The return of Gigi Reyes

This is going to be fascinating.

Will she stand by or turn against JPE?

Will she stand by or turn against JPE?

Atty. Gigi Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile who is included among those accused of plunder in connection with the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund, came back last Saturday.

Reyes left last August when her name came up as one of those who were dealing directly with pork barrel operator Janet Napoles . She was reported to have gone to Macau, then to other countries.

In the resolution approved last April 1, the Ombudsman said they found probable cause for Enrile ,Reyes, Napoles, Ruby Tuason, Ronald John Lim, and Raymond de Asis to have committed plunder.

Plunder is punishable by lifetime imprisonment and forfeiture of ill-gotten wealth in favor of government.
The Ombudsman also found cause to indict Reyes together with Enrile and others for 15 counts of violation of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).
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April 20, 2014 9:20 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Graft and corruption  5 Comments

Standing by up in the air

Thanks to Philippine Flight Network for this photo.

Thanks to Philippine Flight Network for this photo.

As our flight from Iloilo (Philippine Airlines 934) was starting its descent to the Ninoy Aquino International Airprt, the pilot announced that we were number 12 in the queue for landing and that our arrival would be delayed by 30 minutes. Reason: traffic congestion.

This kind of delay due to traffic congestion at NAIA has become a standard happening. It has become a practice.
Two weeks ago when we went to Palawan, our departure was delayed for about 30 minutes.

We were already seated, our seatbelts fastened yet we were not taking until after half-an-hour later. Same reason: traffic congestion.
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April 17, 2014 12:02 am  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Malaya, Tourism, Travel  8 Comments

Wishing they were April Fools Day jokes

We wish these three reports were April Fools Day jokes:

Spinbusters writes 30

Spinbusters writes 30

One, Spinbusters saying goodbye.

In its April 1 entry titled “Silly blog concedes writes 30”, the media watchdog wrote, “There’s no going around it, beating around the bush, and running in circles. With bitterness, sadness, and deep regret, we have decided to shut down The Spin Busters. For good.”

Except for the fact that the persons behind the witty blog were anonymous (and therefore deliberately avoiding accountability) I like their scathing criticisms of media.

I will miss it.
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April 4, 2014 6:56 pm  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Malaya, Media, Philippine National Police  20 Comments

Holy Week in prison for Enrile, Estrada, Revilla?

The PDAF kings

The PDAF kings

Now that the Ombudsman has approved the resolution to file plunder charges against those involved in the malversation of the Priority Development Assistance Fund, it looks like Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla would be observing their Holy Week in jail.

It is reported that Revilla and his family are in Holy Land to seek for “divine intervention.” Let’s see if his wish would be granted.

The accused will be given time to submit a motion for reconsideration, after which the Ombudsman will file the Information with the Sandiganbayan. The graft court will determine whether there’s a basis for the case to proceed.
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April 1, 2014 10:23 pm  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Graft and corruption, Malaya  26 Comments

Is the Philippines ready for China’s retaliation?

Xi Jingping and Benigno Aquino III
No ifs and buts about it: the Philippines and China are no longer friends.

That’s a decision that the Philippines made when it hauled China to the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal over the latter’s all -South -China -Sea-encompassing 9-dash line map. As former ambassador to the United Nations Lauro Baja said, “When we filed a case against China at the U.N. that was the end of diplomacy.”

The submission of the Memorial on the case today at the U.N. Court’s headquarters at The Hague further reinforced the hostility.

As a sovereign country, the Philippines has every right to choose who to be friends with and who to take on. The Aquino government has chosen to battle with China. It’s a move applauded by allies who are uncomfortable with the enormous strength of modern China but are hesitant to antagonize the world’s second largest economy.
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March 30, 2014 10:46 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Malaya  50 Comments

PH files Memorial in UN case vs China

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza.

By Ellen Tordesillas, VERA Files

The Philippines submitted its Memorial before the Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in The Hague, Netherlands in the suit it filed to nullify China’s 9-dash line map, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said today.

China’s reaction:

Del Rosario said the 4,000 page Memorial consisting of 10 volumes “demonstrates that the Arbitral Tribunal has jurisdiction “over the case and that every claim in the Statement of Claim filed on Jan. 22, 2013 “is meritorious.”

China’s 9-dash line map covers almost the whole of South China Sea and encroaches on several parts of Philippine territory.
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March 30, 2014 9:39 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Vera Files  One Comment

Discover Antique this summer

Calachuchi blooms perfume the island of Nogas. Thanks to for the photo.

Calachuchi blooms perfume the island of Nogas. Thanks to for the photo.

Looking for places to visit this summer?

Try the not-so-trodden paths. Try the perfumed island of Nogas in Antique.

Located in the northern most part of Antique, Nogas Island is 24 hectares of deep and lush forest. If you want to explore it, better get a guide familiar with the island. It’s easy to lose one’s way exploring the inner part of the islands because of the lack of pathways.
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March 29, 2014 1:33 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Malaya, Travel  2 Comments

PH ignores China request to delay filing of Memorial vs 9-dash line

China's 9-dask line

China’s 9-dash line

By Ellen T. Tordesillas, VERA Files

Despite Chinese requests to delay it, the Philippines is filing on March 30 its memorandum challenging before the United Nations China’s territorial claims over the South China Sea.

The memorandum, called a Memorial in international law, will be filed with the Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) at The Hague in the Netherlands, contesting China’s 9-dash line territorial rule.

Under the 9-dash line rule, China claims almost the whole of the South China Sea as part of its territory, but the Philippines and three other Southeast Asian nations are staking various claims to parts of the area.

Sources said the Chinese government had asked President Aquino through back channels to wait a little longer before filing the Memorial.
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March 28, 2014 12:45 am  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Vera Files  18 Comments

Gym safety

Lance Raymundo. Photo from ABS-CBN online.

Lance Raymundo. Photo from ABS-CBN online.

One goes to the gym to become fit and healthy and it’s distressing if one ends up in a hospital like actor-singer Lance Raymundo.

The unfortunate incident with Raymundo last week should be a reminder to gym goers to always be careful.

In Cecile Van Straten’s blog, Lance related what happened Wednesday last week: “There was an 80-lb. barbell on top of me because the workout was a ‘superset’, meaning, right after I do 10 reps with the barbell with the help of my trainer, I rest it back in place and proceed to do the dumbbell fly workout.

“After completing 10 reps of the dumbbell flies, the trainer leaned forward to assist me in lowering the dumbbells, but his body weight accidentally dislodged the barbell, which fell on my face and smashed it.

“This kind of superset workout has been done in many gyms for over 30 years, so it’s not a new workout. But I guess talking to other people while assisting someone can prove to be dangerous.”
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March 25, 2014 9:59 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Health, Malaya  2 Comments

Is it ethical for a journalist to also solicit ads?

Erwin Tulfo

Erwin Tulfo

Hopefully, this latest controversy involving broadcasters in a government corruption case would result in reforms in the media industry.

A Philippine Daily Inquirer report said three broadcast journalists received payments from National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor), an agency under the Department of Agriculture that was used as conduit for the release of Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) money that went into ghost projects.

Melo del Prado

Melo del Prado

The anomalous operations were the handiwork of Janet Napoles in connivance with lawmakers including Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Bong Revilla.

Based on the affidavits of former Nabcor officials Rhodora Mendoza and Victor Cacal, Inquirer named Erwin Tulfo of TV5 and Carmelo del Prado Magdurulang of GMA7. A third broadcaster who allegedly got P2 million was not named in the report although the name is being mentioned in the media circle.
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March 23, 2014 9:21 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Graft and corruption, Malaya, Media  17 Comments