has<br />

<strong>count</strong>erfeit-deterrent security<br />

features. These new notes will be<br />

issued on February 10, 2011, but<br />

the 6.5-billion old design $100s in<br />

circulation will remain legal tender,<br />

officials said. LAILANY P. GOMEZ<br />

Cus<strong>to</strong>ms<br />

sees April<br />

collections<br />

above goal<br />

BY KATRINA MENNEN A. VALDEZ<br />

REPORTER<br />

THE Bureau of Cus<strong>to</strong>ms said it<br />

would exceed its self-imposed<br />

collection target for April despite a<br />

cash shortfall on the last week of<br />

the month.<br />

Cus<strong>to</strong>ms Commissioner Napoleon<br />

Morales said Cus<strong>to</strong>ms maintains a<br />

cash target of P13.267 billion for the<br />

period April 1 <strong>to</strong> 22.<br />

The agency’s actual cash<br />

collection for the period s<strong>to</strong>od at<br />

only P12.531 billion, or P739 million<br />

short of the goal.<br />

Morales said the agency however<br />

expects P3.8 billion in non-cash tax<br />

expenditure fund (TEF), bringing the<br />

bureau closer if not surpassing its<br />

full-month target of P22.690 billion.<br />

The Department of Budget and<br />

Management allocates an annual<br />

budget for the TEF, which is used <strong>to</strong><br />

help state-run corporations pay<br />

duties and taxes <strong>to</strong> Cus<strong>to</strong>ms and the<br />

Bureau of Internal Revenue. Tax<br />

subsidies given <strong>to</strong> a state corporation<br />

are usually deducted from its budget<br />

for the succeeding year.<br />

“We are definitely going <strong>to</strong> meet<br />

and exceed our [collection] target for<br />

the month of April, which was<br />

perceived <strong>to</strong> be more challenging<br />

compared with the same period last<br />

year,” Morales said.<br />

For this year, Cus<strong>to</strong>ms is tasked<br />

<strong>to</strong> collect P275.7 billion, higher<br />

than last year’s actual tax take of<br />

P220.3 billion.<br />

Travel agencies claim losses on EU ban<br />

BY BEN ARNOLD O. DE VERA REPORTER<br />

THE ban imposed by the European<br />

Union (EU) on Philippine carriers is<br />

hurting local travel agencies, according<br />

<strong>to</strong> an industry group.<br />

Maria Paz Alber<strong>to</strong>, Philippine Travel<br />

Agencies Association president, said<br />

they estimate losses running <strong>to</strong> about a<br />

tenth of potential revenues because of<br />

the ban, which led <strong>to</strong> a decline in bookings<br />

for travel <strong>to</strong> the Philippines.<br />

“The ban on local airlines by European<br />

authorities is another major<br />

blow <strong>to</strong> the operations of travel agencies,<br />

who are also currently battling<br />

online promos by airlines and hotels,”<br />

Alber<strong>to</strong> said in a statement.<br />

“Although no Philippine carrier flies<br />

directly <strong>to</strong> Europe, the blacklisting [resulted<br />

in] the issuance of negative travel<br />

advisories on the Philippines and the<br />

non-issuance of travel insurance for<br />

those going <strong>to</strong> the <strong>count</strong>ry,” she said.<br />

“It also meant that inter-island<br />

<strong>to</strong>urs, which are a normal part of the<br />

package being offered by travel agencies<br />

with inbound services, were also<br />

cancelled by <strong>to</strong>urists coming from<br />

Europe as they involve the use of<br />

domestic airlines,” she added.<br />

“The issuance of the blacklisting<br />

happened at a time when [local travel<br />

agencies] were starting <strong>to</strong> receive<br />

strong demand from European markets,”<br />

Alber<strong>to</strong> said. “We have been<br />

getting a lot of inquiries and bookings<br />

from Germany, France and Russia.<br />

Europe is such a big market that<br />

we are only <strong>now</strong> slowly penetrating.”<br />

Alber<strong>to</strong> called on President Arroyo<br />

<strong>to</strong> do something <strong>to</strong> lift the EU ban.<br />

Marketing <strong>to</strong> the base of the pyramid<br />

IN late June 2006, Fernando Zobel<br />

of the Ayala group of companies addressed<br />

some 50 deans and officials<br />

of graduate schools of business in Asia<br />

and the Pacific at the annual conference<br />

of the Pacific Asia Consortium<br />

for International Business and Economics<br />

Research (PACIBER) at the<br />

Mactan Shangri-la in Cebu.<br />

In his speech, which the deans<br />

found fascinating, Zobel spoke about<br />

how the Ayala group had made it part<br />

of its mission <strong>to</strong> serve both the economically<br />

dynamic and the poor profitably<br />

and honorably. The latter segment<br />

of the economy is called the base<br />

of the pyramid (BOP) or the bot<strong>to</strong>m<br />

of the pyramid, although the former<br />

is the more politically correct term.<br />

Zobel cited the example of prepaid cell<br />

phone cards that are sold in sari-sari s<strong>to</strong>res<br />

and retailed further at lower denominations,<br />

very much like selling shampoo<br />

in sachets or selling cigarettes by the stick<br />

and not by the pack. He also cited Manila<br />

Water, which supplies water even <strong>to</strong><br />

the marginalized sec<strong>to</strong>rs of society.<br />

In 2002, when the BOP still s<strong>to</strong>od<br />

for the bot<strong>to</strong>m of the pyramid, C.K.<br />

Pralahad and Allen Hammond coauthored<br />

a paper in the prestigious<br />

Harvard Business Review (HBR) entitled<br />

“Serving the World’s Poor Profitably.”<br />

The paper urged the multinational<br />

companies (MNC’s) <strong>to</strong> be at the forefront<br />

of social development initiatives<br />

not as an act of charity but as a matter<br />

MANAGING<br />

FOR SOCIETY<br />

PHILIP E. JUICO<br />

of self-interest.<br />

The paper started with the basic<br />

proposition that by stimulating commerce<br />

and development at the bot<strong>to</strong>m<br />

(base) of the economic pyramid,<br />

multinationals could radically improve<br />

the lives of billions of people<br />

and help create a more stable, less<br />

dangerous world. In short, <strong>to</strong> create<br />

a healthy world economy is <strong>to</strong> ensure<br />

world peace. Pralahad and Hammond<br />

then proceeded <strong>to</strong> argue the<br />

business case for entering the world’s<br />

poorest markets.<br />

Pralahad and Hammond explained<br />

that business rarely invests in selling<br />

<strong>to</strong> the poor because of outdated assumptions<br />

about the developing<br />

world. While it is true that, in developing<br />

<strong>count</strong>ies, individual incomes<br />

may be low and thus purchasing<br />

power is limited, the aggregate buying<br />

power of poor communities is actually<br />

quite large, representing a substantial<br />

market in many <strong>count</strong>ries for<br />

what some might consider luxury<br />

goods like satellite television and<br />

phone services. Prices and margins<br />

are often much higher in poor<br />

neighborhoods than in their middle<br />

class <strong>count</strong>erparts. And new technologies<br />

are already steadily reducing<br />

the effects of corruption, illiteracy,<br />

inadequate infrastructure and<br />

other such barriers, according <strong>to</strong><br />

Pralahad and Hammond.<br />

The two scholars have other gems<br />

of thought on how the BOP can be<br />

served. In the end, they have one precious<br />

insight. Certainly, succeeding in<br />

such markets requires MNC’s (and<br />

other enterprises) <strong>to</strong> think creatively.<br />

The biggest change, though, has <strong>to</strong><br />

come from executives themselves. Unless<br />

business leaders confront their<br />

own perceptions—particularly about<br />

the value of high-volume, low-margin<br />

businesses—companies are unlikely<br />

<strong>to</strong> master the challenges or reap the<br />

rewards of those developing markets.<br />

Let me add a word of caution, however.<br />

All these initiatives have <strong>to</strong> result<br />

in improving the condition of<br />

mankind; otherwise they may create<br />

more of the injustice and lopsidedness<br />

we are trying <strong>to</strong> eradicate.<br />

DR. PHILIP ELLA JUICO is a senior professional<br />

lecturer at De La Salle University’s<br />

Ramon V. del Rosario Sr. Graduate<br />

School of Business. He teaches Sustainable<br />

Business in the doc<strong>to</strong>ral program and<br />

Corporate Social Responsibility and Human<br />

Rights in the masteral program.<br />

Roll-on, roll-off system cuts<br />

travel time, costs – ADB<br />

BY DARWIN G. AMOJELAR<br />

SENIOR REPORTER<br />

THE roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) system<br />

has significantly cut the transport<br />

costs, as well as travel time in the<br />

Philippines, an Asian Development<br />

Bank (ADB) study revealed.<br />

The Manila-based lender said the<br />

transport costs were reduced by 10<br />

percent <strong>to</strong> 60 percent mainly<br />

because the cargo handling charges<br />

and wharfage fees were eliminated.<br />

ADB said more <strong>to</strong>urists are using<br />

Ro-Ro because of its affordability.<br />

Compared with other modes of<br />

transport such as air and traditional<br />

shipping, Ro-Ro is a competitive<br />

means of transporting passengers,<br />

the ADB said.<br />

For example, <strong>to</strong>urism receipts in<br />

Boracay from 2003 <strong>to</strong> 2006 rose by<br />

more than 50 percent. In Iloilo and<br />

in Dapitan, receipts rose 30 percent<br />

and 200 percent, respectively.<br />

“It should be noted that this rise<br />

in <strong>to</strong>urist arrivals can be attributed<br />

<strong>to</strong> the availability of both Ro-Ro and<br />

air transport services,” the ADB said.<br />

In 2003, the government issued a<br />

policy <strong>to</strong> promote Ro-Ro, a system<br />

designed <strong>to</strong> carry rolling s<strong>to</strong>ck cargo<br />

that does not require cranes for<br />

loading or unloading.<br />

The Strong Republic Nautical<br />

Highway is one of President Arroyo’s<br />

priority programs <strong>to</strong> ensure fast and<br />

economical movement of goods and<br />

people, and <strong>to</strong> boost domestic<br />

<strong>to</strong>urism and trade. The government<br />

wants a Ro-Ro port system <strong>to</strong> link<br />

all the <strong>count</strong>ry’s islands.<br />

Earlier, the Philippine Ports<br />

Authority (PPA) said the government<br />

will expand the <strong>count</strong>ry’s Ro-<br />

Ro ports by installing 74 modular<br />

ports nationwide <strong>to</strong> link the<br />

<strong>count</strong>ry’s provinces.<br />

The project, dubbed as Greater<br />

Maritime Access (GMA) Ports, will<br />

be funded by an P11-billion loan<br />

from BNP Paribas.<br />

This project would use prefabricated<br />

steel ports composed of five<br />

interdependent modular parts,<br />

such as pier or causeway connecting<br />

<strong>to</strong> shore, mooring platform,<br />

<strong>manual</strong> ramp dolphin, and<br />

passenger terminal with solar<br />

power utilities.


B<br />

2<br />

business<br />

The Manila Times TUESDAY April 27, 2010<br />

San Miguel exercises option<br />

<strong>to</strong> acquire control of Petron<br />

BY EUAN PAOLO C. ANONUEVO AND KRISTA ANGELA M. MONTEALEGRE<br />

REPORTERS<br />

SAN Miguel Corp. (SMC) said it<br />

has exercised its option <strong>to</strong> acquire<br />

control over the Philippines’ biggest<br />

oil refiner and retailer.<br />

“We already bought 51 percent”<br />

of Petron Corp., Ramon Ang, SMC<br />

president, <strong>to</strong>ld reporters during a<br />

teleconference on Monday.<br />

The teleconference follows an<br />

SMC disclosure <strong>to</strong> the Philippine<br />

S<strong>to</strong>ck Exchange (PSE), stating that<br />

the conglomerate’s management was<br />

authorized <strong>to</strong> exercise an option <strong>to</strong><br />

acquire 40 percent of the outstanding<br />

common shares of Sea Refinery<br />

Corp. no later than April 30.<br />

Sea Refinery owns 50.1 percent<br />

GARDEN OF MEMORIES MEMORIAL PARK<br />

AND CHAPELS, INC.<br />

Bagong Calzada, Pateros, Metro Manila<br />

STATEMENT OF CONDITION<br />

AUDITED<br />

As of December 31, 2009<br />

ASSETS<br />

AMOUNT<br />

Cash and Cash Equivalents P 34,098,103<br />

Receivables 48,414,281<br />

Investments in Trust Funds 55,106,059<br />

Inven<strong>to</strong>ries 1,126,796<br />

Property and Equipment 12,914,955<br />

Investment Property 32,805,350<br />

Net Pension Asset 62,900<br />

Other Assets 1,507,124<br />

P 186,035,568<br />

LIABILITIES AND EQUITY<br />

Pre-need reserves P 52,858,143<br />

Other reserves 1,324,404<br />

Estimated liabilities 33,851,023<br />

Ac<strong>count</strong>s and other payables 11,614,528<br />

Income Tax payable 883,424<br />

Deferred tax liability 8,088,665<br />

108,620,187<br />

Equity<br />

Capital s<strong>to</strong>ck 30,000,000<br />

Revaluation increment 25,405,112<br />

Revaluation reserve for available-for-sale<br />

financial assets 1,538,594<br />

Retained earnings 41,857,862<br />

Treasury s<strong>to</strong>ck (21,386,187)<br />

77,415,381<br />

P 186,035,568<br />

TRUST FUND<br />

(Memorial Life Plan)<br />

BALANCE SHEET<br />

AUDITED<br />

As of December 31, 2009<br />

ASSETS<br />

Cash in banks P 3,921,861<br />

AFS financial assets at market<br />

Government securities 48,858,535<br />

Private Bonds 1,499,129<br />

Accrued interest receivable 897,319<br />

55,176,844<br />

LIABILITIES<br />

Accrued expenses and other liabilities 70,785<br />

P 55,106,059<br />

EQUITY<br />

Fund balance at beginning of year P 40,697,084<br />

Additional contributions during the year -<br />

Fund balance at end of year 40,697,084<br />

Accumulated trust fund income<br />

at beginning of year 37,991,503<br />

Net income for the year 3,012,822<br />

Accumulated trust fund income at end of year 41,004,325<br />

Accumulated withdrawals at beginning of year (28,185,685)<br />

Withdrawals during the year (607,656)<br />

Accumulated withdrawals at end of year (28,793,341)<br />

Revaluation reserve for AFS financial assets<br />

at beginning of year 2,128,930<br />

Net changes in fair value of AFS financial<br />

assets during the year 69,061<br />

Revaluation reserve for AFS financial<br />

assets at end of year 2,197,991<br />

P 55,106,059<br />

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES )<br />

PATEROS, METRO MANILA ) S.S.<br />

We, TOMAS S. SANCHEZ JR. AND VIRGINIA S. ATMOSFERA<br />

of the above-mentioned corporation, certify that the above<br />

statement of condition <strong>to</strong>gether with the trust fund balance sheet<br />

has been audited by its external audi<strong>to</strong>rs, SyCip, Gorres, Velayo<br />

& Co. (SGV & Co.).<br />

(SGD.) TOMAS S. SANCHEZ, JR. (SGD.) VIRGINIA S. ATMOSFERA<br />

President – CEO<br />

Treasurer<br />

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN <strong>to</strong> before me this April 23, 2010<br />

at Pateros, Metro Manila, affiants exhibiting <strong>to</strong> me their Community<br />

Tax Certificate Nos. 19972323 and 19967515, both issued at<br />

Pateros, Metro Manila on January 23, 2010 and January 4,<br />

2010 respectively.<br />

(SGD.) FRANCISCO C. BORJA<br />

Notary Public<br />

Doc. No. 148 Until December 31, 2010<br />

Book No. 031 P.T.R. No. 6141153<br />

Page No. 001 Date: Oc<strong>to</strong>ber 11, 2009<br />

Series of 2010<br />

Place: Pateros, Metro Manila<br />

TIN: 113-413-624<br />

of the outstanding common<br />

shares of Petron.<br />

Ang said the Ashmore Group,<br />

which owns Sea Refinery, will retain<br />

a 40 percent stake in Petron.<br />

In its disclosure, SMC said it will<br />

also issue a tender offer for the<br />

common shares of Petron held by<br />

the public at an offer price of<br />

P6.85 apiece.<br />

The option <strong>to</strong> acquire up <strong>to</strong> 100<br />

percent of Sea Refinery is contained<br />

in an agreement dated December<br />

Benguet secures fresh capital<br />

Galvanizers pledge <strong>to</strong> hold off<br />

increase in steel product prices<br />

Planning agency clears privatization of Manila North Harbor<br />

THE National Economic and Development<br />

Authority (NEDA) on Monday said<br />

that the contract for the development and<br />

operation of the Manila North Harbor underwent<br />

a “proper” bidding.<br />

“The contract is properly bid out,”<br />

Augus<strong>to</strong> San<strong>to</strong>s, NEDA direc<strong>to</strong>r general<br />

and socioeconomic planning secretary,<br />

<strong>to</strong>ld reporters.<br />

State-run Philippine Ports Authority<br />

(PPA) awarded Manila North Harbour<br />

Port Inc. (MNHPI) a 25-year contract <strong>to</strong><br />

modernize the Manila North Harbor. PPA<br />

is assured of P6.8 billion in revenues from<br />

the contract.<br />

24, 2008 between SMC and Sea Refinery<br />

Holdings BV, a unit of the<br />

London-based Ashmore group represented<br />

by former Philippine Trade<br />

Minister Rober<strong>to</strong> Ongpin.<br />

The <strong>Sec</strong>urities Regulation Code on<br />

manda<strong>to</strong>ry tender offers states that,<br />

“any person or group of persons acting<br />

in concert who intends <strong>to</strong> acquire<br />

35 percent or more of equity shares in<br />

a public company shall disclose such<br />

intention and contemporaneously<br />

make a tender offer for the percent<br />

sought <strong>to</strong> all holders of such class.”<br />

“What we are doing right <strong>now</strong> is<br />

<strong>to</strong> have our tender offer in compliance<br />

with the PSE ruling. This exercise<br />

will enable us <strong>to</strong> buy all [Petron]<br />

shares [held by] the public, which is<br />

nine percent. We are <strong>now</strong> readying<br />

all documents. Once completed, we<br />

will end up with [a] 60 percent<br />

[stake] in Petron if we will be able <strong>to</strong><br />

buy all the nine percent of the shares<br />

[held by] the public,” Ang said.<br />

The Ashmore Group owns 90.6<br />

percent of Petron after buying the<br />

government’s 40-percent interest<br />

for P25.6 billion in 2008. The year<br />

before, the Ashmore Group had<br />

acquired a 40-percent stake in<br />

Petron from Saudi Arabia’s<br />

Aramco Overseas Co. Following<br />

its acquisition of a majority in<br />

Petron, the Ashmore Group made<br />

a tender offer, which allowed the<br />

UK firm <strong>to</strong> secure a further 10.1<br />

percent from other holders of the<br />

oil refiner’s s<strong>to</strong>ck.<br />

SMC paid the Ashmore Group<br />

about $10 million for the option <strong>to</strong><br />

gain control over Petron.<br />

SMC has been looking <strong>to</strong> invest<br />

outside its core businesses of beverages,<br />

dairy products and food<br />

processing.<br />

Ayala Land, El Nido opera<strong>to</strong>r <strong>to</strong> form joint venture<br />

AYALA Land Inc. (ALI) said it will<br />

undertake a joint venture with the<br />

opera<strong>to</strong>r of the world-class El Nido<br />

Resorts in Northern Palawan for<br />

the development of more ecofriendly<br />

and responsible <strong>to</strong>urism<br />

destinations in the area.<br />

In a disclosure <strong>to</strong> the Philippine<br />

S<strong>to</strong>ck Exchange, ALI said it would<br />

take a 60-percent interest in the<br />

partnership with Asian Conservation<br />

Co. (ACC).<br />

Incorporated in 2001 <strong>to</strong> finance<br />

biodiversity conservation, ACC<br />

through subsidiaries under the<br />

UNION Bank of the Philippines’<br />

profit climbed by half in the first<br />

three months this year mainly because<br />

of higher interest income and<br />

trading gains.<br />

In a disclosure at the Philippine<br />

S<strong>to</strong>cks Exchange, Union Bank said<br />

its first quarter profit went up 51.3<br />

percent <strong>to</strong> P855.17 million from<br />

Ten Knots Group, owns and operates<br />

the El Nido Resorts in<br />

Lagen and Miniloc Islands. The<br />

resort won the Wild Asia Responsible<br />

Tourism Award in 2009 and<br />

was one of the 15 Favorite Green<br />

Hotels recognized by Travel + Leisure<br />

magazine in 2007.<br />

“We are excited <strong>to</strong> have ACC as<br />

our new partner, with their unique<br />

experience in managing island resort<br />

properties and their strong adherence<br />

<strong>to</strong> a quadruple bot<strong>to</strong>m line<br />

approach in preserving the environment<br />

around their resort proper-<br />

P565.18 million in the same threemonth<br />

period a year ago.<br />

The bank’s net interest income<br />

rose 19.02 percent <strong>to</strong> P1.72 billion<br />

from P1.44 billion last year.<br />

The lender’s other sources of income<br />

reached P833.74 million,<br />

P467.55 million of which came<br />

from miscellaneous income, and<br />

Gains from loans, trading lift Union Bank’s 1Q profit<br />

P152.45 million from fee-based<br />

earnings.<br />

Net trading gains surged 55 percent<br />

<strong>to</strong> P213.73 million from<br />

P137.55 million the prior year.<br />

Total deposits at end-March<br />

dipped from P194.5 billion a year<br />

ago <strong>to</strong> P186.8 billion this year while<br />

capital funds rose 4 percent <strong>to</strong><br />

MINING firm Benguet Corp. (BC) has received<br />

a fresh shot in the arm with the capital infusion<br />

from new inves<strong>to</strong>rs.<br />

In a disclosure <strong>to</strong> the Philippine S<strong>to</strong>ck<br />

Exchange, BC said that RYM Business Management<br />

Corp. (RBMC) paid the mining<br />

firm P150 million for an initial share subscription.<br />

RBMC acquired 6,617,640 class A common<br />

shares and 4,411,770 class B common shares of BC.<br />

The share subscription is part of the agreement<br />

both parties signed on April 7. Under the accord,<br />

RBMC will purchase 14.6-million class A common<br />

shares at P12 each and 9.7-million class B<br />

shares at P16 apiece.<br />

The balance worth P180 million will be<br />

GALVANIZERS have committed <strong>to</strong> maintain prices of<br />

galvanized iron (GI) roofing sheets as they await<br />

the tariff relief that the government may extend <strong>to</strong><br />

keep prices of these products low.<br />

Earlier, local galvanizers mulled over<br />

jacking up prices by 5 percent <strong>to</strong> 10 percent<br />

because of the increase in raw material costs<br />

in the global market.<br />

Three of the world’s largest mining firms—<br />

BHP Billi<strong>to</strong>n Ltd., Cia Vale do Rio Doce and Rio<br />

Tin<strong>to</strong> Coal Australia—have quoted higher<br />

iron ore prices, which sent the prices of steel<br />

materials such as billets, cold rolled coils<br />

(CRC), hot rolled coils (HRC), slabs and wire<br />

rods <strong>to</strong> jump by $100 <strong>to</strong> $150 per metric <strong>to</strong>n.<br />

ties,” An<strong>to</strong>nino Aquino, ALI president<br />

and chief executive officer, said.<br />

“We are pleased <strong>to</strong> have ALI as<br />

our strategic partner, given their<br />

strong corporate philosophy on<br />

sustainability and their proven<br />

track record of building worldclass<br />

real estate projects,” said<br />

Vicente Perez, ACC chairman.<br />

Last year, the Ayala group began<br />

adopting a new philosophy and<br />

vowed <strong>to</strong> pursue a “triple bot<strong>to</strong>m<br />

line” approach in its business operations.<br />

The “triple bot<strong>to</strong>m line” refers<br />

<strong>to</strong> the economic, social and environmental<br />

impact of the company.<br />

Last November, Ayala Corp.<br />

became the first conglomerate <strong>to</strong><br />

release a sustainability report,<br />

which will assess the group’s impact<br />

on the community and the<br />

environment.<br />

Two months later, state-run<br />

Laguna Lake Development Authority<br />

served a fine against Manila<br />

Water Co. Inc., an Ayala affiliate,<br />

for discharging wastewater<br />

<strong>to</strong> the lake. The utility is contesting<br />

the penalty.<br />

KRISTA ANGELA M. MONTEALEGRE<br />

P32.47 billion from last year’s<br />

P31.28 million.<br />

Union Bank has set aside more<br />

than 37 percent, or P106.73 million<br />

in impairment losses.<br />

Operating expenses increased at<br />

a slower pace, at less than 1 percent<br />

<strong>to</strong> P1.44 billion from last year’s<br />

P1.43 million. LAILANY P. GOMEZ<br />

paid for within 180 days from the date of<br />

the deal’s signing.<br />

BC earlier said that the private placement<br />

would allow the company <strong>to</strong> pursue its projects.<br />

These include the development of the Bala<strong>to</strong>c<br />

Tailings Project, Acupan Contract Mining Project<br />

and other priority projects in Benguet province.<br />

The projects involve the extraction of residual<br />

and reserve gold.<br />

Bala<strong>to</strong>c, in particular, is projected <strong>to</strong> churn<br />

out 3,000 <strong>to</strong>ns of gold per day. This could<br />

rise <strong>to</strong> 5,000 <strong>to</strong>ns per day within the first<br />

three years. The Acupan gold mine has been<br />

closed since 1992 because of low metal<br />

prices <strong>back</strong> then.<br />

EUAN PAULO C. AÑONUEVO<br />

The Cabinet-level Tariff and Related Matters<br />

Committee is conducting a review on duties<br />

imposed on steel.<br />

But Senior Trade Undersecretary Thomas<br />

Aquino <strong>to</strong>ld reporters last week that<br />

galvanizers should come up with a single<br />

position. The Filipino Galvanizers Institute<br />

Inc. has been asking for the removal of the<br />

seven-percent duty on CRC and HRC imports,<br />

while another group composed of six<br />

companies called on the government <strong>to</strong><br />

impose safeguards on finished products.<br />

“Galvanizers must have one consistent<br />

position when they talk <strong>to</strong> the government,”<br />

Aquino said.<br />

BEN ARNOLD O. DE VERA<br />

MNHPI is 60-percent owned by Michael<br />

Romero’s Harbour Centre and 40 percent<br />

by Metro Pacific Investment Corp., which<br />

is led by Manuel Pangilinan.<br />

The Philippine Liners Shipping Association<br />

(PLSA) had claimed the contract was<br />

approved without undergoing a screening<br />

process at NEDA and a complete bidding<br />

process, pursuant <strong>to</strong> the Bidding Law or<br />

Republic Act. 9184 and the Build-Operate-Transfer<br />

Law or RA 6957 as amended<br />

by RA 7718.<br />

Earlier, the PLSA asked the Supreme<br />

Court <strong>to</strong> nullify the contract and impose<br />

a temporary restraining order, status quo<br />

SMDC net income surges<br />

on brisk sales of condos<br />

THE housing arm of the SM Group<br />

announced on Monday that its net income<br />

for the first quarter rose by more<br />

than half, Sbuoyed by the strong sales<br />

of its residential units.<br />

In a statement, SM Development<br />

Corp. (SMDC) said its earnings rose by<br />

51 percent <strong>to</strong> P632 million from P419<br />

million a year ago.<br />

Consolidated revenues went up by<br />

48 percent <strong>to</strong> P2 billion with sales from<br />

real estate operations hitting P1.9 billion,<br />

or 45 percent higher than last<br />

year’s P1.3 billion.<br />

During the three-month period,<br />

SMDC pre-sold 3,547 residential units<br />

worth P7 billion, up by 288 percent<br />

year-on-year, on the <strong>back</strong> of the strong<br />

take-up of projects like the Sun Residences<br />

in Welcome Ro<strong>to</strong>nda in Manila,<br />

Jazz Residences in Makati and the Light<br />

Residences near Pioneer Street in<br />

Mandaluyong City.<br />

SMDC has lined up four additional<br />

projects worth P4 billion <strong>to</strong> P8 billion<br />

under the SM Residences brand this year.<br />

The company is confident that the<br />

affordability of its housing projects<br />

would allow it <strong>to</strong> sustain this kind of<br />

profit growth in the medium term.<br />

“We’ll try for a 30 <strong>to</strong> 50 percent<br />

growth for the next five-years,” Henry<br />

Sy Jr., SMDC chairman, said on the<br />

sidelines of the firm’s annual s<strong>to</strong>ckholder’s<br />

meeting.<br />

Sy said they will <strong>now</strong> tap in<strong>to</strong> an<br />

“unserved” segment of the market by<br />

launching a new residential brand<br />

called “My Place,” which would offer<br />

housing units at P1 million and below.<br />

“We believe this product will be another<br />

successful entry <strong>to</strong>wards alleviating<br />

the housing demand in the Philippines,”<br />

he said.<br />

According <strong>to</strong> the executive, My<br />

Place aims <strong>to</strong> attract the “yuppies,”<br />

call center agents, professionals moving<br />

out of their parents’ homes, and<br />

inves<strong>to</strong>rs who could rent the units<br />

out <strong>to</strong> students.<br />

A 20-s<strong>to</strong>rey My Place <strong>to</strong>wer will rise<br />

in a one-hectare lot in Panay Avenue,<br />

Quezon City this year, while four<br />

more projects in Metro Manila under<br />

the brand will be built by next year.<br />

Sy said SMDC would earn a<br />

“slightly lower” profit margin from My<br />

Place compared with its other brands.<br />

He said that the price of housing units<br />

cannot keep up with construction<br />

materials, thus the company has <strong>to</strong> be<br />

“creative” by employing “value engineering”<br />

in constructing My Place.<br />

In the past few months, the price of<br />

steel products in the <strong>count</strong>ry has<br />

soared, prompting the government <strong>to</strong><br />

set a suggested retail price on billets,<br />

wire mills and cold rolled coils.<br />

But Jose Sio, the SM Group’s chief<br />

finance officer, said the company<br />

“locked in” its steel requirements<br />

since last year.<br />

“That’s the advantage of being liquid,”<br />

he said.<br />

To grab these kinds of opportunities,<br />

SMDC will hoard enough cash<br />

at a level the company is most comfortable<br />

with “while money is<br />

cheap”, Sio added.<br />

Roger Cabunag, SDMC president,<br />

said the real estate firm will sell P5-<br />

billion <strong>to</strong> P10-billion worth of three-,<br />

five- or seven-year bonds next month.<br />

KRISTA ANGELA M. MONTEALEGRE<br />

<strong>Sec</strong>ondary airports open<br />

<strong>to</strong> Asean carriers by June<br />

THE Philippines expects <strong>to</strong> open by<br />

June all secondary airports <strong>to</strong> flag-carriers<br />

of other member-<strong>count</strong>ries of the<br />

Association of Southeast Asian Nations<br />

(Asean), an official of the Civil<br />

Aeronautics Board (CAB) said.<br />

“We are hoping <strong>to</strong> agree before<br />

June, which is the target signing of the<br />

Multilateral Agreement for the Full<br />

Liberalization of Passenger Air Services<br />

(MAFLPAS) and its implementing<br />

pro<strong>to</strong>cols,” Porvenir Porciuncula,<br />

CAB deputy executive direc<strong>to</strong>r, said.<br />

Porciuncula had said that the<br />

agreement supports the Philippine<br />

policy <strong>to</strong> develop airports outside<br />

Manila, particularly Clark and others<br />

such as Cebu, Davao, Laoag and<br />

General San<strong>to</strong>s.<br />

These airports outside Manila are<br />

expected <strong>to</strong> attract flights connecting<br />

with Asean cities.<br />

THE Philippines’ bank insurer said<br />

the International Monetary Fund<br />

(IMF) is supporting its proposed removal<br />

of the 90-day rehabilitation<br />

window and the establishment of a<br />

bridge bank authority.<br />

According <strong>to</strong> state-run Philippine<br />

Deposit Insurance Corp.<br />

(PDIC), these proposals would<br />

work in tandem with IMF’s recommendations<br />

removing the constraints<br />

in regulation and strengthening<br />

the current prompt and corrective<br />

action (PCA) on banks.<br />

The IMF is partial <strong>to</strong> a conserva<strong>to</strong>r/receiver<br />

taking full control when<br />

restructuring a bank without shareholder<br />

approval, PDIC said.<br />

The rehabilitation period during<br />

receivership should be eliminated<br />

while the law that provides for a bridge<br />

bank resolution mechanism should be<br />

amended, the IMF further said.<br />

PDIC President Jose Nograles said the<br />

IMF’s statement was timely in ushering<br />

a second wave of legislative banking reforms<br />

after the passage of the amended<br />

deposit insurance law last year.<br />

He said that bank rehabilitation<br />

should take place during the PCA period,<br />

when the bank is still in operation,<br />

and not after closure. Under the<br />

present system, a bank that is found<br />

<strong>to</strong> be in the early stages of distress and<br />

non-compliance with standard conditions<br />

and ratings is placed under PCA.<br />

“If signed, there will be direct<br />

flights for <strong>to</strong>urists. There will be flexible<br />

and better packages for <strong>to</strong>urists,”<br />

Porciuncula said.<br />

The CAB official said this is separate<br />

from the Multilateral Agreement<br />

on Air Services (MAS), which allows<br />

unlimited capacity or frequencies between<br />

capital cities in Asean.<br />

For unlimited flights among capital<br />

cities in Asean, Porciuncula said<br />

the Philippines is not yet ready because<br />

of the limitations of runways in<br />

local airports.<br />

Porciuncula said the constraints<br />

would be the infrastructure, technical<br />

support and the readiness of the local<br />

airlines.<br />

He said the government would<br />

consult the stakeholders before the<br />

ratification of the agreement.<br />

DARWIN G. AMOJELAR<br />

State insurer says IMF<br />

<strong>back</strong>s quick bank closure<br />

When all options for rehabilitation<br />

have failed, the Monetary Board then<br />

orders the closure of the bank and<br />

places it under the receivership of PDIC.<br />

But under existing regulations,<br />

PDIC may still accept rehabilitation<br />

proposals during the 90-day receivership<br />

period. Most of the proposals<br />

come from previous owners and s<strong>to</strong>ckholders<br />

of the closed banks.<br />

In case of third-party inves<strong>to</strong>rs, the<br />

concurrence of the bank’s shareholders<br />

is still required.<br />

Eliminating the manda<strong>to</strong>ry rehabilitation<br />

option after bank closure could<br />

allow the PDIC <strong>to</strong> quickly undertake<br />

any of the three modes of liquidation:<br />

the purchase of assets and assumption<br />

of liabilities, the establishment of a<br />

bridge bank, and the outright sale of<br />

the closed bank’s assets for liquidation.<br />

Nograles said the Congress’ bicameral<br />

conference committee supported<br />

the bridge bank proposal,<br />

and suggested its inclusion in the<br />

amendments <strong>to</strong> the Bangko Sentral<br />

ng Pilipinas Charter or the General<br />

Banking Act.<br />

A bridge bank refers <strong>to</strong> a temporary<br />

bank set up and operated <strong>to</strong> acquire<br />

assets and assume liabilities of a failed<br />

lender and facilitate its resolution. The<br />

bridge bank will be authorized <strong>to</strong> purchase<br />

assets, assume deposits, and<br />

other liabilities and perform banking<br />

functions.<br />

LAILANY P. GOMEZ<br />

ante order or any equitable relief.<br />

San<strong>to</strong>s said the 5 percent concession fee<br />

that the shipping companies are contesting<br />

is part of the contract, and requires no NEDA<br />

approval. “It only requires PPA board approval<br />

and it has been approved,” he said.<br />

The Department of Trade and Industry<br />

had warned that the additional fee<br />

would have an “economic impact <strong>to</strong> shippers,<br />

consumers and the general public.”<br />

MNHPI will spend P14.5-billion for the<br />

construction of a modern passenger terminal<br />

and other facilities, acquisition of<br />

heavy equipment, dredging operations<br />

and acquisition of other equally important<br />

equipment such as modern computers<br />

<strong>to</strong> ensure the smooth flow of cargo<br />

and passengers.<br />

The North Harbor Terminal 1 will service<br />

roll-on roll-off container and passenger<br />

ships.<br />

Terminal 2 will service container and<br />

passenger ships, while Terminal 3 will be<br />

earmarked for conventional, non-containerized,<br />

bulk/break-bulk ships and passenger<br />

vessels.<br />

The North Harbor, which is part of the<br />

Port of Manila, is the <strong>count</strong>ry’s largest and<br />

busiest port, serving domestic cargo and<br />

passenger traffic. DARWIN G. AMOJELAR


mo<strong>to</strong>ring<br />

The Manila Times TUESDAY April 27, 2010<br />

Ford completes Focus lineup in Philippines with launch of new sedan variants<br />

FORD Group Phils. (FGP) announced it<br />

has completed its lineup of Ford Focus<br />

models as it introduced last week two<br />

new sedan variants; the TDCi with a sixspeed<br />

PowerShift au<strong>to</strong>matic transmission<br />

and the 1.8-liter Trend, which also<br />

has an au<strong>to</strong>matic gearbox.<br />

FGP asserted that the PowerShift<br />

“delivers the fuel efficiency and<br />

dynamics of a <strong>manual</strong> gearbox with the<br />

driving ease and full comfort of a<br />

premium au<strong>to</strong>matic transmission.” The<br />

system uses the latest electronically<br />

controlled dual-clutch technology <strong>to</strong><br />

change gears which, when compared <strong>to</strong><br />

traditional au<strong>to</strong>matic four-speed<br />

transmissions, can also help reduce fuel<br />

consumption by up <strong>to</strong> 9 percent,<br />

according <strong>to</strong> the company.<br />

A dual-clutch system consists of two<br />

transmissions with its own independent<br />

clutch units where one carries the oddnumber<br />

gears (first, third and fifth) while<br />

the other the even-number gears (two,<br />

four and six). Gear changes are coordinated<br />

between both clutches as they<br />

engage and disengage for a seamless<br />

delivery of <strong>to</strong>rque <strong>to</strong> the wheels, FGP said.<br />

“Ford’s PowerShift represents a true<br />

competitive advantage for Ford and is<br />

one of the current technologies that set<br />

a new world standard for efficiency and<br />

drive quality,” said FGP Vice President<br />

for Sales and Marketing Steven Tan.<br />

What it brings <strong>to</strong> our Focus lineup is<br />

ride that’s as smooth as it gets.”<br />

The Focus lineup starts with the 1.8L<br />

Style sedan (P779,000). Next are the 1.8L<br />

driven/HONDA JAZZ 1.3S<br />

Trend models which either have a fivespeed<br />

<strong>manual</strong> transmission (P799,000;<br />

sedan only) or au<strong>to</strong>matic transmission<br />

(P869,000; the new sedan and hatch<strong>back</strong>).<br />

Then there are the 2.0-liter models—the<br />

Ghia sedan and Sport hatch<strong>back</strong><br />

(P999,000). On <strong>to</strong>p of the range are the<br />

TDCi and PowerShift-equipped Sport hatch<br />

and new sedan models (P1.189 million).<br />

Also announced at the introduction of<br />

the two latest Focus sedan models was<br />

the second run of the Ford Focus Coast-<strong>to</strong>-<br />

Coast Challenge, where three new teams<br />

will drive from Sorsogon, Bicol <strong>to</strong><br />

Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte on just one tankfull<br />

of gas on Focus cars. The participants,<br />

which include JP Tuason and Mike Tuason<br />

of the Tuason Racing School, will drive the<br />

new TDCi sedans from May 4 <strong>to</strong> 7.<br />

BOX POPULI<br />

The Honda Jazz, in 1.3S guise, gives up some<br />

oomph but retains all the other virtues that<br />

have made the nameplate hugely popular<br />

BY BRIAN AFUANG MOTORING EDITOR<br />

THINK nothing of that “Thinking out<br />

of the box” cliché. It’s the stuff inside<br />

the box that matter, and the idea<br />

holds especially true when referring <strong>to</strong><br />

popular econoboxes like the Honda Jazz.<br />

Exactly what stuff are these?<br />

For starters, space. Lots of it.<br />

Despite diminutive exterior<br />

measurements the Jazz packs an<br />

amazing amount of acreage<br />

inside. And this allows for<br />

genuine seating for five averagesized<br />

adults and generous room<br />

for cargo behind the rear seat.<br />

Add the capability <strong>to</strong> rearrange<br />

the furniture <strong>to</strong> fit more cargo—<br />

plus the dimensions inherent in<br />

a hatch<strong>back</strong> mold—and the Jazz<br />

mutates from a subcompact car<br />

in<strong>to</strong> a small van. If one wants<br />

more cargo room, then it’s an<br />

SUV or a pickup he should buy.<br />

Although in the Jazz’s case,<br />

that last mentioned pronoun<br />

should be “she.” That’s because,<br />

well, just look at the exterior<br />

styling of the Jazz’s box. An<br />

evolution of the original Jazz’s<br />

small-van proportions, the<br />

second-generation car grew a<br />

swooping roofline and a rakish<br />

hood and sleek body lines that<br />

all made the present Jazz<br />

definitively fashionista, its small<br />

van-like origins still apparent but<br />

less pronounced. The car, despite<br />

having stronger angular lines<br />

■ Former<br />

Isuzu Phils.<br />

President<br />

Keiji Takeda<br />

(left) formally<br />

turns over the<br />

company’s <strong>to</strong>p<br />

position <strong>to</strong><br />

Ryoji<br />

Yamazaki<br />

through a<br />

symbolic<br />

plaque.<br />

that made it less pudgy, became<br />

more womanly urbane, its<br />

sleekness similar <strong>to</strong> that of<br />

dainty sandals rather than that of<br />

all-conditions mesh-uppers<br />

sneakers (and the footwear<br />

analogy is apt <strong>to</strong>o, considering a<br />

hatch<strong>back</strong>’s shoe-like shape). So<br />

where the first one was genderambiguous,<br />

the present Jazz’s<br />

box emits a decidedly more<br />

feminine vibe.<br />

Especially in 1.3S trim and its<br />

au<strong>to</strong>matic gearbox.<br />

Because while the <strong>to</strong>p-model<br />

1.5V AT wears essentially the<br />

same sheet metal (but buffed up<br />

with sundry body claddings and<br />

bolder bumpers), it’s saved from<br />

chick-car status by virtue of<br />

horsepower. The 1.3S simply<br />

can’t lay claim <strong>to</strong> same.<br />

The car’s 1.3-liter engine, which<br />

has 16 valves and Honda’s i-VTEC<br />

system but only has a single cam,<br />

needs <strong>to</strong> huff and puff <strong>to</strong><br />

6,000rpm <strong>to</strong> produce slightly less<br />

than 100 horsepower. With 127<br />

New<strong>to</strong>n-meters of <strong>to</strong>rque (available<br />

at 4,800rpm) though, driving<br />

through city traffic isn’t much of a<br />

problem, provided that all you ask<br />

for is a car capable of jostling for<br />

position in s<strong>to</strong>p-and-go grinds. At<br />

higher speeds, the Jazz’s engine<br />

simply loses steam and requires a<br />

heavy foot on the gas pedal so the<br />

car could keep up with faster<br />

traffic—which then hurts fuel<br />

economy. (Honda wisely<br />

equipped the car with a meter that<br />

computes fuel consumption in<br />

»HONDA CARS NAMES DEALER OF THE YEAR<br />

HONDA Cars Phils. Inc. (HCPI) has named Honda Cars Manila as the 2009<br />

Dealer of the Year. The award was announced during the company’s recent<br />

dealer convention.<br />

HCPI said that Honda Cars Manila excelled in sales, service, parts supply,<br />

cus<strong>to</strong>mer relations management and finance operations.<br />

“We are very proud in delivering world-class products and services <strong>to</strong><br />

the market,” said Honda Cars Manila General Manager Jojo Aliganga.<br />

“Winning the highest recognition in dealership operations further<br />

challenges us in providing better contribution in the year ahead.”<br />

Honda Cars Manila is part of the Yuchengco Group of Companies under<br />

the House of Investments. It started operating in 1997.<br />

ISUZU Phils. Corp. (IPC) has<br />

announced the appointment of<br />

Ryoji Yamazaki as its new president.<br />

Yamazaki officially assumed<br />

the post on April 1. He replaces<br />

Keiji Takeda, who is moving <strong>to</strong><br />

Isuzu Mo<strong>to</strong>rs Ltd. (IML) <strong>to</strong> serve as<br />

associate division executive of the<br />

international division in charge of<br />

Asean, China and Taiwan.<br />

Takeda was IPC president for<br />

three years.<br />

IPC said that the 55-year-old<br />

B<br />

3<br />

real time.) Good thing the Jazz’s<br />

five-speed au<strong>to</strong> gearbox shifts<br />

smoothly as it does need <strong>to</strong> row<br />

through the gears quite often in<br />

heavy-foot conditions.<br />

Its suspension—MacPhersons<br />

and <strong>to</strong>rsion beams fore and aft,<br />

respectively—allows the Jazz <strong>to</strong><br />

soak up most of Metro Manila’s<br />

lunar-surface asphalt relatively<br />

well. Compared <strong>to</strong> Toyota and<br />

Mazda subcompacts in its class<br />

and price range, the Jazz lags in<br />

shielding its occupants from<br />

road imperfections, letting a bit<br />

more noise and harshness <strong>to</strong><br />

enter the cabin, but still the car’s<br />

ride is refined and comfortable<br />

enough. This is even more<br />

apparent in the 1.3S model,<br />

which has higher tire sidewalls as<br />

a result of the car’s smaller 15-<br />

inch alloys (the 1.5-liter variant<br />

rolls on 16-inchers).<br />

Where the Jazz—whatever<br />

variant—trumps its competi<strong>to</strong>rs is<br />

in braking, having ABS, Electronic<br />

Brake-force Distribution and<br />

assist on all four discs, as opposed<br />

<strong>to</strong> the disc/drum combos<br />

of comparable subcompacts.<br />

And the result of such a setup,<br />

as any gearhead would attest <strong>to</strong>,<br />

is more forceful and predictable<br />

s<strong>to</strong>pping prowess.<br />

All these techno-babble only<br />

leads us <strong>to</strong> the Jazz’s strengths,<br />

which are class-leading interior<br />

space that’s cleverly packaged, a<br />

respectable amount of convenience<br />

features (multimedia<br />

player, s<strong>to</strong>rage bins, tilt/telescoping<br />

steering wheel) and a refined<br />

engine and transmission. In 1.3S<br />

AT guise, the Jazz isn’t particularly<br />

quick, but all the other<br />

good stuff that its bigger 1.5-liter<br />

kin have are present, resulting in<br />

a car that’s superb in virtually<br />

every aspect of city-driving<br />

chores. True, the 1.3S AT doesn’t<br />

come cheap at P782,000 (and<br />

the 1.5-liter model costs P60,000<br />

more), but value-for-the-buck is<br />

the deal here, especially considering<br />

that the used Jazz cars hold<br />

its price well over the years.<br />

And those are what made this<br />

econobox so popular.<br />

Yamazaki’s previous position was<br />

general manager of IML’s international<br />

department that oversees<br />

Africa, Europe and Oceania. He<br />

graduated from the Keio University<br />

in Tokyo and started his career by<br />

joining IML in 1978, initially<br />

working at the company’s shipping<br />

and delivery section. Yamazaki was<br />

next assigned <strong>to</strong> the international<br />

sales division, where he was in<br />

charge of the Philippine market.<br />

He then oversaw the markets of<br />

f.y.i<br />

● AWARDS ● SPECIAL PROMOS<br />

● ANNOUNCEMENTS ● MILESTONES<br />

»TOYOTA PHILS. RECALLS LAND CRUISER PRADO<br />

TOYOTA Mo<strong>to</strong>r Phils. announced it is conducting a “special service<br />

campaign <strong>to</strong> address the problem concerning the Vehicle Stability Control<br />

(VSC) program in certain Land Cruiser Prado models,” which are those with<br />

18-inch wheels and equipped with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System<br />

(KDSS) and VSC. The company said the “activation of the VSC may not be<br />

sufficient in certain circumstances,” citing the setting of the program. TMP<br />

elaborated that “in circumstances in which advanced driving skills are<br />

required, such as when a driver of the involved vehicle sharply turns the<br />

steering wheel in high-speed conditions, or when the driver negotiates a<br />

curve at excessive speeds, the vehicle could slide sideways.”<br />

TMP said it would update the VSC so that “the risk of the vehicle sliding,<br />

even <strong>to</strong> the point that it is almost sideways, will be reduced.”<br />

TMP said it has started contacting Land Cruiser Prado owners and would<br />

perform home-service repairs for free. It added that no other Toyota or<br />

Lexus models are affected by the recall.<br />

For more information, call 819-2912.<br />

»MUNICH ATTRACTION<br />

Isuzu Phils. appoints new company president<br />

BMW Welt has become<br />

one of the most<br />

popular <strong>to</strong>urist<br />

attractions in Munich,<br />

Germany, with around<br />

five million people<br />

having visited it since it<br />

opened in Oc<strong>to</strong>ber 2007, according <strong>to</strong> Asian Carmakers Corp. (ACC),<br />

the exclusive distribu<strong>to</strong>r of BMW vehicles in the Philippines. ACC<br />

cited that the Welt’s unique features, like its striking double-cone<br />

and flying cloud roof, identify it as belonging <strong>to</strong> “a new generation<br />

of communication buildings for the 21st century.”<br />

The Welt complex, consisting of a museum and manufacturing plant,<br />

provides a “fascinating diversity of themes in one place and creates a<br />

brand experience that is unique throughout the world,” ACC said.<br />

For more information, log on <strong>to</strong> www.bmw-welt.com or e-mail<br />

information@bmw.com.ph.<br />

»SEAOIL TO SELL MORE HIGH-OCTANE GASOLINE<br />

SEAOIL announced that more stations will be carrying its premium<br />

gasoline, Extreme 97, citing that increased sales has bolstered the company<br />

<strong>to</strong> expand operations in North and South Luzon.<br />

“We have seen a 59-percent increase in sales since we launched the<br />

product in 35 Metro Manila stations, 18 percent of which is from sales of<br />

Extreme 97,” said Seaoil President and Chief Operating Officer Glenn Yu. He<br />

added that the introduction of Extreme 97 in Luzon further strengthened<br />

Seaoil’s steadily increasing position in the domestic gasoline market.<br />

Seaoil named the stations offering Extreme 97 in North Luzon, and these<br />

are in Baliuag and Paombong in Bulacan and Guagua, Magalang, Mexico, San<br />

Luis and San Matias in Pampanga. In South Luzon, the stations are in San<strong>to</strong><br />

Tomas, Batangas; Kawit and Silang in Cavite; Biñan, Calamba and Santa Rosa<br />

in Laguna; and Lalig and Tiaong in Quezon. The company said it would sell<br />

Extreme 97 in Visayas and Mindanao in the coming months.<br />

Seaoil said Extreme 97 has the highest octane level among gasoline<br />

products available in the local market <strong>to</strong>day. The company explained that a<br />

higher octane level translates <strong>to</strong> increased horsepower and better burning<br />

characteristics for the engine.<br />

Yu said Seaoil has invested P10 million in the research and development<br />

of Extreme 97, which includes extensive product testing over two years.<br />

The product’s formulation was tested <strong>to</strong> perform under extreme conditions<br />

in the 2007 and 2008 Philippine Touring Car Championship.<br />

»EVS PARADE IN EARTH DAY CELEBRATIONS<br />

THE <strong>count</strong>ry’s Earth Day celebrations started with an early morning,<br />

<strong>poll</strong>ution-free mo<strong>to</strong>rcade of Electric Vehicles (EVs), the Electric Vehicle<br />

Association of the Philippines (eVAP) said, adding that the activity carried<br />

the theme “EV, Bicycles and Miss Earth: Making Waves in the Metro.”<br />

eVAP said that the mo<strong>to</strong>rcade of electric-powered jeepneys, tricycles,<br />

mo<strong>to</strong>rcycles and bikes, along with Miss Earth pageant contestants, on April<br />

22 <strong>to</strong>ok off from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources<br />

(DENR) offices and passed through East Avenue and EDSA on the way <strong>to</strong><br />

the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. Leading the mo<strong>to</strong>rcade was Environment<br />

<strong>Sec</strong>retary Horacio Ramos.<br />

Yvonne Castro, president of eJeepney Transport Corp., the opera<strong>to</strong>r of the<br />

Makati Green Routes, bared that this was the second year that the smokeand<br />

noise-free mo<strong>to</strong>rcade was held.<br />

The mo<strong>to</strong>rcade and the other Earth Day activities were organized by the<br />

Miss Earth Foundation, DENR, eJeepney Transport Corp. eVAP.<br />

■ Ford Focus TDCi Ghia<br />

Korea, Taiwan and India, before<br />

taking on Isuzu’s joint venture<br />

project in China in 1990.<br />

In 1991, Yamazaki was promoted<br />

<strong>to</strong> manager and handled Isuzu’s<br />

China business. In 1994, he was<br />

named the group leader of Isuzu’s<br />

China operation, and in 1997, he<br />

<strong>to</strong>ok charge of Africa and Oceania.<br />

Since then, he has supervised various<br />

markets in Asia and the Middle East.<br />

“I have seen the amazing<br />

progress of the Philippine au<strong>to</strong>motive<br />

industry in spite of global<br />

economic difficulties,” Takeda said.<br />

“I would like <strong>to</strong> believe that I was<br />

able <strong>to</strong> steer IPC in the right<br />

direction during that critical time.”<br />

For his part, Yamazaki said: “I was<br />

once tasked <strong>to</strong> oversee the Philippine<br />

market, so I have always had a soft<br />

spot for this <strong>count</strong>ry. I believe that<br />

my vast experience in supervising<br />

Isuzu’s operations in various<br />

international markets will go a long<br />

way in enabling me <strong>to</strong> lead IPC <strong>to</strong><br />

new heights. I ack<strong>now</strong>ledge the<br />

impressive achievements that my<br />

predecessor has accomplished.”


B<br />

4<br />

mo<strong>to</strong>ring<br />

Edi<strong>to</strong>r: Brian Afuang • mo<strong>to</strong>ring@manilatimes.net<br />

The ˜Manila Times TUESDAY April 27, 2010<br />

»OLDSCHOOL 1990 HYUNDAI SCOUPE<br />

BASED on its sedan sibling, the Excel, the Hyundai<br />

Scoupe built from 1990 until 1995 was a two-door<br />

coupe that never really had any sporting trait, what<br />

with a lethargic (even for the era) Mitsubishi-sourced<br />

81-horsepower 1.5-liter engine. The genius of the<br />

model, however,<br />

was its truly<br />

inspired name.<br />

UP NEXT<br />

Hyundai<br />

■ The Hyundai Next Generation<br />

models (from left) Starex Grand<br />

Limousine, Santa Fe, Tucson,<br />

Genesis Coupe and Sonata in<br />

front of the Bellarocca Resort,<br />

which sits on an island off<br />

Marinduque. PHOTO BY BRIAN AFUANG<br />

BY BRIAN AFUANG MOTORING EDITOR<br />

IN choosing an off-the-beaten-path but utterly<br />

lovely destination for its recent road trip event,<br />

Hyundai not-so-subtly delivered the message<br />

that its vehicles are perfect alternatives that car<br />

buyers should get <strong>to</strong> k<strong>now</strong>. Clearly, the Next<br />

Generation Hyundais have arrived, and they’re<br />

poised <strong>to</strong> challenge the established marques.<br />

Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI),<br />

the <strong>count</strong>ry’s exclusive distribu<strong>to</strong>r of the<br />

brand, last week gathered 14 new<br />

Hyundai models and, with about half a<br />

dozen more Hyundais, arranged a long<br />

train of Korean au<strong>to</strong>mobilia <strong>to</strong> a drive that<br />

<strong>to</strong>ok off from Alabang, then traversed<br />

parts of Laguna, Batangas and Quezon.<br />

From there, a ferry vessel <strong>to</strong>ok the<br />

vehicles, journalists covering the mo<strong>to</strong>ring<br />

beat, HARI people and a support staff <strong>to</strong><br />

the island of Marinduque, on which<br />

divine—and at places, serpentine—roads<br />

the group did serious driving time in the<br />

course of three days. All done <strong>to</strong> showcase<br />

the Next Generation Hyundais.<br />

Actually, HARI said the Next Generation<br />

theme refers <strong>to</strong> a series of “road adventure<br />

campaigns” that feature Hyundai cars and<br />

SUVs in the “roads leading <strong>to</strong> the different<br />

islands in the Philippine archipelago.”<br />

Through the campaign, the company said<br />

it hopes <strong>to</strong> encourage Filipinos <strong>to</strong> preserve<br />

Philippine culture and heritage by way of<br />

discovering new places while aboard<br />

Hyundai vehicles. In the process, the<br />

company said it also aims <strong>to</strong> help<br />

promote local <strong>to</strong>urism.<br />

Marinduque memories<br />

From the Dalahican port in Lucena,<br />

Quezon, Marinduque is reached by Roll-<br />

on/Roll-off ferry, which in the Hyundai<br />

event landed at Balanacan port, only a<br />

few kilometers from the provincial<br />

capital of Boac.<br />

To a first-time visi<strong>to</strong>r, Boac immediately<br />

comes across as a place caught in a time<br />

warp whose streets are lined with stately<br />

homes of Spanish-Filipino mix. In the <strong>to</strong>wn<br />

plaza, pine trees are unexpected foliage and<br />

the capital’s centerpiece is the majestic Boac<br />

Cathedral that rises over the <strong>to</strong>wn.<br />

Marinduque holds more surprises. Take<br />

the coastal roads going south <strong>to</strong> the <strong>to</strong>wns<br />

of Gasan and Buenavista and piquant<br />

scenes of fishermen’s bancas and fishing<br />

nets dot the land/seascape. Round<br />

Marinduque from the other side and the<br />

<strong>to</strong>wn of Santa Cruz is reached by driving<br />

across a canvas painted with coconut trees.<br />

The winding roads leading <strong>to</strong> Torrijos<br />

snake through Marinduque’s inland <strong>to</strong>wns<br />

and a spectacular view of Mount Malindig<br />

is afforded <strong>to</strong> fortunate travelers on this<br />

part of the island.<br />

A major attraction of Marinduque is the<br />

Bellarocca Resort, which sits off the large<br />

island. A secluded, upscale place,<br />

Bellarocca has a Las Vegas theme hotel<br />

vibe about it as it projects a Greek island<br />

illusion from across the shoreline.<br />

But what certainly stitches<br />

Marinduque’s <strong>to</strong>wns <strong>to</strong>gether is its<br />

bares its Next Generation<br />

vehicles in a drive <strong>to</strong> Marinduque<br />

network of roads that, because of the<br />

isolation of the island, are almost<br />

deserted. Which ensures great driving over<br />

coconut tree-lined straights in the<br />

flatlands <strong>to</strong> delightful twisties in the<br />

mountains <strong>to</strong> rally-like stages in some<br />

unpaved portions.<br />

Hyundai experience<br />

The setting, therefore, was perfect for<br />

sampling the new Hyundai models, which<br />

in the event’s case, was led by one of the<br />

carmaker’s <strong>to</strong>p sellers; the all-new Tucson.<br />

Powered by 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter gasoline<br />

engines, as well as a 2.0-liter diesel-burning<br />

unit, the Tucson packs amazing value<br />

within its strikingly bold bodywork. Such<br />

virtues were proven further during<br />

Hyundai’s road trip as stints with the<br />

model were welcome, the vehicles being<br />

passably comfortable in long hauls and<br />

come fitted with enough convenience<br />

features <strong>to</strong> entertain its occupants. The<br />

diesel variant, however, emerged as the<br />

crowd favorite, and credit here goes <strong>to</strong> its<br />

ample <strong>to</strong>rque (392 New<strong>to</strong>n-meters at a low<br />

1,800 <strong>to</strong> 2,500rpm sweet spot) that makes<br />

passing and sprinting quite enjoyable.<br />

The Tucson’s big brother, the newly<br />

face-lifted Santa Fe, was also included in<br />

the event and served as a more refined<br />

and luxurious alternative <strong>to</strong> the younger<br />

Tucsons. Being larger, the Santa Fe has a<br />

longer wheelbase, which means a comfier<br />

ride with less fore and aft pitching on<br />

highways. Also available in 2.4-liter gas<br />

engines and a 2.2-liter diesel (plus a<br />

class-leading six-speed au<strong>to</strong>matic<br />

gearbox), the Santa Fe is a slightly pricier<br />

Hyundai SUV wearing conventional<br />

styling that isn’t as polarizing as that<br />

found on the Tucson.<br />

Adding its own brand of luxo-driving<br />

fac<strong>to</strong>r was the lone Starex van, which was<br />

decked in full “Grand Limousine” duds.<br />

This Starex rendition packs shiny bling<br />

wheels, a roof extension, a huge TV set and<br />

various gizmos and furniture that wouldn’t<br />

look out of place in a luxury condo.<br />

While some i30 hatch<strong>back</strong>s and an<br />

Accent subcompact were at the road trip,<br />

HARI deemed that the event participants<br />

drive only its most dazzling cars, which<br />

turned out <strong>to</strong> be the soon-<strong>to</strong>-debut Sonata<br />

midsize luxury sedan and the tunerfavorite<br />

Genesis Coupe.<br />

As draw luck would have it, I got first<br />

dibs on the Sonata, which means I drove it<br />

from Alabang all the way <strong>to</strong> the port going<br />

<strong>to</strong> Bellarocca. The Sonata—with its <strong>to</strong>tally<br />

premium items like leather everything,<br />

multimedia player, metallic pieces, paddle<br />

shifter for the six-speed au<strong>to</strong>matic transmission<br />

and a panoramic moonroof that<br />

spans the entire <strong>to</strong>p of the car—is a<br />

sybaritic treat that rivals those models sold<br />

by haughty European marques. On the<br />

200-kilometer drive, the Sonata’s posh and<br />

power were impressive, and HARI’s<br />

intention <strong>to</strong> target market leaders like the<br />

Toyota Camry or Honda Accord with its<br />

own premium midsize sedan bet doesn’t<br />

seem preposterous at all if one only gets<br />

the chance <strong>to</strong> k<strong>now</strong> this car.<br />

As a contrast <strong>to</strong> the cushy Sonata, the<br />

Genesis Coupe for its part reminded its<br />

fortunate drivers (myself included) what<br />

makes the act of driving such a pleasurable<br />

activity. The car’s taut suspension,<br />

rear-wheel drive, neutral handling, oh-socommunicative<br />

steering, respectable<br />

power output and awesome looks all<br />

conspire <strong>to</strong> deliver an experience that<br />

would put it among the <strong>to</strong>p spots of any<br />

enthusiast’s or au<strong>to</strong>motive writer’s list of<br />

best car-centric experiences. On the right<br />

roads (like Marinduque’s) and in a right<br />

car (like the Genesis Coupe), traveling<br />

becomes both a means and an end.<br />

What comes next can only be good things.<br />

»au<strong>to</strong>world<br />

HYUNDAI POSTS RECORD<br />

JUMP IN 1Q NET PROFIT<br />

SEOUL: Hyundai Mo<strong>to</strong>r bared last week<br />

its net profit jumped nearly five-fold in<br />

the first quarter of this year on the<br />

<strong>back</strong> of strong sales abroad. Net profit<br />

for the three months <strong>to</strong> March 31<br />

jumped <strong>to</strong> a record $1 billion,<br />

compared with just over $200 million a<br />

year ago, Korea’s <strong>to</strong>p carmaker said.<br />

Hyundai said it had steadily<br />

expanded its global market share,<br />

helped by strong performances in China<br />

and India. Its <strong>to</strong>tal car sales at home and<br />

abroad s<strong>to</strong>od at 840,258 units, up 29.9<br />

percent from the same period last year.<br />

DESPITE RECALLS, TOYOTA’S<br />

SALES IN MARCH SURGE<br />

TOKYO: Crisis-hit carmaker Toyota said<br />

yesterday that its global sales surged<br />

26.3 percent year-on-year in March,<br />

despite millions of safety recalls<br />

worldwide, as the industry rebounds<br />

from the economic slump.<br />

Other Japanese manufacturers such as<br />

Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Mazda also<br />

reported sales and production rises for<br />

the month, partly helped by a low basis of<br />

comparison with last year when the<br />

industry was hit by the financial crisis.<br />

“The March figures showed gradual<br />

recovery in the Japanese au<strong>to</strong> industry<br />

in general,” said Tatsuya Mizuno, an<br />

au<strong>to</strong> analyst at Mizuno Credit Advisory.<br />

“The upward trend is likely <strong>to</strong> continue<br />

for the rest of the year as brighter signs<br />

of a global economic recovery are<br />

benefiting the au<strong>to</strong> industry.”<br />

The Toyota group, which includes<br />

brands Daihatsu and Hino trucks, said<br />

it sold 876,126 vehicles in March, up<br />

from 693,759 a year earlier, company<br />

spokesman Paul Nolasco said. Toyota<br />

also said global production jumped<br />

82.2 percent in March <strong>to</strong> 860,534<br />

units compared with a year ago, when<br />

the industry scaled <strong>back</strong> <strong>to</strong> cope with<br />

evaporating demand.<br />

Mizuno warned that despite signs of<br />

recovery Toyota is surrounded by “a lot<br />

of uncertainty, and the negative impact<br />

of its recalls is likely <strong>to</strong> linger.” The<br />

company is looking <strong>to</strong> res<strong>to</strong>re its<br />

battered reputation after recalling<br />

around 10 million vehicles worldwide.<br />

BMW RUSHES TO SELL<br />

MEGACITY CAR BY 2013<br />

FRANKFURT: BMW bared last week it<br />

intends <strong>to</strong> launch its first all-electric<br />

urban vehicle in 2013, two years earlier<br />

than planned. Called Megacity, the car<br />

“will be an emission-free city vehicle<br />

for metropolitan areas around the<br />

world,” BMW said.<br />

The move is seen as a response <strong>to</strong> its<br />

competi<strong>to</strong>rs. Daimler is poised <strong>to</strong> launch<br />

this year an electric version of its mini<br />

Smart car as well as a version of its<br />

Mercedes A Class. For its part, Volkswagen,<br />

Europe’s biggest carmaker, expects <strong>to</strong><br />

launch its electric car in 2013 also.<br />

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s<br />

government aims <strong>to</strong> have one million<br />

electric cars on the road by 2020. AFP<br />

Expunging the stigma<br />

WE’D be missing the point if we<br />

assumed that the purpose behind<br />

the recent Hyundai Next Generation<br />

Media Test Drive event was so the Korean<br />

car brand could haughtily show off the<br />

spoils of its newfound prominence in the<br />

Philippine au<strong>to</strong>motive market. Sure, the<br />

destination—the Bellarocca Island Resort<br />

in Marinduque—is reportedly so expensive<br />

you’d only sponsor a two-night stay<br />

there if you wanted <strong>to</strong> impress (no, make<br />

that blow away) your guests.<br />

Make no mistake about it: The choice of<br />

the venue was as calculated as the release of<br />

fine mist from Hyundai’s new electronic<br />

variable geometry turbo-diesel engines. If<br />

the carmaker’s media guests were keen,<br />

they would make the subtle connection.<br />

Bellarocca, like Hyundai, is a gleaming<br />

paradigm of a vic<strong>to</strong>rious transformation.<br />

In the early ’90s, the island that<br />

Bellarocca is sitting on right <strong>now</strong>, was<br />

famous for a different kind of <strong>to</strong>urism.<br />

Called Elefante Island, the property was<br />

then managed by a group of Japanese<br />

businessmen who allegedly had ties with<br />

the Yakuza. Back then, the island earned<br />

for itself a reputation for being a haven for<br />

sexually adventurous foreigners. Local<br />

residents around the island recall seeing<br />

exquisite women being ferried <strong>to</strong> the<br />

island on a regular basis—supposedly for<br />

the hedonistic consumption of the<br />

island’s high-spending patrons.<br />

The fetid no<strong>to</strong>riety of<br />

Elefante Island reeked so<br />

strongly that anyone who lived<br />

in Marinduque knew about its<br />

nefarious activities. “Yes, the<br />

VERNON<br />

B. SARNE<br />

island’s reputation was really<br />

tainted,” admits Fred Malvar,<br />

the captain of Barangay<br />

Malusak in Boac, some 50<br />

kilometers from Bellarocca. “We even<br />

heard ac<strong>count</strong>s of bestiality going on there,<br />

in which a woman would be made <strong>to</strong><br />

copulate with a dog, just so the guests<br />

could be entertained.”<br />

Today, the island is home <strong>to</strong> the<br />

immaculate-white, Greek-inspired villas of<br />

Bellarocca. The local government of<br />

Marinduque certainly did well in reclaiming<br />

the glory of this fine patch of real<br />

state. Even fire-and-brims<strong>to</strong>ne-spewing<br />

moralists would gladly pay a handsome<br />

amount <strong>to</strong> spend a weekend there.<br />

Quite a coincidence, because in the<br />

’90s, <strong>to</strong>o, Hyundai was famous for a<br />

different kind of car-making. Back then,<br />

the most decent vehicle Filipinos got from<br />

the company was the Galloper, essentially<br />

a rebadged model of the first-generation<br />

Mitsubishi Pajero. Hyundai was so<br />

clueless about car manufacture that it<br />

needed <strong>to</strong> beg an established Japanese<br />

carmaker for mechanical hand-me-downs.<br />

The Hyundai brand was so lowly you’d get<br />

laughed at if you even so much as<br />

considered driving one of<br />

its cars.<br />

Of course, we all k<strong>now</strong><br />

what has happened since<br />

then.<br />

Hyundai—mastering the<br />

art of assembling value-formoney,<br />

reliable and<br />

HARDTOP fashionably styled cars—has<br />

worked its way <strong>to</strong> becoming the fourthlargest<br />

carmaker in the world, next only <strong>to</strong><br />

Toyota, General Mo<strong>to</strong>rs and Volkswagen. In<br />

the Philippines—where the Starex van used<br />

<strong>to</strong> be synonymous with “dirt-cheap”—<br />

Hyundai’s metamorphosis is even more<br />

dramatic, outselling traditionally wellk<strong>now</strong>n<br />

brands like Nissan and Isuzu in a<br />

market that places Japanese makes on<br />

pedestals. And in the first quarter of this<br />

year, Hyundai sold a <strong>to</strong>tal of 4,572 units <strong>to</strong><br />

seize the third overall spot from another<br />

pride of Japan, Honda, which managed <strong>to</strong><br />

move just 4,500 cars after nearly two<br />

■ Hyundai used Marinduque—famous for<br />

the Moriones Festival—as a symbolic <strong>back</strong>drop for its new vehicles. PHOTO BY VERNON SARNE<br />

decades of dominating the local market<br />

with such popular models as the Civic, the<br />

CR-V and the City.<br />

Next in Hyundai’s sights are Mitsubishi<br />

and Toyota. It seems improbable <strong>now</strong>, but<br />

with segment-busting next-generation<br />

vehicles in its pipeline, Hyundai might<br />

just pull it off in the next couple of years.<br />

The Tucson has already killed the CR-V.<br />

The Santa Fe is so luxurious it offers a sixspeed<br />

au<strong>to</strong>matic transmission and a<br />

<strong>to</strong>uch-screen multi-info screen. The Starex<br />

has so improved its quality that Hyundai<br />

has the audacity <strong>to</strong> affix the words<br />

“Grand” and “Limousine” <strong>to</strong> its name. The<br />

Sonata is <strong>now</strong> looking like a serious (and<br />

attractive) challenger <strong>to</strong> the Camry. And<br />

the Genesis Coupe is so desirable even<br />

Porsche owners <strong>now</strong> think of parking one<br />

in their once-snooty garages.<br />

The most pointed symbolism here is that<br />

Bellarocca—<strong>now</strong> a wholesome lifestyle<br />

resort you wouldn’t mind taking your<br />

family <strong>to</strong>—rose from the infamy of the<br />

Japanese-owned Elefante Island. Hyundai,<br />

on the other hand, systematically slew one<br />

Japanese rival at a time <strong>to</strong> become the<br />

world-class car company that it is <strong>to</strong>day.<br />

Both Bellarocca and Hyundai have freed<br />

themselves from the stigma of their past.<br />

Both <strong>now</strong> get flocks of adoring clients and<br />

loyal admirers. Both have silenced their<br />

detrac<strong>to</strong>rs. It would be a pity if my<br />

colleagues didn’t see the connection.


Waiting<br />

is better than<br />

nothing<br />

IT’S becoming all <strong>to</strong>o familiar. Similar<br />

<strong>to</strong> how fans’ hopes were crushed<br />

when it was announced that The Killers<br />

were<br />

canceling the<br />

Asian leg of<br />

their <strong>to</strong>ur,<br />

blues-pop<br />

artist John<br />

Mayer’s<br />

impending<br />

visit <strong>to</strong> the<br />

<strong>count</strong>ry hit an<br />

unexpected<br />

snag last week, resulting in the concert<br />

being rescheduled from May 16 <strong>to</strong><br />

Oc<strong>to</strong>ber 1.<br />

The official statement from Fearless<br />

Productions and Channel [V] did not<br />

give a specific reason for the rescheduled<br />

date, but said refunds would be<br />

offered for those who already bought<br />

tickets for the show.<br />

There have been mixed reactions <strong>to</strong><br />

the rescheduling from fans. The<br />

anticipation has been built up so much<br />

it’s more than upsetting <strong>to</strong> hold off the<br />

show for another five months. Then<br />

again, those who have yet <strong>to</strong> score<br />

PAUL JOHN CAÑA<br />

MAN ON THE SIDE<br />

tickets because of lack of funds don’t<br />

mind the postponement; there’s more<br />

time <strong>to</strong> source funds and purchase<br />

quality seats for Mayer’s first visit <strong>to</strong><br />

the <strong>count</strong>ry.<br />

Either way, the important thing is the<br />

concert is still on. We’re still on Mayer’s<br />

calendar. There has been much speculation<br />

(in cyberspace most especially) on<br />

the reasons for the sudden date change,<br />

but in this case, a postponement is<br />

better than a cancellation.<br />

Before then, concert geeks can<br />

content themselves with a slew of<br />

international acts set <strong>to</strong> visit the<br />

<strong>count</strong>ry. Original American Idol Kelly<br />

Clarkson brings her act <strong>to</strong> the<br />

Araneta Coliseum May 1, followed by<br />

Tears for Fears the next day, May 2.<br />

Alison Iraheta, of American Idol<br />

➤Nothing C2<br />

lifestyle<br />

The Manila Times<br />

TUESDAY<br />

April 27, 2010<br />

■ Aia de Leon of Imago, Lou Bonevie and Hannah Romawac of Session Road in an all-star jam<br />

ROCK AND EARTH<br />

BY SABRINA DE JESUS SPECIAL TO THE MANILA TIMES<br />

times they are a-changin’,” sang Bob<br />

Dylan once. True enough, helping out<br />

“THE<br />

and rocking out <strong>now</strong> come hand in hand.<br />

Earth Day Jam, held at the Tomas Mora<strong>to</strong> strip on<br />

April 23, was proof positive. Notable bands such as<br />

Urbandub, Chicosci, Session Road, Callalily, Up<br />

dharma Down, Imago, Kjwan, Bloomfields and many<br />

more came <strong>to</strong>gether for a night for one great cause: <strong>to</strong><br />

s<strong>to</strong>p climate change.<br />

“Earth Day Jam is an indication of<br />

various artists getting <strong>to</strong>gether <strong>to</strong> show<br />

that they care for the environment and<br />

they are one with the world in celebrating<br />

earth day,” said Lou Bonevie, overall head<br />

of Earth Day Jam. The non-profit event has<br />

been running for ten years with an aim <strong>to</strong><br />

raise awareness among the people through<br />

mainstream means such as making pop<br />

artists perform.<br />

Session Road drummer Chavi<br />

Romawac said his band has “always been<br />

part of this event. We believe in the cause<br />

and we believe that we should take care<br />

of the environment.”<br />

Also, Miggy Chavez, main vocals for<br />

C<br />

1<br />

ChicoSci and a second-time performer of<br />

Earth Day Jam, <strong>to</strong>ok part in the concert <strong>to</strong><br />

raise awareness. “We have <strong>to</strong> take responsibility<br />

for what we have been doing <strong>to</strong> our<br />

planet, and I guess it’s just our way of making<br />

people aware that there is a problem—<br />

awareness and ac<strong>count</strong>ability” he said.<br />

Also present at the concert was<br />

Urbandub’s lead vocals and guitarist<br />

Gabby Alipe. “Everybody k<strong>now</strong>s that we<br />

have a lot of problems <strong>now</strong> especially<br />

climate change and stuff like that. Of<br />

course, we are the type of band that wants<br />

<strong>to</strong> do our part of spreading awareness <strong>to</strong><br />

make the world a better place <strong>to</strong> live in<br />

every way, even in the little things.”<br />

Short AVPs and question and answer<br />

portions regarding the environment were<br />

shown <strong>to</strong> the crowd while the bands were<br />

preparing for their sets. Before the bands’<br />

performances, they informed audiences of<br />

what was happening in the world and the<br />

effects of climate change on people round<br />

the world. They constantly reminded the<br />

ADD<br />

TO YOUR<br />

SHOPPING<br />

LIST AT<br />

crowd <strong>to</strong> pick up pieces of trash and never<br />

<strong>to</strong> forget <strong>to</strong> throw their garbage in the<br />

respective areas.<br />

Onlooker Mark Ococo, who travelled all<br />

the way from Bulacan <strong>to</strong> attend the concert,<br />

said, “the bands were successful in trying <strong>to</strong><br />

reach out <strong>to</strong> the audience the message of<br />

helping the environment.” Charm Mabeza,<br />

who have come <strong>to</strong> k<strong>now</strong> Earth Day Jam<br />

through Internet and advertisements, also<br />

had the same thoughts. According <strong>to</strong> her,<br />

“The bands were successful in getting across<br />

their message on climate change.” Similarly,<br />

Maan del Carmen, one of the VIP guests of<br />

the concert, said, “I think they helped a lot<br />

because when we were upfront, the people<br />

were actually super chaotic. But then I think<br />

they listened <strong>to</strong> the messages in between the<br />

bands.” Then again, one onlooker named<br />

Gail Marasigan had different thoughts<br />

about the concert dissented, saying,<br />

“Perhaps the concert wasn’t a <strong>to</strong>tal success<br />

because the crowds still focused on the<br />

bands, not the message.”<br />

While one may think that those bands<br />

are just the typical “rock stars” whose life<br />

only revolve around music, booze and<br />

possibly drugs without nary a care about<br />

what is happening <strong>to</strong> the world, there is<br />

actually more <strong>to</strong> them than meets the eye.<br />

These big shot artists are doing their parts<br />

in trying <strong>to</strong> s<strong>to</strong>p climate change.<br />

Chavez said, “Simple things like<br />

throwing the trash where you are supposed<br />

<strong>to</strong> throw it. Tapos around the house<br />

like, not letting the water run, turning off<br />

the lights without using it. Bawas lang ng<br />

konti yung aircon, so ayun.”<br />

Alipe also said, “Me, I recycle because I<br />

don’t, as much as possible, try not <strong>to</strong> use<br />

plastic or throw away plastic material or<br />

stuff like that. If it’s a brown a paper bag<br />

or if it’s a recycled bag, that’s okay.”<br />

Bonevie remains true <strong>to</strong> her cause by<br />

producing shows such as Earth Day Jam.<br />

“I’m creating videos, doing songs in my<br />

new album, I have two songs ‘People<br />

Don’t Care’ and ‘Mother Earth is Hurting.’<br />

Hopefully it can be played on the radio.<br />

I’m trying my best <strong>to</strong> save energy by<br />

closing all electricity or if possible not <strong>to</strong><br />

use the aircon and unplug unused<br />

appliances—really lessen the energy we<br />

use” she said.<br />

Also, the crowd composed mainly of<br />

hardcore punk rockers, attended the event<br />

not purely for fun but also in trying <strong>to</strong><br />

take part in an event with a great cause.<br />

Charm Mabeza said, “I don’t throw my<br />

trash just anywhere. I just pocket them if I<br />

don’t see any trashcans.”<br />

Also a part of the audience was Larry<br />

Alilio who thought that 6 Cycle Mind<br />

were the most successful in trying <strong>to</strong> relay<br />

<strong>to</strong> message of s<strong>to</strong>pping climate change. He<br />

said “I separate biodegradable and<br />

nonbiodegradable garbage.”<br />

Already, times are changing.<br />

American hip-hop dance summer<br />

camp for Philippine youth<br />

■ Lenaya “Tweetie” Straker<br />

US Embassy Manila has invited Cultural Envoy<br />

Lenaya “Tweetie” Straker, an MTV Host and Alvin<br />

Ailey Dance Theater Instruc<strong>to</strong>r, <strong>to</strong> share her skills<br />

and techniques with the Philippine art community,<br />

in collaboration with the Cultural Center of<br />

the Philippines, Ballet Philippines and Station<br />

Square East Corp.<br />

On April 25, 1 p.m. at the Cultural Center of<br />

the Philippines in Manila, Straker will hold a<br />

master class with company members of Ballet<br />

Philippines, <strong>to</strong> be observed by guests from other<br />

dance companies.<br />

On April 30, 10 a.m. <strong>to</strong> 12 p.m. at the<br />

National Arts Center, Mount Makiling, Los<br />

Baños, Laguna, Straker will be conducting a<br />

workshop with students.<br />

On May 5 <strong>to</strong> 7 p.m., there will be a performance<br />

night at the Activity Center of Market!<br />

Market!, Taguig City with Straker.<br />

This summer camp is designed <strong>to</strong> promote<br />

mutual understanding between young people<br />

throughout the Philippines within the context of<br />

modern-urban dance and via first-hand instruction<br />

from an American artist. The participants will use<br />

dance as an art form <strong>to</strong> foster dialogue about art<br />

and other forms of human interactions as <strong>to</strong>ols in<br />

conflict resolution and in building leadership skills<br />

and bridges across and within cultures.<br />

■ The Dawn<br />

Rock the vote<br />

ARE you getting confused with all this election<br />

brouhaha? Are you suffering from election<br />

campaign overload? Do you look in the mirror<br />

and say, “how can I make a difference out<br />

there in the election battlefield and still have a<br />

little bit of fun?”<br />

Watch Rock for Change, a concert for the young<br />

and young at heart who believe that these coming<br />

elections is not so much about who we vote for, but<br />

rather, how committed we are ensuring that<br />

everyone gets involved in this important event that<br />

could change the course of our his<strong>to</strong>ry. It will be<br />

held at SM Mall of Asia Penthouse on Labor Day,<br />

May 1. Gates will open at 5 p.m.<br />

Those who will rock <strong>to</strong> the tune of progress<br />

are Rico Blanco, Sandwich, Urbandub, The<br />

Dawn, Imago, Markus Highway, Paraluman, Line<br />

Divide and many more.<br />

Rock for Change has a simple message: “Don’t<br />

be indifferent because every vote makes a<br />

difference. Be vigilant. Guard the sanctity of the<br />

ballot. And vote according <strong>to</strong> your conscience.”<br />

It’s an all-out rock concert screaming for the<br />

right <strong>to</strong> vote, a night where many Filipinos shall<br />

hear an echoing shout—a deafening call<br />

reminding everyone that voting is a duty of<br />

every citizen because in the end, each one of us<br />

can be an agent of change. Positive change.<br />

Consistent <strong>to</strong> the theme of change, there will<br />

be a talk before the show by Jamie Wilson of<br />

RockEd. Also, the show Ako ang Simula of ABS-<br />

CBN will be covering the event. Myx is the<br />

official music channel for the concert.<br />

For more information on the event, check out its<br />

Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/<br />

home.php?#!/event.php?eid=111069232248203<br />

Party for the first time at SM Mall of Asia’s newest<br />

concert area—The Penthouse! Limited tickets<br />

available at all TicketNet Outlets.<br />

Ticket Price is at P300.00. Call Ticketnet Hotline:<br />

911-5555 for more information.


lifestyle<br />

The Manila Times TUESDAY April 27, 2010<br />

Getting ‘weak’ for SWV<br />

ANYONE who enjoyed the music of the 1990s<br />

will remember the familiar line, “I get so<br />

weak in the knees/I can hardly speak/I lose<br />

all control and something takes over me . . ./I can’t<br />

explain why your loving makes me weak.”<br />

The passionate and distinct vocals of<br />

Cheryl “Coko” Gamble-Clemons, Leanne<br />

“Lelee” Lyons and Tamara “Taj” Johnson-<br />

George—k<strong>now</strong>n <strong>to</strong> millions by their<br />

collective name of SWV, or Sisters With<br />

Voices—is an unforgettable soundtrack <strong>to</strong><br />

anyone who grew up listening <strong>to</strong> the<br />

smooth RnB strains of the 1990s. “Weak,” in<br />

particular, was the ballad that rocketed SWV<br />

<strong>to</strong> international superstardom, peaking at<br />

No. 1 for two weeks on the Billboard Hot<br />

100 and the Billboard RnB charts.<br />

SWV’s trademark harmonies and<br />

smooth, RnB vibe will be heard at the SM<br />

Mall of Asia as part of the mega-concert<br />

The Then and Now Massive Music Festival<br />

on May 15. Joining SWV are other chart<strong>to</strong>pping<br />

artists of the 1990s, including<br />

P.M. Dawn (“Set Adrift On Memory<br />

Bliss”), Frankie J (“Obsession”), Diana<br />

King (“Shy Guy”), Baby Bash (“Suga<br />

■ The Philippine Madrigal Singers<br />

BY EUGENE SHEFFER<br />

C<br />

2<br />

Suga”) and other surprise performers.<br />

Then and Now starts at 8 p.m. at the Mall<br />

of Asia Concert Grounds.<br />

In addition <strong>to</strong> “Weak,” SWV logged in<br />

several other Top 10 singles off its debut<br />

CD, It’s About Time, which eventually sold<br />

more than three million copies, and was<br />

certified triple platinum. Debut single<br />

“Right Here” peaked at <strong>to</strong>p 16 on the<br />

Billboard RnB charts; it was later remixed<br />

after the success of “Weak,” sampling<br />

Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” and<br />

peaking at No. 1 on the RnB chart and at<br />

<strong>to</strong>p 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.<br />

Sophomore single, “I’m So In<strong>to</strong> You,”<br />

peaked at <strong>to</strong>p 2 on the RnB charts at No. 6<br />

on the Billboard Hot 100. Two other<br />

singles, “Down<strong>to</strong>wn” and “Always On My<br />

Mind,” were also Top 10 hits on the RnB<br />

charts. SWV logged in several other Top 10<br />

hits on the RnB and Hot 100 charts,<br />

The 2010 Madz et al Jazz Festival<br />

IN celebration of music’s sheer uplifting and<br />

emotive power, the Philippine Madrigal<br />

Singers have worked with choirs from all<br />

walks of life with the Madz Et Al network<br />

since 1981. This year, the Madz recognize the<br />

smooth and moving flow of jazz music and<br />

how it expresses the ups and downs of our<br />

lives with Choral Rhythms: The 2010 Madz Et<br />

Al Jazz Festival, a musical gathering in the<br />

proud Madz Et Al tradition of spotlighting<br />

among the most hardworking and talented<br />

upcoming choral groups.<br />

The festival runs from May 2 <strong>to</strong> May 8<br />

at the Philamlife Theater, UN Avenue<br />

Manila, beginning at 7 p.m. each evening<br />

and featuring various choirs from all over<br />

the Philippines.<br />

Each year the Madz Et Al festivals take us on<br />

a choral journey through beautiful music and<br />

beautiful energy, and this year’s looks <strong>to</strong> be no<br />

different. The Madz Et Al Festival is being<br />

presented <strong>to</strong> us by the Philippine Madrigal<br />

Singers in cooperation with the Philippine<br />

American Life and General Insurance Co. and<br />

the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.<br />

For tickets, call Pearl Reyes at 0917-<br />

8442674 or any of the participating choir’s<br />

representatives.<br />

■ Cheryl “Coko” Gamble-Clemons, Leanne “Lelee” Lyons and Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George<br />

including “Anything” (1994), “You’re the<br />

One” (1996).<br />

The success of the ladies of SWV<br />

extends <strong>to</strong> more than just pop and RnB<br />

music. Gamble-Clemmons, for instance,<br />

released a solo RnB CD, Hot Coko, which<br />

yielded the Top 40 RnB hit, “Sunshine”;<br />

she would go on <strong>to</strong> release a gospel CD,<br />

Grateful, that would debut on Billboard’s<br />

»horoscope<br />

BY NANCY BLACK AND STEPHANIE CLEMENT<br />

TODAY’S birthday (4/27/10). You find yourself<br />

wanting the affection of others. Gain it by<br />

adapting <strong>to</strong> situations before others even realize<br />

the need. Your sympathetic support goes a long<br />

way <strong>to</strong>ward reaping their cooperation when the<br />

chips are down. Give love <strong>to</strong> amplify it.<br />

To get the advantage, check the day’s rating: 10 is<br />

the easiest day, 0 the most challenging.<br />

Aries (March 21-April 19) — Today is a 6 —<br />

When you open your mouth, be sure that something<br />

nice comes out. The challenge is <strong>to</strong> be pleasant even<br />

while working on a serious problem.<br />

Taurus (April 20-May 20) — Today is a 7 —<br />

Everything you’ve worked for comes <strong>to</strong>gether and<br />

hits the mark precisely. You receive karmic benefit,<br />

and your self-esteem grows.<br />

Gemini (May 21-June 21) — Today is a 6 — Duty<br />

forces you <strong>to</strong> deal with emotionally painful matters.<br />

Choose your words carefully <strong>to</strong> soften the impact.<br />

Everyone feels better when it’s out in the open.<br />

Cancer (June 22-July 22) — Today is a 7 —<br />

Take care of essential business with your partner<br />

first. Then allow time in seclusion <strong>to</strong> recharge your<br />

batteries. Enjoy the evening out.<br />

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) — Today is a 6 — You<br />

become more aware of circumstances that affect<br />

> Sudoku BY MICHAEL MEPHAM<br />

Level: Moderate<br />

Complete the grid so each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in<br />

bold borders) contains every digit 1 <strong>to</strong> 9. For strategies on<br />

how <strong>to</strong> solve Sudoku, visit www.sudoku.org.uk.<br />

Top Independent Albums chart. Johnson-<br />

George, on the other hand, would achieve<br />

mainstream stardom as a contestant on<br />

CBS’ wildly successful television show,<br />

Survivor. She finished fourth on the<br />

Survivor: Tocantins season.<br />

Tickets are available at all TicketNet and<br />

TicketWorld outlets. For details, visit http://<br />

thenand<strong>now</strong>concert.com.<br />

Tears For Fears live in Manila<br />

THE concert everyone has been waiting is<br />

nearly here. May 2, 2010 marks the first<br />

time Tears For Tears performs at the<br />

Araneta Coliseum.<br />

Chart <strong>to</strong>ppers Tears For Tears, an<br />

English pop rock duo formed in early<br />

1980s by Roland Orzabal and Curt<br />

Smith, is one of the biggest and bestloved<br />

bands during the MTV and post-<br />

MTV age. Recently, they staged one of<br />

the most unexpected reunions in pop<br />

music his<strong>to</strong>ry. Tears For Tears were the<br />

rulers of the 1980s airwaves. They still<br />

reign in the hearts of multitudes who<br />

have long been waiting <strong>to</strong> watch them<br />

live! They continue <strong>to</strong> sell out shows<br />

throughout the world and maintain<br />

their status as one of the pop music’s<br />

more productive musical collaborations<br />

having sold more than 22 million<br />

albums worldwide.<br />

For ticket inquiries, call Ticketnet at 911-<br />

5555. You can also log on <strong>to</strong><br />

www.ticketnet.com.ph<br />

■ Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith<br />

education or work. Subtle undercurrents will cause far<br />

more stress if you ignore the implications. Find balance.<br />

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) — Today is a 6 —<br />

You’ve put in the hours. Now you reap the benefit of<br />

all that effort. Frame your public announcement <strong>to</strong><br />

take advantage of prevailing sentiments.<br />

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) — Today is a 7 — You<br />

feel logically challenged. Talk <strong>to</strong> a female or seek<br />

information on the Internet, then apply the results <strong>to</strong><br />

your immediate situation. It works out.<br />

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) — Today is a 5 —<br />

You understand that change is necessary. Explaining<br />

this presents a major challenge. Try logic first, and<br />

reserve the right <strong>to</strong> use force.<br />

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) — Today is a 6<br />

— Your challenge is <strong>to</strong> adapt <strong>to</strong> both the circumstances<br />

and your partner’s insistent desires. Lower<br />

your expectations or delay a decision.<br />

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) — Today is a 6 —<br />

When life gives you lemons, don’t just make<br />

lemonade; make it the best ever tasted. Only you<br />

k<strong>now</strong> what it <strong>to</strong>ok <strong>to</strong> get this done.<br />

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) — Today is a 5 —<br />

Travel or educational deadlines cause you some<br />

concern, as obstacles block your path. A female can<br />

help focus your ideas and get them organized.<br />

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Today is a 6 —<br />

Tell everyone early on that you want extra effort<br />

before lunch so you can take off early. You’ll make it<br />

<strong>to</strong> the event on time with their help.<br />

(C) TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES INC.<br />

Solution <strong>to</strong> <strong>to</strong>day’s puzzle will be<br />

published <strong>to</strong>morrow.<br />

Just do it<br />

LIKE the rest of us, you <strong>to</strong>o are searching<br />

for happiness. Everybody wants <strong>to</strong><br />

be happy, but what is it that will make<br />

you happy?<br />

Are you sure you k<strong>now</strong>? That may<br />

sound <strong>to</strong> you like a silly question, but<br />

remember that many people are unhappy<br />

precisely because they do not really k<strong>now</strong><br />

what it is they<br />

want in life. I<br />

have worked<br />

with many<br />

unhappy people<br />

who, when<br />

BOB GARON<br />

asked what is it<br />

that would make<br />

you happy,<br />

could not come<br />

up with a credible answer.<br />

I use the word “credible” because<br />

their answers are so general (“I just<br />

want <strong>to</strong> be happy”, or “I want <strong>to</strong> be<br />

PEOPLE<br />

loved or “I don’t want <strong>to</strong> be poor”) that<br />

they amount <strong>to</strong> nothing, <strong>to</strong> not k<strong>now</strong>ing<br />

what they want.<br />

It isn’t surprising then that they are<br />

unhappy. If you want <strong>to</strong> be happy you<br />

have <strong>to</strong> k<strong>now</strong> what it is that will make you<br />

happy and then go for it.<br />

Stephen Covey says it this way: “Happiness<br />

can be defined, at least in part, as the<br />

fruit of the desire and the ability <strong>to</strong><br />

sacrifice what we want <strong>now</strong> for what we<br />

want eventually.”<br />

In short, formulate a goal that<br />

you believe will give you satisfaction<br />

(happiness) and then pay the<br />

price by sacrificing and working<br />

<strong>to</strong>wards the goal. Eventually, your<br />

hard work and sacrifices will pay off<br />

and you will experience the happiness<br />

you sought.<br />

You cannot expect <strong>to</strong> wander around in<br />

circles, like a chicken without a head, and<br />

hope <strong>to</strong> bump in<strong>to</strong> happiness somewhere<br />

in the process. That would be like playing<br />

the lottery and expecting <strong>to</strong> win the<br />

jackpot. Won’t happen.<br />

But then, there are people who want<br />

<strong>to</strong> believe just that. They want <strong>to</strong> be<br />

happy while doing nothing <strong>to</strong> make it<br />

happen. It’s what is called magical<br />

thinking. One of my clients who was<br />

in<strong>to</strong> magical thinking put in this way, “It<br />

is because I think it is”. Needless <strong>to</strong> say<br />

that she was one very unhappy woman.<br />

If you want <strong>to</strong> be happy, don’t be<br />

like that. Don’t expect happiness <strong>to</strong><br />

come running <strong>to</strong> you. You have <strong>to</strong><br />

make up your mind about what you<br />

want (<strong>to</strong> be a doc<strong>to</strong>r, a nurse a<br />

whatever) and then be prepared <strong>to</strong><br />

pay the price for your happiness.<br />

Remember that the happiest people<br />

are those who worked the hardest <strong>to</strong><br />

overcome the greatest challenges and<br />

gain the deepest satisfaction. The harder<br />

the struggle, the greater the vic<strong>to</strong>ry.<br />

So make up your mind about what<br />

you want. Then, go for it. Believe. And<br />

just do it.<br />

If you have questions about drug rehab<br />

call my office at 820-6107 or 825-1771 or<br />

e-mail me at goldenvalues_school.com.ph<br />

or write me at P.O. Box 2099 MCPO,<br />

Makati City 1260.<br />

■ NOTHING FROM C1<br />

Waiting is<br />

better than<br />

nothing<br />

Season 8 will be in Manila May 3 <strong>to</strong> 5<br />

for a series of mall shows. Indie pop<br />

superstars Club 8 is also dropping by<br />

the <strong>count</strong>ry, May 14 in Manila and May<br />

15 in Cebu, thanks <strong>to</strong> the efforts of<br />

Lilystars Records. And the Then and Now<br />

concert bring <strong>to</strong>gether acts from, well,<br />

then and <strong>now</strong>, including Jojo, SWV,<br />

Frankie J, Diana King, PM Dawn, TQ<br />

and All-4-One for a one night only<br />

show May 15 at the SM Mall of Asia<br />

concert grounds.<br />

❋ ❋ ❋<br />

Twelve years since they burst for the<br />

from the imagination of Blur front man<br />

Damon Albarn and illustra<strong>to</strong>r Jamie<br />

Hewlett, virtual band Gorillaz just keeps<br />

churning out sounds that would put real<br />

life bands <strong>to</strong> shame. On their third fulllength<br />

studio release, the luscious,<br />

multi-layered Plastic Beach, the car<strong>to</strong>on<br />

band aims for a more pop-oriented<br />

approach <strong>to</strong> their trademark rhythms.<br />

Enlisting the services of collabora<strong>to</strong>rs,<br />

including Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, Bobby<br />

Womack and Lou Reed, the entire album<br />

is a sonic trip that works inside a car on<br />

a long meandering road trip as much as<br />

it does on the club floor. Clearly the<br />

musical well hasn’t dried up for Albarn;<br />

on the contrary, while there are themes<br />

of unhampered consumerism and<br />

environmental degradation, the organic<br />

and club-friendly beats they use make<br />

this perhaps their most commercially<br />

accessible release yet. It’s a rousing<br />

success for Murdoc, Russel, 2D and<br />

Noodle, and one of the first truly<br />

noteworthy releases of the year.<br />

E-mail pjcana@gmail.com


ClassifiedAds<br />

The Manila Times TUESDAY April 27, 2010<br />

C<br />

3<br />

NOTICE OF MERGER OF SANOFI PASTEUR, INC.<br />

AND WINTHROP PHARMACEUTICALS PHILIPPINES, INC.<br />

Notice is hereby given that the ARTICLES OF MERGER and PLAN OF MERGER<br />

of SANOFI PASTEUR, INC., as the surviving corporation, and WINTHROP<br />

PHARMACEUTICALS PHILIPPINES, INC., as the absorbed corporation,<br />

have been approved in meetings duly called for the purpose, by majority<br />

of the respective Boards of Direc<strong>to</strong>rs and by at least two-thirds (2/3) of<br />

the respective outstanding capital s<strong>to</strong>cks of SANOFI PASTEUR, INC. and<br />

WINTHROP PHARMACEUTICALS PHILIPPINES, INC.<br />

Notice is likewise hereby given that said Articles of Merger and Plan<br />

of Merger between SANOFI PASTEUR, INC. and WINTHROP<br />

PHARMACEUTICALS PHILIPPINES, INC. will be filed with the <strong>Sec</strong>urities<br />

and Exchange Commission.<br />

This shall serve as notice <strong>to</strong> all parties concerned of the legal effects of<br />

the Plan of Merger between SANOFI PASTEUR, INC. and WINTHROP<br />

PHARMACEUTICALS PHILIPPINES, INC. including the cessation of the<br />

separate existence of the absorbed corporation.<br />

MARIETTA A. TIBAYAN<br />

Assistant Corporate <strong>Sec</strong>retary<br />

SANOFI PASTEUR, INC. and<br />

WINTHROP PHARMACEUTICALS PHILIPPINES, INC.<br />

MT – Apr. 27, 2010<br />

Republic of the Philippines<br />

Department of Public Works and Highways<br />

CEBU CITY DISTRICT ENGINEERING OFFICE<br />

V. Sot<strong>to</strong> Street Cebu City<br />

April 22, 2010<br />

INVITATION TO BID<br />

The Cebu City District Engineering Office, through its Bids and Awards Committee (BAC),<br />

invites contrac<strong>to</strong>rs <strong>to</strong> apply for eligibility and, if found eligible, <strong>to</strong> bid for the following contract:<br />

Item I – RBH<br />

1. Contract ID : 10HH0035<br />

Contract Name : Construction of Flyover at M.J. Cuenco Avenue and Gen. Maxilom<br />

Avenue<br />

Contract Location : Cebu City<br />

Description : Reinforced Concrete Works and Bored Piles<br />

Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC): Php 48,250,000.00<br />

Contract Duration : 150 calendar days<br />

The BAC will conduct this public bidding in accordance with the revised RA 9184 and its<br />

Implementing Rules and Regulations Part A.<br />

To be eligible <strong>to</strong> bid for this contract, a contrac<strong>to</strong>r must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) with<br />

Current Cebu City Mayor’s Permit, Certificate of Registration with PhilGEPS and an<br />

approved Activation of BIR Electronic Filing and Payment System (EFPS) and must<br />

meet the following major criteria: (a) prior registration with the DPWH, (b) Filipino citizen or<br />

75% Filipino owned partnership/corporation with PCAB license applicable <strong>to</strong> the type and<br />

cost of this contract, (c) completion of a similar contract costing at least 50% of ABC, and (d)<br />

Net Financing Contracting Capacity at least equal <strong>to</strong> ABC, or credit line commitment/cash deposit<br />

certificate for at least 10% of ABC. The DPWH will use non-discretionary pass/fail criteria in<br />

the eligibility check, preliminary evaluation of bids, evaluation of bids, post qualification, and<br />

award.<br />

The interested bidders for the Contract ID No. 10HH0035 must own a boring machine and a 75<br />

<strong>to</strong>n Crane.<br />

Unregistered contrac<strong>to</strong>rs, however, may submit their LOIs simultaneously with their applications<br />

for registration, <strong>to</strong> the Cebu City District Engineering Office before the deadline set below the<br />

receipt of LOIs. The DPWH Central BAC-TWG will first process the contrac<strong>to</strong>r’s applications for<br />

registration and issue the Contrac<strong>to</strong>rs Certificate of Registration (CRC) before processing their<br />

LOIs. The DPWH Central BAC-TWG will process only those with complete registration requirements.<br />

The significant times and deadlines of procurement activities are shown below:<br />

1. Issuance of Bidding Documents Deadline: April 26 <strong>to</strong> May 6, 2010<br />

2. Pre-Bid Conference Date & Time: April 30, 2010<br />

3. Deadline of LOI from Prospective Bidders Date: May 6, 2010, 10:00 A.M.<br />

4. Receipt of Bids Deadline: May 18, 2010, 8:00 <strong>to</strong> 10:00 AM<br />

5. Opening of Bids Date & Time: May 18, 2010, 10:00 AM<br />

6. Venue of Activities Conference Hall, Cebu City District Engineering<br />

Office, V. Sot<strong>to</strong> St., Brgy. Tinago, Cebu City<br />

Prospective bidders may download the Registration and LOI Forms from the DPWH website<br />

www.dpwh.gov.ph. The BAC will issue hard copies of LOI Forms at Cebu City District Engineering<br />

Office, upon payment of non-refundable fee of Php2,500.00. Prospective bidders that will download<br />

the LOI forms shall pay the same amount upon submission of their LOIs. Prospective bidders<br />

shall submit their accomplished LOIs and obtain the results of the eligibility check at the same<br />

address.<br />

Prospective bidders may also download the Bidding Documents (BDs), if available, from the DPWH<br />

website. The BAC will also issue hard copies of the BDs at the same address <strong>to</strong> eligible bidders<br />

upon payment of a non-refundable fee of Php30,000.00. Eligible bidders that will download the<br />

BDs from the DPWH website shall pay the same fees upon the submission of their bids.<br />

The Cebu City District Engineering Office reserves the right <strong>to</strong> accept or reject any bid and <strong>to</strong> annul<br />

the bidding process anytime before Contract award, without incurring any liability <strong>to</strong> the affected<br />

bidders.<br />

Approved by:<br />

(SGD.) ANACORITA E. DIEZ<br />

MT – Apr. 27, 2010<br />

BAC Chairman<br />

Republic of the Philippines<br />

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS<br />

Region VI – Western Visayas<br />

ILOILO CITY DISTRICT ENGINEERING OFFICE<br />

OFFICE OF THE BIDS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE<br />

Fort San Pedro Road, Iloilo City<br />

Tel. Nos. 337-83-87; 337-32-63<br />

INVITATION TO BID<br />

The Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the DPWH-Iloilo City District Engineering Office,<br />

through the General Appropriation Act of 2010, invites contrac<strong>to</strong>rs <strong>to</strong> apply <strong>to</strong> bid for the<br />

aforementioned projects:<br />

Contract ID No. : 10GJ0009<br />

Name of Contract : Rehab./Repair/Improvement of Molo Boulevard-Calumpang<br />

Arevalo Road<br />

Location : Iloilo City<br />

Brief Description : Roads-Rehabilitation-Asphalt<br />

Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC): P17,370,000.00<br />

Contract Duration : 60 CD<br />

The BAC will conduct the procurement process in accordance with the Revised IRR of RA<br />

9184. Bids received in excess of the ABC shall be au<strong>to</strong>matically rejected at the opening of bid.<br />

To bid for this contract, a contrac<strong>to</strong>r must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI), purchase bid<br />

documents and must meet the following major criteria: (a) prior registration with the DPWH,<br />

(b) Filipino citizen or 75 Filipino-owned partnership, corporation, cooperative or joint venture,<br />

(c) with PCAB license applicable <strong>to</strong> the type and cost of this contract, (d) Completion of a<br />

similar contract costing at least 50% of ABC within a period of 10 years, and (e) Net Financial<br />

Contracting Capacity at least equal <strong>to</strong> ABC, or credit line commitment at least equal <strong>to</strong> 10% of<br />

ABC. The BAC will use non-discretionary pass/fail criteria in the eligibility check and preliminary<br />

examination of bids.<br />

Unregistered contrac<strong>to</strong>rs, however, shall submit their applications for registration <strong>to</strong> the<br />

DPWH-POCW Central Office before the deadline for the receipt of LOI. The DPWH-POCW Central<br />

Office will only process contrac<strong>to</strong>rs’ applications for registration with complete requirements<br />

and issue the Contrac<strong>to</strong>r’s Certificate of Registration (CRC). Registration Forms may be downloaded<br />

at the DPWH website www.dpwh.gov.ph.<br />

The significant times and deadlines of procurement activities are shown below:<br />

1. Issuance of Bidding Documents April 12-May 3, 2010<br />

2. Pre-Bid Conference April 19, 2010 @ 10:00 A.M.<br />

3. Deadline Receipt of LOI from April 26, 2010<br />

Prospective Bidders<br />

4. Receipt of Bids May 3, 2010 until 2:00 P.M only at<br />

the Office of BAC, DPWH-ICDEO<br />

5. Opening of Bids May 3, 2010 until 2:30 P.M at<br />

the Office of BAC, DPWH-ICDEO<br />

The BAC will issue hard copies of Bidding Documents (BDs) at DPWH-ILOILO CITY DISTRICT<br />

ENGINEERING OFFICE, upon payment of a non-refundable fee Ten Thousand Pesos<br />

(P10,000.00). Prospective bidders that will download the BDs from the DPWH website<br />

shall pay the said fees on or before the submission of their bids documents. Bids must<br />

accompanied by a Bid <strong>Sec</strong>urity, in the amount and acceptable form, as stated in <strong>Sec</strong>tion<br />

27.2 of the Revised IRR.<br />

Prospective bidders shall submit their duly accomplished forms as specified in the BD’s in<br />

two (2) separate sealed bid envelopes <strong>to</strong> the BAC Chairman. The first envelope shall contain<br />

the technical component of the bid, which shall include a copy of the CRC. The second envelope<br />

shall contain the financial component of the bid. Contract will be awarded <strong>to</strong> the lowest Calculated<br />

Responsive Bid as determined in the bid evaluation and post-qualification.<br />

TheDPWH-ILOILO CITY DISTRICT ENGINEERING OFFICE reserves the right <strong>to</strong> accept or reject<br />

any or all bid and <strong>to</strong> annul the bidding process anytime before Contract award, without incurring<br />

any liability <strong>to</strong> the affected bidders.<br />

Approved by:<br />

(SGD.) RUBY P. LAGOC<br />

BAC Chairman<br />

MT – Apr. 27, 2010<br />

Republic of the Philippines<br />

Department of Public Works and Highways<br />

OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ENGINEER<br />

Isabela 2 nd District Engineering Office<br />

Roxas, Isabela<br />

INVITATION TO BID<br />

The Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the DPWH-Isabela 2 nd District Engineering Office, Roxas,<br />

Isabela, through the Fund-101-FY 2009 & 2010 and Fund-151 CY 2010, invites contrac<strong>to</strong>rs <strong>to</strong> bid<br />

for the aforementioned projects:<br />

* Contract ID: 010BF0106<br />

Contract Name: Concreting of Road<br />

Contract Location: Matusalem, Roxas, Isabela<br />

Scope of Work: RCP-Roads-New Construction-PCCP<br />

Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC): Php6,755,000.00<br />

Contract Duration: 120 Calendar Days<br />

Cost of LOI Forms: Php700.00<br />

Cost of Bid Documents: Php14,000.00<br />

* Contract ID: 010BF0107<br />

Contract Name: Concreting of Road<br />

Contract Location: Roxas, Isabela<br />

Scope of Work: RCP-Roads-New Construction-PCCP<br />

Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC): Php9,650,000.00<br />

Contract Duration: 150 Calendar Days<br />

Cost of LOI Forms: Php1,000.00<br />

Cost of Bid Documents: Php20,000.00<br />

* Contract ID: 010BF0110<br />

Contract Name: Rehabilitation/Reconstruction/Upgrading of Gamu-Roxas Road<br />

Contract Location: Roxas <strong>Sec</strong>tion, Roxas, Isabela<br />

Scope of Work: RCP-Roads-New Construction-PCCP<br />

Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC): Php9,650,000.00<br />

Contract Duration: 150 Calendar Days<br />

Cost of LOI Forms: Php1,000.00<br />

Cost of Bid Documents: Php20,000.00<br />

The BAC will conduct the procurement process in accordance with Revised IRR of R.A. 9184. Bids<br />

received in excess of the ABC shall be au<strong>to</strong>matically rejected at the opening of bid.<br />

To bid for this contract, a contrac<strong>to</strong>r must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI), purchase bid documents<br />

and must meet the following major criteria: (a) prior registration with DPWH, (b) Filipino citizen or<br />

75% Filipino-owned partnership, corporation, cooperative, or joint venture, (c) with PCAB license<br />

applicable <strong>to</strong> the type and cost of this contract, (d) completion of a similar contract costing at least<br />

50% of ABC within a period of 10 years, and (e) Net Financial Contracting Capacity at least equal <strong>to</strong><br />

ABC, or credit line commitment for at least 10% of ABC. The BAC will use non-discretionary pass/fail<br />

criteria in the eligibility check and preliminary examination of bids.<br />

Unregistered contrac<strong>to</strong>rs, however, shall submit their applications for registration <strong>to</strong> the DPWH-<br />

POCW Central Office before the deadline for the receipt of LOI. The DPWH POCW-Central Office will<br />

only process contrac<strong>to</strong>r’s applications for registration, with complete requirements, and issue the<br />

Contrac<strong>to</strong>r’s Certificate of Registration (CRC). Registration Forms may be downloaded at the DPWH<br />

website www.dpwh.gov.ph.<br />

The significant times and deadlines of procurement activities are shown below:<br />

1. Issuance of Bidding Documents April 23-May 13, 2010<br />

2. Pre-Bid Conference April 30, 2010<br />

3. Deadline of Receipt of LOIs from Prospective Bidders 2:00 PM, April 29, 2010<br />

4. Receipt of Bids 10:00 AM, May 13, 2010<br />

5. Opening of Bids 10:30 A.M., May 13, 2010<br />

The BAC will issue hard copies of Bidding Documents (BDs) at Isabela 2 nd District Engineering<br />

Office, Roxas, Isabela, upon payment of a non-refundable fee as stated above. Prospective bidders<br />

may also download the BDs from the DPWH website, if available. Prospective Bidders that will download<br />

the BDs from the DPWH website shall pay the said fees upon the submission of their bid documents.<br />

The Pre-Bid Conference shall be open <strong>to</strong> only <strong>to</strong> interested parties who have purchased the BDs.<br />

Bids must be accompanied by a Bid <strong>Sec</strong>urity, in the amount and acceptable form, as stated in <strong>Sec</strong>tion<br />

27.2 of the Revised IRR.<br />

Prospective bidders shall submit their duly accomplished forms as specified in the BD’s in two<br />

(2) separate sealed bid envelopes <strong>to</strong> the BAC Chairman. The first envelope shall contain the technical<br />

component of the bid, which shall include a copy of the CRC. The second envelope shall contain the<br />

financial component of the bid. Contract will be awarded <strong>to</strong> the Lowest Calculated Responsive Bid<br />

(LCRB) as determined in the bid evaluation and post-qualification.<br />

The Isabela 2 nd District Engineering Office, Roxas, Isabela reserves the right <strong>to</strong> accept or reject<br />

any bid and <strong>to</strong> annul the bidding process anytime before contract award, without incurring any<br />

liability <strong>to</strong> the affected bidders.<br />

Approved by:<br />

Noted:<br />

(SGD.) EVELYN C. COSTALES, Ph.D.<br />

District Engineer<br />

(SGD.) ONOFRE S. DE LEON<br />

OIC-Assistant District Engineer<br />

BAC Chairman<br />

DPWH-Isabela 2 nd District Eng’g. District<br />

Roxas, Isabela<br />

Tel. No. (078)642-8139<br />

MT – Apr. 27, 2010<br />

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES<br />

Commission on Information &<br />

Communications Technology<br />

NATIONAL<br />

TELECOMMUNICATIONS<br />

COMMISSION<br />

Quezon City<br />

BMC Case No. 2010-100<br />

DXRA-RMC (RIZAL MEMORIAL<br />

COLLEGES) BROADCASTING<br />

CORPORATION<br />

Applicant.<br />

x——————————x<br />

NOTICE OF HEARING<br />

Applicant, DXRA-RMC (RIZAL<br />

MEMORIAL COLLEGES)<br />

Broadcasting Corporation, a<br />

Filipino corporation duly organized<br />

and existing under Philippine laws<br />

and a grantee of a Congressional<br />

Franchise by virtue of RA. No. 8159,<br />

requests in the above-entitled case<br />

for the issuance of a Certificate of<br />

Public Convenience <strong>to</strong> install,<br />

operate and maintain a commercial<br />

FM radio broadcasting station<br />

in Iligan City, province of Lanao<br />

del Norte.<br />

Applicant further request for a<br />

Provisional Authority pending<br />

final determination of the<br />

application.<br />

This petition will be heard by<br />

this Commission on May 19, 2010<br />

at 8:30 AM at its Offices, National<br />

Telecommunications Commission,<br />

BIR Road, East Triangle, Diliman,<br />

Quezon City at which hearing<br />

petitioner shall present its evidence.<br />

At least (15) days prior <strong>to</strong> the<br />

date of hearing, petitioner shall<br />

publish this Notice of Hearing once<br />

in one (1) Metro Manila edited daily<br />

newspaper of general circulation in<br />

the Philippines and serve by<br />

registered mail or personal delivery<br />

copies of the petition and the Notice<br />

of Hearing <strong>to</strong> all affected parties<br />

as appearing in the attached list.<br />

Parties opposed <strong>to</strong> the granting<br />

of the petition must file their<br />

written opposition on or before the<br />

date of hearing furnishing a copy<br />

of the same <strong>to</strong> the petitioner and<br />

appear at the hearing with such<br />

evidence as may be proper in the<br />

premises. Failure on the part of any<br />

affected party <strong>to</strong> file his opposition<br />

on time and <strong>to</strong> appear at the hearing<br />

will be construed as a waiver of his<br />

right <strong>to</strong> be heard, the Commission<br />

will proceed <strong>to</strong> hear and decide the<br />

application on its merits.<br />

WITNESS, the HON. GAMALIEL<br />

A. CORDOBA, Commissioner,<br />

National Telecommunications<br />

Commission, this 19 th day of April<br />

2010.<br />

(SGD.) GRACE V. MANUEL<br />

Officer-in-Charge<br />

Commission <strong>Sec</strong>retariat<br />

MT – April 27, 2010<br />

To advertise at<br />

The Manila<br />

Times,<br />

email us at<br />

advertising@<br />

manilatimes.net<br />

or call 524-5664<br />

<strong>to</strong> 67<br />

Republic of the Philippines<br />

NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY<br />

Regional Office XI<br />

General San<strong>to</strong>s City<br />

SMDP NFA RXI-2010-D-07<br />

NOTICE OF SALE THRU MARKET DETERMINED PRICE (SMDP)<br />

OF NFA IMPORTED RICE 2009 ARRIVALS 15% BROKENS<br />

The NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY (NFA) Regional Office XI, General San<strong>to</strong>s City is hereby inviting all interested NFA licensed grains businessmen/establishments <strong>to</strong> submit<br />

sealed offers for the SMDP of NFA Imported Rice 2009 arrivals, as follows:<br />

VARIETY PROVINCE LOCATION LOT NO. QUANTITY INDICATIVE PRICE<br />

(bags of 50 kg)<br />

per kg<br />

15% brokens VCCW91 NFA General San<strong>to</strong>s City 1 124,982 P 23.50<br />

more or less<br />

The sale shall be on as is, where is no selection and no segregation basis. Maximum of 10% of the <strong>to</strong>tal volume for SMDP shall be allocated <strong>to</strong> Small Retailers/ FOs. Qualified<br />

offerors shall post a bond equivalent <strong>to</strong> 10% of the <strong>to</strong>tal amount offered in the form of cashier’s or manager’s check payable <strong>to</strong> NFA, issued by a reputable commercial bank.<br />

The SMDP activities shall be conducted on the following schedules:<br />

ACTIVITIES TIME DATE/VENUE<br />

Submission of 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. April 30, 2010 Every Monday and Friday thereafter<br />

eligibility documents<br />

until subject s<strong>to</strong>cks will be exhausted.<br />

3rd Floor, NFA Bldg., J. Ca<strong>to</strong>lico Ave.,<br />

3rd Floor, NFA Bldg., J. Ca<strong>to</strong>lico Ave.,<br />

Lagao, Gen. San<strong>to</strong>s City<br />

Lagao, Gen. San<strong>to</strong>s City<br />

Pre-SMDP Conference 2:01 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. -do- -do-<br />

SMDP Proper 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. -do- -do-<br />

The bid forms including the other provisions stipulated in the terms and conditions shall be available at the Operations <strong>Sec</strong>tion, 2nd Floor, NFA Regional Office XI, J.<br />

Ca<strong>to</strong>lico Avenue, Lagao, General San<strong>to</strong>s City c/o Ms HAZEL G. SOLIS, upon payment of non- refundable SMDP fee of P1,000.00 for Small Ret/FOs and P5,000 for<br />

Wholesalers/Traders.<br />

All interested offerors shall submit <strong>to</strong> the NFA Regional SMDP Committee at the above time and venue, the following eligibility documents:<br />

1. Certified pho<strong>to</strong>copy of CY 2010 NFA License Certificate or approved application for NFA License and Official Receipt evidencing payment of license fee. For authentication<br />

purposes, submit original copy of 2010 NFA license certificate or approved application for NFA license and official receipt.<br />

2. For representative, a duly notarized authorization from the principal bidder/and or NFA License holder (owner/chairman) that the person is authorized <strong>to</strong> represent<br />

the establishment <strong>to</strong> the SMDP and all pertinent activities there<strong>to</strong>.<br />

NFA Region XI encourages all interested offerors <strong>to</strong> conduct ocular inspection of the subject s<strong>to</strong>cks prior <strong>to</strong> the pre-qualification schedule.<br />

For further information, you may inquire at the NFA Regional Office XI General San<strong>to</strong>s City thru Telephone Nos. (083) 554-5242/552-4284 or from the Office of the Provincial<br />

Manager of NFA General San<strong>to</strong>s City - (083) 5526137.<br />

THE SMDP COMMITTEE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REJECT ANY OR ALL OFFERS, WAIVE ANY DEFECT AND INFORMALITY FOUND THEREIN OR ACCEPT OFFERS WHICH IN ITS JUDGMENT<br />

ARE MOST REASONABLE AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE NFA.<br />

(SGD.) ANTONIO R. DELA CRUZ<br />

Regional Manager II<br />

MT - Apr. 27, 28 & 29, 2010<br />

Republic of the Philippines<br />

Department of Public Works and Highways<br />

Region I<br />

Pangasinan 3rd District Engineering Office<br />

OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ENGINEER<br />

Tumana, Rosales, Pangasinan<br />

Date:April 21, 2010<br />

INVITATION TO BID<br />

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Pangasinan 3 rd District Engineering Office, Tumana, Rosales, Pangasinan through its<br />

Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), invites contrac<strong>to</strong>rs <strong>to</strong> apply <strong>to</strong> bid for the following contract:<br />

CONTRACT BRIEF APPROVED BUDGET CONTRACT<br />

ID NAME OF CONTRACT LOCATION DESCRIPTION FOR THE CONTRACT DURATION<br />

10AI0098 Repair/Res<strong>to</strong>ration of Damaged Asphalt S<strong>to</strong>. Tomas, Pang. Asphalt Overlay P19,300,000.00 35 C.D.<br />

Pavement along Carmen Jctn.-<br />

Bayambang Road, S<strong>to</strong>. Tomas <strong>Sec</strong>tion<br />

Procurement will be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures in accordance with R.A. 9184 and its Revised Implementing<br />

Rules and Regulations.<br />

To bid for this contract, a contrac<strong>to</strong>r must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) and must meet the following major criteria: (a) prior registration<br />

with the DPWH, (b) Filipino citizen or 75% Filipino-owned partnership/corporation with PCAB license applicable <strong>to</strong> the type and cost of this<br />

contract, (c) completion of a similar contract costing at least 50% of ABC, and (d) Net Financial Contracting Capacity at least equal <strong>to</strong> ABC, or<br />

credit line commitment/cash deposit certificate for at least equal <strong>to</strong> 10% of ABC. The BAC will use non-discretionary pass/fail criteria in the<br />

eligibility check and preliminary examination of bids.<br />

Unregistered contrac<strong>to</strong>rs, however, shall submit their applications for registration <strong>to</strong> the DPWH-3 rd Pangasinan Engineering District, Tumana,<br />

Rosales, Pangasinan before the deadline for the receipts of LOI. The DPWH-POCW Central Office will only process the contrac<strong>to</strong>r’s applications for<br />

registration with complete requirements, and issue the Contrac<strong>to</strong>r’s Certificate of Registration (CRC). Registration Forms may be downloaded at<br />

the DPWH website www.dpwh.gov.ph.<br />

The significant times and deadlines of procurement activities are shown below:<br />

ACTIVITIES<br />

SCHEDULE<br />

1 Publication/Posting of Invitation <strong>to</strong> Bid April 21 <strong>to</strong> 27, 2010<br />

2. Receipt of LOIs from Prospective Bidders April 21 <strong>to</strong> May 6, 2010 until 3:00 P.M.<br />

3. Issuance of Bidding Documents April 21 <strong>to</strong> May 12, 2010 before 9:00 A.M.<br />

4. Pre-Bid Conference April 28, 2010 – 10:00 A.M.<br />

5. Receipts and Opening of Bids May 12, 2010 – 10:00 A.M.<br />

The BAC will also issue hard copies of LOI Forms at DPWH-3 rd Pangasinan Engineering District, Tumana, Rosales, Pangasinan, upon<br />

payment of a non-refundable fee of THIRTY THOUSAND PESOS ONLY (P30,000.00). Prospective bidders that will download the BDs from the<br />

DPWH Website shall pay the same amount on or before the submission of their Bid Documents. Bids must be accompanied by a bid security, in<br />

the amount and acceptable form, as stated in <strong>Sec</strong>tion 27.2 of the Revised IRR.<br />

Prospective bidders shall submit their duly accomplished forms as specified in the BD’s in two (2) separate sealed bid envelopes <strong>to</strong> the BAC<br />

Chairman. The first envelope shall contain the technical component of the bid, which shall include the eligibility requirements. The second<br />

envelope shall contain financial component of the bid. Contract will be awarded <strong>to</strong> the Lowest Calculated Responsive Bid as determined in the<br />

bid evaluation and their post-qualification.<br />

The DPWH, Pangasinan 3 rd District Engineering Office, Tumana, Rosales, Pangasinan reserves the right <strong>to</strong> accept or reject any bid and <strong>to</strong> annul<br />

the bidding process anytime before Contract award, without incurring any liability <strong>to</strong> the affected bidders.<br />

APPROVED:<br />

BY:<br />

EMMANUEL W. DIAZ<br />

(SGD.) EDITA L. MANUEL<br />

0BAC – Chairman<br />

Head, BAC-<strong>Sec</strong>retariat<br />

MT – April 21 & 27, 2010<br />

Mother of Divine Providence School<br />

The Mother of Divine Providence School is a Catholic School run<br />

by the Congregation of the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul, that provides<br />

basic education <strong>to</strong> boys and girls from middle-income families<br />

in Marikina and adjacent communities.<br />

TEACHERS<br />

(Pre-school, Science, Filipino, Math and<br />

Physical Education)<br />

Requirements:<br />

· LET Passer<br />

· Has at least 1 year teaching experience<br />

· Not more than 35 years old<br />

· Practicing Catholic<br />

· Has good communication skills<br />

Interested applicants may send their resume <strong>to</strong>:<br />

mdpschool@yahoo.com<br />

Jan Steel Import & export Inc<br />

ACCOUNTING ASSISTANT<br />

Requirements:<br />

· Candidate must possess at least a Bachelor’s/College Degree ,<br />

Finance/Ac<strong>count</strong>ancy/Banking, Commerce, Business Studies/<br />

Administration/Management or equivalent.<br />

· At least 3 year(s) of working experience in the related field is<br />

required for this position.<br />

· Preferably 1-4 Yrs Experienced Employees specializing in Finance<br />

- General/Cost Ac<strong>count</strong>ing or equivalent.<br />

· MALE OR FEMALE<br />

· NOT MORE THAN 28 YEARS OLD<br />

· KNOWLEDGE IN BASIC ACOUNTING<br />

· COMPUTER LITERATE<br />

· Perform various ac<strong>count</strong>ing tasks including preparation of Balance<br />

sheetÿ and P&L ac<strong>count</strong>s.<br />

SALES REPRESENTATIVE<br />

Requirements:<br />

· Must have at least two years minimum experience in Selling/<br />

Marketing<br />

· With previous experience in Can Manufacturing / Processing<br />

machines, <strong>back</strong>ground in selling of Steel products is an advantage<br />

· Major responsibility is <strong>to</strong> develop & establish new clients and<br />

market<br />

Interested applicants may email their resume <strong>to</strong>:<br />

ash_1224@yahoo.com<br />

Wide-Aero School Of Aviation<br />

INSTRUCTORS / TRAINERS AND OFFICE PERSONNEL<br />

FOR AERONAUTIC SCHOOL<br />

WASA offer competitive compensation package <strong>to</strong> our academic<br />

staff,<br />

The following are the qualifications of our Instruc<strong>to</strong>rs:<br />

AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY<br />

· Graduate of any aviation-related course such as BS Aeronautical<br />

Engineering, BS Aircraft Technology or BS Aircraft Maintenance<br />

Technology.<br />

· Ground Instruc<strong>to</strong>r License preferably in airframe and power<br />

plant rating<br />

· Airframe and power plant license.<br />

Avionics Technology<br />

· Graduate of any aviation-related course such as BS Aeronautical<br />

Engineering, BS Avionics Technology.<br />

· Ground Instruc<strong>to</strong>r License preferably in Electronics and<br />

Instrument rating<br />

· Aircraft Specialist License.<br />

AIRLINE OPERATION AND SERVICING<br />

· Graduate of any aviation-related course such as BS Aeronautical<br />

Engineering, BS Airline Tourism or BS Airline Business Administration<br />

· With Teaching Experience<br />

Wide-Aero School of Aviation:<br />

Please see Courses Offered<br />

• 2 years Aircraft Maintenance Technology (ladderized <strong>to</strong> BSAMT)<br />

• 2 years Avionics Technology (laddirized <strong>to</strong> BSAVT)<br />

• 2 years Airline Operation and Servicing (ladderized <strong>to</strong> BSAOS)<br />

Short Course<br />

• 4 Months Aircraft Structural Mechanic repair<br />

Those who are interested applicants may<br />

send their CV <strong>to</strong>:<br />

1020 A1 Sunrise, MIA Road Tambo Parañaque City<br />

(02) 855-7727<br />

Wide_aero@yahoo.com<br />

www.wideaeroaviation.org<br />

Sumulong College of Arts and Sciences<br />

We are <strong>now</strong> accepting applicants for the following vacant positions:<br />

Full-time Faculty<br />

CRIMINOLOGY INSTRUCTOR<br />

IT INSTRUCTOR<br />

HRM INSTRUCTOR<br />

PE INSTRUCTOR<br />

- All teaching positions require a Master’s Degree and preferably<br />

with at least 2 years teaching experience and/or relevant industry<br />

experience<br />

Support Services<br />

ASSISTANT DEAN FOR STUDENTS AFFAIRS<br />

Qualifications:<br />

- Graduate of AB/BS Psychology, Behavioral Science or any related<br />

field<br />

- With MA in Guidance and Counseling<br />

- Earned Doc<strong>to</strong>rate preferred; with at least five years experience<br />

at the level of Dean or Asst. Dean with focus on Student Affairs<br />

Administration<br />

COMPUTER LAB FACILITATOR<br />

Qualifications:<br />

- A degree holder in Computer Science, Information Technology<br />

and/or Computer Engineering<br />

- With at least 2 years related experience<br />

- Must be proficient in hardware and software applications<br />

- K<strong>now</strong>ledgeable in PC Troubleshooting and also programming<br />

PLACEMENT OFFICER<br />

Qualifications:<br />

- Bachelor’s Degree or specialization in any of the following<br />

disciplines: Human Resource Management or Personnel<br />

Management, International Relations, Industrial Psychology,<br />

Behavioral<br />

- With experience in vocational guidance, counseling and job<br />

placement<br />

- With excellent contact in Industry and would be responsible<br />

for the placement of the College graduates<br />

MARKETING OFFICER<br />

Qualifications:<br />

- Bachelor’s Degree in any of the following: Marketing, Public Relations,<br />

Communications, Advertising, Business Administration or a related<br />

field<br />

- With at least 2 years Proven Sales/Marketing experience and an<br />

ability <strong>to</strong> sell services <strong>to</strong> a range of public and private clients<br />

- With pleasing personality<br />

Interested applicants may apply in person or you may send<br />

your application in word format at psyche_kian@yahoo.com<br />

Please indicate position in the subject line<br />

M.L. Quezon Extension, Antipolo City<br />

Tel: 697-0017 / 696-5415


SARKOZY PUSHES FRIENDLIER TIES ON CHINA TRIP<br />

PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy sets off <strong>to</strong> China on Wednesday for a visit<br />

intended <strong>to</strong> set the seal on a reconciliation, two years after he offended Beijing<br />

with comments on Tibet. The state visit, Sarkozy’s second <strong>to</strong> China, will have a<br />

C<br />

4<br />

The Manila Times<br />

world<br />

TUESDAY<br />

April 27, 2010<br />

CIA USES SMALLER MISSILES IN ATTACKS<br />

WASHINGTON, D.C.:The US Central Intelligence Agency has started<br />

using smaller missiles in its hunt for al-Qaeda and other Islamic<br />

militant leaders in Pakistan in hopes of minimizing civilian casualties,<br />

The Washing<strong>to</strong>n Post reported Monday. AFP<br />

political rather than a commercial focus and will include talks on possible new<br />

sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, the French presidency said. AFP<br />

Brazil, Iran <strong>to</strong> discuss nuclear program<br />

TEHRAN: Brazilian Foreign Minister<br />

Celso Amorim arrived in Tehran<br />

Monday for a two-day visit during<br />

which he would discuss Iran’s nuclear<br />

program with senior officials, Fars news<br />

agency reported.<br />

BANGKOK: Leaders of Thailand’s pro-establishment<br />

“Yellow Shirts” huddled Monday<br />

<strong>to</strong> plot their next move against rival<br />

“Red Shirts” who are bracing for a crackdown<br />

on their Bangkok protest base.<br />

The Yellows have warned they will<br />

take action <strong>to</strong> “protect the <strong>count</strong>ry”<br />

if authorities do not deal with the<br />

anti-government Reds who are defying<br />

a state of emergency with their<br />

mass rally in the heart of the capital.<br />

A one-week deadline set by the Yellows<br />

for an end <strong>to</strong> the crippling protests<br />

expired with no end in sight <strong>to</strong><br />

the tense standoff, which has twice<br />

descended in<strong>to</strong> bloodshed this<br />

month, leaving 26 people dead and<br />

hundreds injured.<br />

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has<br />

rejected an offer by the Reds, who<br />

mostly support former premier Thaksin<br />

Shinawatra, <strong>to</strong> disperse if elections are<br />

held in three months’ time—softening<br />

earlier demands for snap <strong>poll</strong>s.<br />

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s opposition on<br />

Monday slammed the ruling coalition over<br />

their weekend by-election vic<strong>to</strong>ry, accusing<br />

them of using “racism, bribery and brute<br />

force” <strong>to</strong> win the vote.<br />

The Barisan National (BN) re<strong>to</strong>ok a<br />

seat in central Selangor state with a<br />

majority of over 1,700, two years after<br />

losing it <strong>to</strong> the opposition in disastrous<br />

national <strong>poll</strong>s.<br />

The win gave the BN a much-needed<br />

boost after it lost seven out of the last<br />

nine by-elections <strong>to</strong> the opposition<br />

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance, and<br />

Premier Najib Razak hailed the vic<strong>to</strong>ry as<br />

an endorsement of his plans for reform.<br />

But opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim,<br />

who is on trial for sodomy, said Najib had<br />

bought off the elec<strong>to</strong>rate with promises<br />

of new schools and cash payments for<br />

The visit comes as world powers<br />

push for a new set of United Nations<br />

sanctions against Tehran for pursuing<br />

its controversial nuclear program.<br />

Brazil is one of the 15 UN <strong>Sec</strong>urity<br />

Council members and has not<br />

indicated whether it would vote for<br />

or against a sanctions resolution<br />

targeting the Islamic republic.<br />

Amorim will also prepare the<br />

Thailand’s ‘Yellow Shirts’<br />

mull next move against Reds<br />

Appearing on national television<br />

Sunday alongside his army chief,<br />

Abhisit vowed <strong>to</strong> retake the sprawling<br />

protest site that has paralyzed<br />

Bangkok’s main retail district, but<br />

gave no indication of when a crackdown<br />

might come.<br />

Thailand is largely split between<br />

the mainly rural poor and urban<br />

working class Reds, and the Yellows<br />

who staged their own street protests<br />

that heralded a 2006 coup ousting<br />

their enemy Thaksin.<br />

Yellow protesters in 2008 blockaded<br />

Bangkok’s two main airports,<br />

before a controversial court verdict<br />

removed Thaksin’s allies and allowed<br />

a parliamentary vote that brought in<br />

the current government.<br />

The Yellows had remained largely silent<br />

since the Reds began mass rallies in<br />

mid-March demanding immediate elections,<br />

but there are <strong>now</strong> growing fears of<br />

clashes between the rival groups. AFP<br />

Malaysia opposition slams<br />

ruling coalition by <strong>poll</strong> win<br />

settlers in the constituency.<br />

“Over 100 million ringgit [$32 million]<br />

was spent by BN <strong>to</strong> win a thin majority in<br />

Hulu Selangor, that amounts <strong>to</strong> 65,000<br />

ringgit per person,” Anwar said in a<br />

statement on Monday.<br />

Najib denied buying votes <strong>to</strong> win<br />

the by-election.<br />

After the by-election result was<br />

announced on Sunday, Najib said the win<br />

gave the BN “strong impetus” <strong>to</strong> push<br />

ahead with reforms.<br />

Najib, who came <strong>to</strong> power a year ago,<br />

unveiled plans last month for reforms<br />

aimed at spurring growth, closing the<br />

wealth gap between ethnic groups and<br />

reaching out <strong>to</strong> minorities aggrieved by<br />

the “bumiputra” affirmative action<br />

program, which favors the <strong>count</strong>ry’s<br />

Muslim Malay majority. AFP<br />

ground for next month’s visit <strong>to</strong> Iran<br />

by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula<br />

da Silva, Iranian foreign ministry<br />

spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast<br />

was quoted as saying by Fars.<br />

Fars said Amorim will meet Iran’s<br />

chief nuclear negotia<strong>to</strong>r Saeed Jalili and<br />

his Iranian <strong>count</strong>erpart Manouchehr<br />

Mottaki during his stay in Tehran. He<br />

is also expected <strong>to</strong> meet Iranian President<br />

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.<br />

“International issues will be discussed<br />

[with Amorim] and one of<br />

them is related <strong>to</strong> our <strong>count</strong>ry’s nuclear<br />

activities,” Mehmanparast said.<br />

SEOUL: Seoul is investigating whether<br />

a demoted North Korean general has<br />

won <strong>back</strong> his former rank as a reward<br />

for the sinking of a South Korean warship,<br />

an official said Monday.<br />

North Korean TV footage and a<br />

still pho<strong>to</strong> released over the weekend<br />

showed Kim Myong-Guk wearing<br />

a uniform with four stars on<br />

the collar.<br />

Kim, who heads the general staff’s<br />

operations bureau, had been demoted<br />

<strong>to</strong> a three-star general in January,<br />

earlier pho<strong>to</strong>s showed.<br />

“We are trying <strong>to</strong> check what’s behind<br />

his promotion,” a Seoul intelligence<br />

official <strong>to</strong>ld Agence France-<br />

Presse on condition of anonymity.<br />

“We are trying <strong>to</strong> see if the promotion<br />

was related <strong>to</strong> the sinking of the<br />

Cheonan but have reached no conclusions<br />

yet.”<br />

There was speculation that Kim<br />

had lost a star <strong>to</strong> take responsibility<br />

for a naval clash near the inter-Korean<br />

border last November which left<br />

a North Korean patrol boat in flames.<br />

On March 26 a explosion sank the<br />

Cheonan, a 1,200-<strong>to</strong>n South Korean<br />

corvette, near the <strong>count</strong>ries’ border<br />

with the loss of 46 lives.<br />

Seoul officials suspect a <strong>to</strong>rpedo attack—possibly<br />

in revenge for the November<br />

clash. They have not so far publicly<br />

blamed Pyongyang pending a fullscale<br />

multinational investigation.<br />

The general—sporting his four<br />

stars—was shown briefing the<br />

North’s leader Kim Jong-Il in front of<br />

Iran will “discuss its right <strong>to</strong> exploit<br />

this advanced science within<br />

the framework of the IAEA [International<br />

A<strong>to</strong>mic Energy Agency].”<br />

World powers accuse Iran of<br />

masking a weapons drive under the<br />

guise of what Iran says is a purely<br />

civilian a<strong>to</strong>mic program.<br />

Washing<strong>to</strong>n is leading efforts <strong>to</strong><br />

press a fourth round of UN sanctions<br />

against Iran, stepping up its<br />

efforts after a nuclear fuel deal<br />

drafted by the IAEA for a Tehran<br />

research reac<strong>to</strong>r hit a deadlock.<br />

Mehmanparast said the fuel deal<br />

will also be discussed with the visiting<br />

foreign minister.<br />

Amorim on Sunday refused <strong>to</strong><br />

say whether Brazil would vote<br />

against a UN resolution imposing<br />

sanctions against Iran, but added<br />

he did not believe Tehran was<br />

close <strong>to</strong> building a nuclear bomb.<br />

For a sanctions measure <strong>to</strong> pass,<br />

nine of the 15 members of the <strong>Sec</strong>urity<br />

Council—of which Brazil is<br />

a temporary member—would have<br />

<strong>to</strong> vote in favor, as long as none of<br />

the five permanent members employ<br />

their ve<strong>to</strong>.<br />

Seoul probes N. Korea general’s promotion<br />

LONDON: The first commercial<br />

flight between Baghdad and London<br />

in 20 years has <strong>to</strong>uched down<br />

at the British capital’s Gatwick airport<br />

after being delayed by the<br />

Iceland volcano ash cloud, the<br />

airport said.<br />

Flight IA237 landed at 11:08<br />

p.m. (6:08 a.m. Manila time)<br />

Sunday (Monday in Manila) after<br />

coming via Malmoe in Sweden<br />

on the 10-hour trip, according<br />

<strong>to</strong> arrival information on the<br />

airport’s website.<br />

■ A combo pho<strong>to</strong> of pictures released by North Korea’s official Korean Central<br />

News Agency (KCNA) on Monday (left) and on January 17 (right) shows Kim<br />

Myong-Guk, head of the general staff’s operations bureau, who got demoted<br />

<strong>to</strong> a three-star general and regained his former four-star rank. AFP PHOTO<br />

a camouflaged military base at an undisclosed<br />

location.<br />

JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said Kim<br />

was not among those named in a<br />

mass promotion of generals <strong>to</strong> mark<br />

this month’s birth anniversary of the<br />

North’s founder Kim Il-Sung.<br />

“We’re trying <strong>to</strong> determine<br />

whether Kim’s promotion was related<br />

<strong>to</strong> the Cheonan sinking.”<br />

South Korea Sunday began five days<br />

of national mourning for the victims,<br />

with public shrines set up in Seoul and<br />

other cities. A pho<strong>to</strong> exhibition<br />

opened in Seoul in their memory.<br />

President Lee Myung-Bak, accompanied<br />

by senior government officials,<br />

on Monday joined a stream of<br />

mourners <strong>to</strong> pay homage at an altar<br />

outside City Hall.<br />

Suspicion has increasingly fallen<br />

on North Korea despite its denial<br />

of involvement.<br />

Defense Minister Kim Tae-Young<br />

said Sunday a <strong>to</strong>rpedo attack—creating<br />

a bubble jet which <strong>to</strong>re the ship<br />

apart—was among the most likely<br />

causes of the sinking.<br />

AFP<br />

First Baghdad-London flight in 20 years arrives<br />

After the flight departed Iraq, the<br />

<strong>count</strong>ry’s civil aviation direc<strong>to</strong>r<br />

Adnan Blebil <strong>to</strong>ld AFP: “I am<br />

happy. But if Western companies<br />

had been more cooperative, we<br />

could have started [flights <strong>to</strong> the<br />

West] several years earlier.”<br />

There were 30 foreign and Iraqi<br />

passengers on board the flight, including<br />

Transport Minister Amer<br />

Abduljabbar Ismail and Iraqi Airways<br />

chief Kifah Hassan.<br />

“There will be two flights a week<br />

<strong>now</strong>. They will fly via Malmoe on<br />

the way out but the return flight<br />

will be direct,” Blebil said.<br />

The first flight since sanctions<br />

imposed by the UN after Saddam<br />

Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait<br />

came in<strong>to</strong> effect had been scheduled<br />

<strong>to</strong> depart on April 16.<br />

But Iceland’s Eyjafjoell volcano<br />

erupted two days earlier, spewing<br />

out ash that forced air traffic authorities<br />

<strong>to</strong> cancel thousands of<br />

flights across Europe.<br />

Much of Europe’s airspace only<br />

reopened last week. AFP<br />

Brazil has repeatedly defended<br />

Iran’s nuclear program, saying the<br />

Islamic republic has the right <strong>to</strong><br />

peaceful nuclear energy.<br />

It has given little credence <strong>to</strong> US<br />

arguments that Iran was trying <strong>to</strong><br />

secretly develop a nuclear arsenal.<br />

On Sunday he said in an press<br />

interview that “I don’t see Iran being<br />

close <strong>to</strong> making a bomb.”<br />

He also said: “Call us naive, but<br />

I think those who believe in everything<br />

the US intelligence service<br />

says are much more naive. Look at<br />

the case of Iraq.”<br />

AFP<br />

Thousands<br />

<strong>to</strong> oppose<br />

immigration<br />

law in Arizona<br />

LOS ANGELES: Thousands of people<br />

marched peacefully in Phoenix, Arizona,<br />

Sunday <strong>to</strong> express their opposition<br />

<strong>to</strong> a controversial immigration<br />

law signed by the state governor.<br />

Television images showed the<br />

protesters converging on the State<br />

Capi<strong>to</strong>l, where they held a rally <strong>to</strong><br />

denounce the legislation.<br />

The law, signed by Arizona’s Republican<br />

Governor Jan Brewer on<br />

Friday, allows police <strong>to</strong> question<br />

and detain anyone in the southwestern<br />

border state they believe<br />

may be an illegal immigrant, even<br />

if they are not suspected of committing<br />

another crime.<br />

It would also require anyone in<br />

the state suspected of being an illegal<br />

immigrant <strong>to</strong> show a document<br />

proving their legal status, like a<br />

“green card” permanent residency<br />

document or a passport.<br />

Opponents of the law say that if<br />

police demand papers from someone<br />

they suspect of being an illegal<br />

immigrant, and they turn out <strong>to</strong> be<br />

a US citizen, their constitutional<br />

rights will have been infringed.<br />

US Democratic Congressman<br />

Luis Gutierrez urged the demonstra<strong>to</strong>rs<br />

<strong>to</strong> keep up pressure on politicians,<br />

reminding them that the<br />

controversial law would not take<br />

effect for 90 days.<br />

Demonstra<strong>to</strong>r Jose Acosta <strong>to</strong>ld<br />

CNN television he was concerned<br />

about the new law.<br />

Civil rights leader Al Sharp<strong>to</strong>n<br />

said it was people’s moral obligation<br />

<strong>to</strong> stand against this profiling<br />

in Arizona.<br />

Sharp<strong>to</strong>n said protesters would<br />

bring people from around the <strong>count</strong>ry<br />

<strong>to</strong> Arizona who will walk down<br />

the streets with no identity cards and<br />

submit themselves <strong>to</strong> arrest. AFP<br />

worldinbrief<br />

■ TOKYO: More than two thirds of Japanese<br />

voters disapprove of beleaguered Prime<br />

Minister Yukio Ha<strong>to</strong>yama, an opinion <strong>poll</strong> showed on<br />

Monday, as he struggles <strong>to</strong> resolve a tricky row over a<br />

US airbase.<br />

AFP<br />

■ SEOUL: South Korea’s president called<br />

Monday for a thorough probe in<strong>to</strong> claims by a<br />

businessman that he had offered dozens of state<br />

prosecu<strong>to</strong>rs cash and sex with prostitutes in return<br />

for favors. AFP<br />

■ BAGHDAD: Al-Qaeda in Iraq is struggling <strong>to</strong><br />

recruit volunteers for suicide bombings and<br />

other attacks, the US army said on Sunday (Monday<br />

in Manila), hours after the jihadist network<br />

confirmed the deaths of its <strong>to</strong>p commanders. AFP<br />

■ RAMALLAH, West Bank: US President Barack<br />

Obama has invited Palestinian leader Mahmud<br />

Abbas <strong>to</strong> Washing<strong>to</strong>n in May in a fresh bid <strong>to</strong><br />

relaunch Middle East peace talks, a Palestinian<br />

official said on Sunday (Monday in Manila). AFP<br />

■ BECKLEY, West Virginia: US President Barack<br />

Obama on Sunday (Monday in Manila) paid<br />

tribute <strong>to</strong> 29 men killed in the worst US mine<br />

accident in decades, and pledged “<strong>to</strong> do what we<br />

must do” <strong>to</strong> ensure mine safety.<br />

AFP<br />

■ BEIJING: The head of the World Health<br />

Organization (WHO) arrived in North Korea<br />

Monday on a scheduled visit <strong>to</strong> the impoverished<br />

communist state, China’s official media reported. AFP<br />

■ BEIJING: The quake in China’s remote<br />

northwest has left more than 8,000 monks<br />

homeless after damaging nearly 90 monasteries,<br />

state media said Monday, as the focus of relief work<br />

moved on<strong>to</strong> resettling survivors.<br />

AFP<br />

■ NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister<br />

Manmohan Singh and Afghan President Hamid<br />

Karzai met in New Delhi on Monday <strong>to</strong> discuss a<br />

relationship seen as key <strong>to</strong> regional stability. AFP<br />

■ KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police Monday<br />

said they have detained 75 Sri Lankan migrants<br />

who refused <strong>to</strong> get off a fishing trawler, after three<br />

days of talks <strong>to</strong> persuade them <strong>to</strong> leave the vessel<br />

broke down.<br />

AFP<br />

■ BISHKEK, Kyrgyztan: Russia has extradited a<br />

former Kyrgyz minister who vanished amid the<br />

unrest that swept the former authorities from power,<br />

the <strong>count</strong>ry’s interim government said Monday. AFP<br />

■ RIYADH: A senior member of Saudi Arabia’s<br />

Islamic religious police who riled conservatives by<br />

<strong>back</strong>ing gender mixing and prayers outside the mosque<br />

appeared <strong>to</strong> still have his job Monday, a day after the<br />

organization announced he had been removed. AFP<br />

■ LONDON: Britain’s embassy in Sana’a is shut<br />

and its citizens are being advised <strong>to</strong> “keep a low<br />

profile” after its ambassador <strong>to</strong> Yemen avoided injury<br />

in a bombing, the Foreign Office said Monday. AFP<br />

■ THIMPU, Bhutan: The prime ministers of India<br />

and Pakistan will hold talks at a conference in<br />

Bhutan this week, officials in New Delhi said Monday,<br />

as the rival nations inch <strong>to</strong>wards resuming their<br />

peace dialogue.<br />

AFP<br />

■ WELLINGTON: The Pacific island nation of<br />

Nauru faced a possible political stalemate after a<br />

weekend election returned exactly the same lawmakers<br />

<strong>to</strong> parliament, official results showed Monday. AFP<br />

■ MIRANSHAH, Pakistan: At least four Islamist<br />

militants were killed Monday when missiles from<br />

a US drone aircraft struck a suspected insurgent hideout<br />

in Pakistan’s northwest tribal belt, officials said. AFP<br />

■ JAKARTA: Indonesia is taking steps in<br />

increasing number and quality of doc<strong>to</strong>rs <strong>to</strong><br />

improve health service for public as the <strong>count</strong>ry’s<br />

ratio of doc<strong>to</strong>rs and patients is far behind ideal, a<br />

vice minister said here on Monday. XINHUA

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