Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Corona got P10-M ‘reduction’ in price of ‘damaged’ Taguig condo–witness

MANILA, Philippines—An official of Megaworld Corp. testified on Tuesday said that the company gave a P10-million “reduction” to Chief Justice Renato Corona when he and his wife bought a P14.5-million condominium unit in Taguig City.

“From P24 million, it’s basically P10 million,” said Noli Herandez, senior vice president for marketing and sales of Megaworld when asked by private prosecutor Joseph Perez how much was the total reduction the company gave to Corona.

Hernandez was referring to a penthouse unit at The Bellagio in Taguig City that Corona bought in September 2008 for P14.5 million.

The witness said the original prize of the property was P24 million but because it sustained “water damage” due to a typhoon, Megaworld lowered the prize to P19.6 million.

And because Corona paid the property in less than a year, Hernandez said the company gave him a P5-million discount.

Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, who was presiding over the trial, explained that a reduced price was different from a discounted price.

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Corona impeach trial resumes; more prosecution witnesses to be presented

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate sitting as an impeachment court resumed on Tuesday, the 9th day of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona since it started last January 16, 2012.

Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile banged the gavel to open the trial at around 2:00 p.m..

At the resumption of the hearing, the prosecution team is expected to present more witnesses, including representatives of different property developers, in connection with Article 2 of the complaint pertaining to Corona’s alleged failure to disclose his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.

In the past hearings, the prosecution presented witnesses to prove its allegation that Corona did not declare all his properties in his SALN or that he has allegedly used his wife and some family members to hide his properties.

Chief Justice Impeachment Trial

Young lawyer stands ground in Corona trial

Private prosecutor Joseph Joemer Perez stood his ground before defense counsel Serafin Cuevas and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile for an hour or so at the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Observers noted it was the first time in the first eight days of the trial that a prosecutor was not “eaten alive” by the defense.

Perez, 31, was assigned to directly examine prosecution witness Giovanni Ng, finance director of Megaworld Corp. on the supposed properties of Corona and his wife Cristina that the Chief Justice had allegedly failed to declare in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.

Despite the objections raised by Cuevas, a former Supreme Court Justice and justice secretary, Perez spoke firmly and without hesitation as he asserted the relevance of the questions he posed to the witness.

Perez, a valedictorian and cum laude of the University of the Philippines College of Law in 2004, was querying Ng about the P14.5-million penthouse at The Bellagio in Taguig City allegedly owned by Corona when Cuevas launched a barrage of objections.

At one point, Ng told the impeachment court that a Bellagio penthouse unit would be considered prime property as it had a sweeping view of the Manila Golf Course and is only affordable to individuals belonging to the A-B class.

“That unit bought by the spouses Renato and Cristina Corona, is it a penthouse or an ordinary unit?” asked Perez, who placed eighth in the bar examinations.

“No basis, your honor,” Cuevas interjected, addressing Senate President Enrile. “There were no previous questions relative to the character of the property to be testified,” he said.

“Let the witness just answer,” Enrile replied. “Let’s see how it is relevant or material.”

When Perez asked Ng about the number of bedrooms, Cuevas again intervened, saying Ng was “incompetent” to comment.

“Lay the basis (for the question),” Enrile challenged Perez, prompting the prosecutor to rephrase his question.
“Are you familiar with basic characteristics of this penthouse,” he asked Ng.

“Very leading, your honor,” Cuevas protested.

“Your honor,” Perez replied. “Precisely I am asking…”

Enrile ordered him to continue.

“Are you familiar with the basic characteristics or layout of this property,” he asked again.

“This is precisely the same question, your honor,” Cuevas barked, “that, we have been objecting to and we were sustained by the court. There is no basis here, not even any showing.”

“Actually, your honor, the objection was overruled,” Perez noted confidently.

The exchange exasperated Enrile who turned to Ng. “Witness,” the Senate President asked. “Are you familiar with the penthouse? Have you been there?”

“No, Sir,” Ng said hesitantly.

“Objection sustained,” Enrile said, siding with Cuevas.

Rephrasing his question, Perez asked Ng: “Do you know how many floors there are?”

“Immaterial, your honor,” Cuevas butted in. “And unless you can show the materiality…”

“Let the witness answer,” Enrile cut him.

The Bellagio has 38 floors and that Corona’s penthouse is on 38th  floor, Ng said.

“Is The Bellagio I still under construction or already completed,” Perez asked.

“Your honor, the witness now being made to testify on personal knowledge and there is no basis…” Cuevas protested anew.

“If he knows, let the witness go ahead,” Enrile said, banging his gavel.

Ng replied that Bellagio I, the building where Corona’s penthouse is located, was completed sometime between 2008 and 2009.

“Can we ask the witness to speak louder,” Cuevas asked.  “I’m having a hard time…”

“Yes, please,” Enrile agreed. “I’m also having a hard time (listening).”

“Kindly articulate your vowels and your consonants,” he asked Ng.

At this point, Perez asked Ng whether the P14.5 million that Corona allegedly paid for the penthouse was a regular or discounted price.

“No basis, your honor,” Cuevas butted in.

“Your honor, precisely I’m asking the witness…” Perez was about to explain.

“With the kind indulgence of the honorable court,” Cuevas began. “I thought the witness was being made to testify solely on basis of the documents he had produced…”

“No,” Enrile said. “But (Perez) is asking whether there is a discount…”

“But this is now a question which elicits an answer based on the personal knowledge of the witness,” Cuevas explained. “There is no predicate…”

“Wait a minute,” Enrile butted in. “My understanding is that this witness as presented as finance officer of the corporation and is in charge of sale (and) contracts dealing with sale. Therefore he must know the prices of units being sold.”

Enrile banged his gavel again.

Before Ng gave an answer, he said that his information about discounts given to clients came from the marketing department that he consulted upon receiving the impeachment court’s subpoena.
“Based on what I was told, for long payment terms that reach an average of four years…” the witness said.
“Wait a minute,” Enrile cut in. “What you’re saying is based on knowledge or info of another. Sustain objection! He is giving hearsay and I sustain the objection!”

Perez asked Enrile to reconsider. “Yes, but he will testify giving hearsay evidence and that is prohibited here,” Enrile asserted.

“Your honor, we will invoke the independently relevant tool. So, at the very least, your honor,” Perez pleaded. “Explain,” the Senate President told the young lawyer.

“It is independently relevant to know what is the information given to this witness with respect to the regular selling price of this particular…” Perez said.

“Qualify the witness so he would be competent,” the Senate President ordered.

Cuevas raised his hand again. “There is no question as to the conversation (that took) place between this witness and (the marketing department). But as to the accuracy of what was stated or transmitted, we do not object. But what we are objecting (to) is the nature of the testimony,” he said.

“I will allow the answer,” Enrile said firmly.

Perez was about to ask Ng again about the information from marketing when Cuevas interjected anew.
“Again, your honor, it’s very clear,” the former Supreme Court justice said objecting.

“There has already been a ruling, your honor,” Perez said, defending his question.

“Counsel for defense,” an amused Enrile addressed Cuevas,  “let us allow the counsel for prosecution to proceed.”

“Submitted, your honor,” Cuevas replied chuckling.

Corona Trial

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cuevas urged to name lawyer who asked him to drop Corona defense

MANILA, Philippines — Former Supreme Court Justice Serafin Cuevas must first name the lawyer who allegedly approached him to abandon the defense team of Chief Justice Renato Corona, a senator-judge said Monday.

Senator Panfilo Lacson said this would allow the Senate act “appropriately”, warning that the unidentified lawyer faces indirect contempt from the Senate-turned-impeachment court.

“It’s a serious accusation. Dapat matanong mamaya. Dapat sa court yun [It should be asked later in court],” said Lacson.

“It tends to undermine the prosecution kasi kung nilalapitan sya, lalo ngayon may allusion Malacanang. Serious yun. Yung court hindi naman pwedeng hindi tingnan rin yun [because if he is being approached specially that there's now allusion to Malacanang. That's serious. The court can't just not look into it],” he said.

Lacson said the court may compel Cuevas to name the lawyer either in public hearing or executive session.

After all, the senator said, it was Cuevas himself who made his accusation in public in an article published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“It’s incumbent [for Cuevas] to tell the court the whole details of this accusation so the court can act appropriately, because if he can substantiate it, we can tackle action against that person,” said the senator.

Asked if the court could summon the unnamed lawyer, Lacson said, “We can even cite him for indirect contempt because he’s officer of the court.”

Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos was not surprised by Cuevas’ allegation that the alleged pressure must have come from Malacanang, noting that no less than President Benigno Aquino III was behind theimpeacment bid against Corona.
“We all know that this entire process was initiated by the President, we know that. They can deny it, but maliwanag na maliwanag naman so its not exactly surprise na may tao nya na kukumbisnihin sya [Cuevas],” said Marcos in a separate interview.

“Knowing Cuevas, he’ll be flattered by that kasi natatakot sila sa kanya,” he said.
Asked if the allegation would cast doubt on the impeachment proceeding, Marcos said, “Again I don’t think there are any surprises here because it’s very clear, this entire impeachment process is initiated and is beign encoursged and is being held by the Palace. Sabihin nila hindi pero alam naman nating lahat, diyan lahat nanggaling ito.”

Marcos said it would be up to Cuevas to identify the lawyer if he wants the impeachment court to do something about his allegation.

“If he wants the court to do something about this, he has to identify the and he has to show proof na talagang may lumapit sa kanya,” the senator added.

Corona Impeachment Videos

Friday, January 27, 2012

De Lima says will appear at impeach trial if asked

MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said she would appear if asked before the Senate impeachment court to testify against Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“If subpoenaed, yes, I will,” De Lima said.
De Lima met with partylist Representative Neri Colmenares last Wednesday. Colmenares is the lead prosecutor for Article 7 of the Articles of Impeachment, which accuses the chief magistrate of betrayal of public trust.
“We met and we made initial discussions on the possible parameters of my testimony,” De Lima said.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is mum on the plan of the prosecution panel to summon Associate Justices Maria Lourdes Sereno and Presbitero Velasco, as well as Court Administrator and Spokesman Jose Midas Marquez.
INQUIRER.net sent several text messages and made several calls to Marquez’ office but there was no response as of this posting.

Renato Corona

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

PBA Finals: Talk ‘N Text seizes huge 2-0 lead over Powerade

MANILA, Philippines – Talk ‘N Text overcame a Powerade squad that showed it deserves to be in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals, needing to play brilliantly for the whole 48 minutes to hammer out a 102-96 victory and take a 2-0 lead.

Jimmy Alapag and Jason Castro shone for the Texters, who nearly blew a 12-point fourth-quarter lead before pulling out all the stops in the final three minutes to prevail at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and push the Tigers in a deeper hole.

“We still need to get two more (victories),” coach Chot Reyes told reporters later. “We can’t relax and we must keep our foot on the pedal against what I think would be Powerade’s mightiest fighback (in Game 3).

Alapag finished with 23 points, with his biggest basket—his fifth triple—coming at the final 1:19 mark that gave the Texters a 99-93 lead.

Castro, who shared Finals MVP honors with Alapag last season, scattered 19 while being assigned as one of several players who tried to stop high-scoring Powerade superstar Gary David.

David got his 30 points and earned the ultimate praise from Reyes, who described his effort as the “Gary David special that he had the privilege of watching from courtside.”

“I just told the guys that we just have to withstand it,” Reyes said. “Gary got his 30 (points) but I felt we did a good job on the other players.”

Game 3 is scheduled tomorrow also at the Big Dome, and Reyes is hopeful that a piece of PBA history does not happen to him twice.

Reyes also had a similar 2-0 lead while coaching Coca-Cola in 2003, against Talk ‘N Text and Joel Banal, when the Tigers were looking to win the all-Filipino crown for the second straight season.

That Texters team didn’t yield a game after that and went on to win the first AFC for their franchise, which proved to be Talk ‘N Text’s last championship before team owner Manny V. Pangilinan came up with a stroke of brilliance by bringing Reyes in to coach in 2008.

After being held to a playoff low 19 points in a 100-116 Game 1 loss in Digos, Davao del Sur last Saturday, David fired 21 in the first half but the Tigers still trailed, 51-56.

JV Casio came back after sitting out the series opener and contributed 17 points, his presence helping free up David.

“It really does not matter whether we are 0-2 or 0-3, as long as we have that chance, we will keep fighting,” Powerade’s Bo Perasol said. “I believe we have a special reason why we are here.”

Meanwhile, Meralco and Barako Bull yesterday came to terms for a one-on-one trade involving Chico Lanete and Paul Artadi. The deal will be decided upon by commissioner Chito Salud today.

Before Game 3, the league’s board of governors will also tackle Marcus Douthit’s application to play in the coming Commissioner’s Cup in its regular meeting.

The scores:

TALK ‘N TEXT 102—Alapag 23, Castro 19, Fonacier 13, Peek 10, Carey 9, Williams 8, Reyes 7, De Ocampo 7, Dillinger 4, Gamalinda 2, Aguilar 0.

POWERADE 96—David 30, Casio 17, Lassiter 15, Kramer 14, Adducul 9, Vanlandingham 4, Cruz 3, Anthony 2, Antonio 2, Allera 0, Crisano 0.

Quarters: 31-25, 56-51, 80-73, 102-96

Thursday, January 19, 2012

BIR ready to release tax returns of Coronas—Henares

MANILA, Philippines—Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares on Thursday said her agency was ready to release the tax documents of Corona and his family, which are supposed to be confidential, should they get the go-signal from President Aquino.

Henares arrived at the Senate a few minutes before the impeachment trial, now on its fourth day, began at 2 p.m. “in compliance of the subpoena.” She told reporters that she believed there would not be any problem in the release of the income tax documents.

“There is a case. Transparency and accountability are the issues. I personally don’t think there will be a problem,” Henares said.

Henares said that there are laws pertaining to the release of confidential tax documents. The BIR is only allowed to disclose the tax documents when the BIR is filing charges against persons or if it needs to defend itself against charges, when the Ombudsman requests the documents to support charges that it would file, or when the President of the Philippines orders the release through the secretary of finance.

Henares said that she had not brought any documents yet because they were still collating them and the subpoena was received only on Wednesday afternoon.
All documents could be ready by Friday or Tuesday next week, Henares said. It was taking a long time because they were required to bring the original and the photocopies and because there were bureaucratic procedures that they need to comply with first, she said.

Henares said that she was ready to testify about other matters such as the “doctrine of lifestyle check,” should she be called on Thursday.

Corona Impeachment Photos

Corona bought P14.5M condo unit, says witness

MANILA, Philippines—A deed of absolute sale pertaining to a 303.5-square-meter condominium unit in Taguig City in the names of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona and wife, Cristina, was presented by a witness during the impeachment trial on Thursday.

The deed of absolute sale was among the documents brought to the Senate acting as an impeachment court by Randy Rutaquio, the register of deeds of Taguig City.
“The deed of absolute sale pertains to the so called Bellaggio…residences with Megaworld Corp. appearing as seller and with the espouses Cristina Corona and Renato Corona being the buyers,” said Cavite Representative Elpidio Barzaga, a member of the prosecution team.

The deed of sale, Barzaga said, covered one condominium unit with an area of 303.5 square meters and three parking slots with an area of 12.50 square meters each listed in separate condominium certificate of titles.

“For the record also, I would like to manifest that the selling price as indicated in this deed of absolute sale is P14,510,225,” said Barzaga.

“And further, I’d like to manifest that, in the SALN (statement of assets, liabilities and net worth) which was presented and identified, these Taguig properties were declared for the first time in the SALN of the respondent, Chief Justice Renato Corona, for the year 2010,” Barzaga added.

Corona’s lead counsel, former Supreme Court Associate Justice Serafin Cuevas, immediately moved to strike out Barzaga’s manifestations.

Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, who was presiding over the trial, ruled in favor of Cuevas.

Read more news about Renato Corona.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cebu courts ventilate support for CJ Corona

Tarpaulins and posters expressing support for embattled Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona were posted at the doors of local courts in Cebu City at the start of the impeachment proceedings in the Senate yesterday.

“Uphold Judicial Independence. Stand By Chief Justice Renato Corona” read some of the tarpaulins, some of which show Corona waving to the crowd with his wife beside him clapping her hands.

About 10 out of 22 Regional Trial Courts in Cebu City have posted the tarpaulins.
The other courtrooms were reportedly waiting for their respective judges to decide whether or not to post the tarpaulins.

Of the eight Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) courts, four have posted the tarpaulins. Despite the statement of support, only a few court employees spoke out on Corona.

“Mosuporta ko ni Corona kay sa judiciary ko nabuhi. (I will support Corona because I earn a living in the judiciary),” said Anifeth Dandan, a court stenographer of RTC Branch 9.

She advised the chief justice to face the impeachment complaint so he could defend himself. Arturo Batoctoy, a court process server, agreed.

“Ang-ang dili mi mo-supporta ni Corona nga amo man na nga amo. (Of course, we will support Corona because he is our boss),” he said.

But if Corona is proven guilty, Batoctoy said the chief justice should be removed from office.

The tarpaulins were sponsored by the Philippine Judges Association, Philippine Trial Judges League, Asia Pacific Bar Association, and the Philippine Association of Court Employees.

The materials were reportedly sent from Manila to Cebu City.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City chapter earlier urged Corona to take a leave of absence while the impeachment trial against him goes on.

In a resolution, the lawyers’ group said a recess will help Corona “concentrate on his defense and dispel any doubts from critics that he is using the High Court as a veritable shield” from his alleged violations.

Lawyer Rex Fernandez, one of the advisers of the House prosecution panel, said they want to expedite the impeachment proceedings.

He said the prosecution is expecting Corona’s lawyers to use technicalities to escape liabilities.

“The prosecution would want to speed up things,” Fernandez told Cebu Daily News.

He said Corona’s camp want to present the chief justice as an underdog. “I don’t think its working,” Fernandez said.

Rights lawyer Democrito Barcenas said regardless of the outcome, Corona’s reputation had already been stained.

Barcenas was appointed by President Aquino III as one of the directors of the Philippine National Oil Co.

“He (Corona) should resign. Resignation is not an act of defeat but the highest form of statemanship. Resignation is the best option to spare the nation from conducting further proceedings and fighting,” Barcenas told Cebu Daily News. Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol and Correspondent Patricia Andrea Pateña


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In The Know: The Corona Impeachment

E-BOOK. Get up to speed on the trial in our new e-book, “In The Know: The Corona Impeachment.” Download it at http://bit.ly/Inquirer-digital for your iPad or Android tablet or desktop PC. The e-book is free for digital edition subscribers.

MOBILE. On the go? Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467 for highlights of the impeachment trial or read stories on your mobile phone at m.inquirer.net.
RADIO. No time to watch the trial live? Catch up via the Radyo Inquirer 990AM impeachment trial podcasts at www.inquirer.net/corona-impeachment-trial.

SOCIAL. Trial highlights on the @inquirerdotnet Twitter account and Inquirer.net and Philippine Daily Inquirer on Facebook.

WEB. Read our liveblog of the trial as well as an interactive timeline at www.inquirer.net/corona-impeachment-trial.

Corona Impeachment Podcast

Monday, January 16, 2012

Remittances reach $1.78B in Nov. ’11

MANILA, Philippines—Remittances from overseas-based Filipinos coursed through banks reached $1.78 billion in November 2011, up 10.6 percent from $1.61 billion in the same month in 2010, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has reported.

This brought the total remittances for the first 11 months of 2011 to $18.32 billion, up 7.3 percent from $17.07 billion in the same period last year.

The data as of November was on track of the full-year remittance growth target of 7 percent set by the BSP.

Remittances are a closely watched indicator as these  help fuel household consumption, which is a key growth driver for the economy.

Philippine Peso Exchange Rate

Impeachment court denies Corona motion for preliminary hearing

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate acting as an impeachment court turned down a motion by Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona for preliminary hearing “for lack of merit.”

“It appeared that the filing of the verified impeachment complaint was made in accordance with paragraph 4 of Section 3 , Article II of the Constitution. There’s no more need for a preliminary hearing to receive evidence on this matter. The Senate shall forthwith proceed for that’s the mandate to us given by the Constitution with the trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona on the articles of impeachment in accordance of the mandate of the Constitution,” said Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, who made the ruling on the motion.

“In view of the foregoing, the motion for preliminary hearing filed by the Chief Justice Corona is denied for lack for merits so ordered,” Enrile said.

After making the ruling, Enrile then called a representative from prosecution and defense teams for opening statements.

Corona’s motion was the first issue tackled by the Senate impeachment court when it formally opened the trial past 2:00 p.m.

Corona’s lead counsel, former Supreme Court Justice Serafin Cuevas, argued that the impeachment complaint filed against his client did not comply with the requirement of the Constitution when it was hastily transmitted to the Senate last Dec. 14, 2011.

Cuevas noted that Corona was not notified by the House of Representatives and was not given a chance to prove the allegations lodged against him.

“There’s no compliance with the requirement. We’re not delaying the proceeding. We’re not trying to lengthen the duration of the proceeding but were merely asserting our rights,” he said.

Visit more and read Current Events in Philippines.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tropang Texters, ElastoPainters forge Game 7 deciders

MANILA, Philippines — Talk N’ Text and Rain or Shine gutted out contrasting victories over their respective rivals in the PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night to forge the first double Game 7 semifinal deciders in the league this Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Tropang Texters outlasted the Petron Blaze Boosters, 111-108, behind the heroics of Jimmy Alapag, and the Elasto Painters finished strong in taming the Powerade Tigers, 112-98, to set up the two winner-take-all showdowns for the championship slots of the season’s initial tournament. 

 Alapag summed it up best after putting up a show that reminded everyone that he is the league’s reigning MVP.

“This is still our championship and it’s ours until somebody takes it away,” the pint-sized Alapag said after a brilliant effort of 29 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds before a jam-packed Smart Araneta Coliseum.

After falling behind, 1-3, the Texters became just the first team in 13 previous occasions to take the proud Petron/San Miguel franchise to a deciding game after the Boosters had erected a 3-1 lead.

The Elasto Painters drew firepower from their backcourt led by Jeff Chan, who had 26 points, and super rookie Paul Lee, who accounted for 15.
“Our energy level was a lot better today than it was the last time,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao. “We played their three scorers well. We made them work for their baskets.”

Marcio Lassiter and Gary David scored 30 apiece for the Tigers, marking the seventh time in Powerade’s last eight games that David breached the mark.
The Painters and the Tigers take first crack at a Finals berth on Wednesday in the 5:15 p.m. game. Talk ‘N Text-Petron will clash later at 7:30 p.m.

“We will fight and fight until we can’t fight anymore,” said Alapag, who scored 19 of his total in the final two periods. “We stuck together and found a way to get to where we are now.”

Only two teams in the 36-year history of the league have ever come back from a 1-3 deficit to prevail. Ginebra San Miguel first pulled off the trick in the 1991 Open Conference behind that famous Rudy Distrito fallaway that beat the Turbochargers.

Purefoods duplicated the feat in the 2006 All-Filipino Conference semifinals against Alaska.

Ranidel de Ocampo fired 23 points and Larry Fonacier had 15, including a triple with 69 seconds left that gave the defending champions a 106-102 lead.
“Of course we are frustrated. But it’s our fault,” Petron coach Ato Agustin said. “I think we lost our focus, especially on defense. If they score 100 points up, we are going to lose the game.”

The scores:
First Game
TALK ‘N TEXT 111—Alapag 29, De Ocampo 23, Fonacier 15, Peek 12, Castro 11, Gamalinda 5, Aguilar 5, Dillinger 5, Carey 4, Williams 2, Alvarez 0.

PETRON BLAZE 108—Santos 20, Cabagnot 18, Lutz 16, Ildefonso 16, Miranda 14, Tugade 10, Yeo 8, Reyes 6.
Quarters: 25-23, 47-44, 79-74, 111-108

Second Game
RAIN OR SHINE 112—Chan 26, Lee 15, Matias 14, Buenafe 11, Norwood 8, Rodriguez 8, Cruz 6, Quinahan 6, Ibanes 6, Tang 5, Belga 5, Arana 2.

POWERADE 98—Lassiter 30, David 30, Kramer 15, Anthony 10, Casio 7, Antonio 5, Lingganay 1, Martinez 0, Vanlandingham 0, Allera 0, Cruz 0, Adducul 0, Crisano 0.
Quarters: 22-30, 54-50, 80-76, 112-98

Read more PBA News here. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Coral reefs in Philippines among world’s most endangered

MANILA, Philippines?The coral reefs of the Philippines are some of the most endangered in the world from overfishing, pollution and climate change, according to an international report on the state of world reefs.

The World Resources Institute (WRI) and several international environmental groups recently released a study, Reefs at Risk Revisited, showing that 75 percent of the world?s coral reefs are threatened by local pressures such as unsustainable fishing, coastal pollution and development.

Ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures also contribute to coral bleaching and death, the study said.

If left unchecked, more than 90 percent of reefs will be threatened by 2030 and nearly all reefs will be at risk by 2050, the report said.

The loss of reefs could be devastating for many countries. Coral reefs provide food and livelihood to about 850 million people. They also give shoreline protection and support industries like fisheries and tourism.

If certain at-risk coral reefs are not protected, several countries will be economically threatened, it warned.

It identified nations as being the most socially and economically vulnerable to coral reef degradation and loss, noting that reefs provide food, tourism and coastal protection to these countries.
The nine are: Haiti, Grenada, the Philippines, Comoros, Vanuatu, Tanzania, Kiribati, Fiji and Indonesia.

The coral reefs in these countries face serious threats, but the governments do not have the adaptive capacity to protect them, the report said.
These nations represent key priorities for concerted national and local efforts to reduce reef dependence and build adaptive capacity, alongside reducing immediate threats to reefs, the report said.

In the Philippines?which is in the so-called Coral Triangle region with the highest diversity of corals, fish, and other reef species anywhere in the world?the reefs are being threatened by unsustainable fishing and population stress, the study said.

It also noted that deforestation and the loss of mangroves have contributed to the decline of reefs in the country.

Massive bleaching
Last year, a group of Filipino scientists reported massive coral bleaching in Philippine waters because of global warming. According to the marine scientists and divers, the massive bleaching of coral reefs all over the country was caused by warmer-than-normal ocean water temperatures.

The WRI study said that coral reefs in Southeast Asia, one of the most diverse in the world and which makes up 28 percent of the global reefs, ?are the most threatened.

Overfishing is the greatest threat to coral reefs in the Southeast Asian region, it said.

Destructive fishing alone affects at least 60 percent of reefs in the region, the report said.

Unmitigated human development in the coasts of the Southeast Asian countries also denigrates the reefs.

Coastal development is variable, but dense populations around the mainland continental shores, the entire Philippine archipelago, and around Java and Sulawesi in Indonesia affect almost all reefs in those areas, the report said.

The Coral Triangle, recognized as the global epicenter of marine biodiversity, refers to a roughly triangular area of the tropical marine waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste that contain at least 500 species of reef-building corals.

By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:34:00 02/26/2011
Most Read News Philippines

Thursday, January 12, 2012

175 private citizens allotted seats to impeachment trial of Chief Justice

MANILA, Philippines—Young-looking senior citizens are advised to bring identification cards, preferably the ones with their birth dates indicated, if they wish to avail of the 25 slots allotted to them inside the Senate gallery for the duration of Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment trial.

“Because some of the senior citizens look like they’re only 40 years old,” noted retired Brig. Gen. Jose Balajadia, chief of the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms (OSSAA).

“That’s true,” he insisted at the weekly Kapihan sa Senado forum on Thursday. “Some of them look young.  So if you’re a young-looking senior, please bring your ID,” the Senate security chief appealed.

Like a blockbuster movie with limited seating, Corona’s impeachment trial in the Senate will provide seats to 175 private individuals, including 25 senior citizens inside the session hall.

The session hall has a seating capacity of 361.  However, many of the seats have already been allotted to the staff of senator-judges, House prosecutors and defense lawyers who will participate in the trial.

Even media has not been spared from the limited seating conundrum.

Senate director for print media services Samuel Y. Santos said only 40 seats were allotted for various media entities including print, television, radio that would cover the trial.

Santos said the slots could be raffled off “shortly before lunch” in case more than 40 journalists indicate interest in covering the trial from the session hall.

Balajadia said all tickets for private viewers would be distributed at the police outpost in front of the pedestrian gate of the Senate entrance.

“We will give tickets starting 11 a.m.  We advise everybody to line up early because (the distribution) would be a first-come-first-served basis,” he said.

The impeachment court spokesperson, Atty. Valentina Cruz, stressed that only one pass will be issued to each person at the line.

Balajadia stressed that all cellular phones of private individuals watching the trial should be turned off once they enter the session hall.

“Media can use their cellphones (inside the session hall) but please put them on silent (mode). And talking on the cell phones while the trial is going on (is prohibited). Because the conversations would be heard by senator-judges,” he explained.

Texting by reporters “is okay,” Balajadia said, “but the rest of the people, the public, we expect them to turn off their cell phones.”

Cruz warned in the same forum that all persons, whether private individuals or journalists, “can be evicted” if caught taking photos or videos of the impeachment proceedings.

She also said private citizens wearing shorts, undershirts or slippers would not be admitted to the session hall.

“This is to preserve the dignity of the impeachment trial,” she explained.

Reporters, meanwhile, are required to cover the trial in “appropriate attire.” Men are expected to wear “slacks, pants and suit pants” as well as “collared short or long-sleeved shirts.”  Denim jeans can also be worn as long as these are not faded, torn or “worn with rugged shirts.”

Women can also wear slacks and business suits as well as casual dresses if the hem is “knee length or below the knee.” Sleeveless blouses should be worn with a cardigan, Cruz stressed.

Anthony Samonte, OSSAA security support service director, warned that shirts bearing “propaganda” messages, pins and other paraphernalia would not be allowed inside the session hall.

“Guests will also be restricted to designated areas and will not be allowed to roam around,” he added.

Cruz said the doors to the session hall would be closed at exactly 2 p.m., the beginning of the trial.

“We close doors but they would not be locked. That is how we implement the provision of the rules,” she explained.

By Cathy Yamsuan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Chief Justice Impeachment Trial

Arroyo gets back at Aquino

MANILA, Philippines—Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo  unleashed a barrage of criticisms against President Aquino for vilifying her before the bar of public opinion and accused him of  trying to erase her legacy.

In a paper read at a press conference at the Manila Hotel, Arroyo highlighted the achievements of  her nine-year presidency but derided the performance of the almost two-year-old Aquino administration.

“Indeed, it’s so easy to claim achievements that have already been accomplished by others, and take credit for what is there when the one who did the work has gone. Just make sure she is forgotten, or, if remembered, vilified,” said Arroyo.

Arroyo, who now represents Pampanga in Congress but is under hospital arrest on a charge of electoral sabotage, left no stone unturned in her sweeping criticism of Aquino contained in a 19-page “economic paper” read by University of the Philippines economics professor Gonzalo Jurado.

“Neither the President nor anyone else can truly expect to govern the next five years with nothing but a sorry mix of vilification, periodically recycled promises of action followed by lethargy, backed up by few if any results, and presumptuously encouraging gossip about one’s love life in which no one can possibly be interested,” said Arroyo.

Arroyo defended the gains of her administration in the economic, educational and political spheres, but blasted Aquino for allegedly systematically erasing her legacy by the “use of black propaganda and character assassination as tools of the trade.”

She said Aquino had no “will and the skill to properly navigate such uncertain waters,” referring to the various crises that confronted his administration starting with the bungled Luneta hostage situation  in 2010, failure to rescue Filipinos from death row in China, failure to promptly evacuate Filipinos during the Japan earthquake, and inability to secure the safety of overseas workers from the political unrest in Libya.

She scored Aquino for the continued high poverty incidence in the country, and inability to shield the country from the global economic crisis by uncertain economic policies.

Current Events in Philippines

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

‘Bourne Legacy’ movie starts filming in the heart of Manila

MANILA, Philippines—Venus Reinoso, 22, said she felt the shivers after seeing Academy Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz in the flesh Wednesday morning, right in the middle of the San Andres Public Market in Malate.

The British actress arrived in Manila on Sunday night for the filming of the Hollywood spy-thriller “The Bourne Legacy.” Weisz, dressed in a black tank top and blue jeans, walked a total of seven minutes from her van that was parked at the nearby San Andres Complex to the actors’ holding area in Barangay 705. She later met up with director Tony Gilroy, who was in a white button-down shirt and denim pants.

“Rachel said she couldn’t believe people in the Philippines know her,” Reinoso said in Filipino. “Is she kidding? I’m her No. 1 fan.”

Reinoso, who traveled all the way from Quezon City, said Weisz was roughly 5-foot-eight tall and was “really really beautiful in person.” Reinoso added that she was about to take pictures of the actress with her camera phone when a production staff member stopped her.

Wednesday was the first of a 45-day shoot in the Philippines. Filming will also take place in the Navotas fish port, Marikina public market, Jones Bridge, Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard, Ayala Avenue and Pasay-Taft Rotonda. Some parts will be shot in scenic spots in El Nido, Palawan.

Manila will serve as the setting for the film’s climax or the last 20 to 25 minutes. In a previous interview, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chair Briccio Santos said Manila would be part of the story. “What I know is that Bourne’s group comes here in search of a rare medication and some forces try to stop them,” he explained.

During Wednesdays shoot, Weisz was made to buy medicine from a local drug store located on Purok (zone) Singko, then a chase ensued all the way to a chapel on Asuncion Street, according to source who requested anonymity.

In a nearby set, a “major actor,” believed to be Academy Award-nominee Jeremy Renner (“The Hurtlocker”), rehearsed his jump from a three-story building to a two-story house. Actual filming of the scene happens on Thursday, according to the source.

Renner plays the leading man, agent Aaron Cross, in this fourth installment of the popular spy-thriller flick. Several Filipino actors were tapped to play important roles, too.

Toteng Picados, who has been living in the area for six years now, claimed he saw Renner on Monday. “It’s possible that he wanted to see for himself how far the jump would be,” Picados said in Filipino.

When the Philippine Daily Inquirer called up Philippine producer Lope “Jun” Juban Jr. to verify the information, he said this was “highly unlikely. (Picados) could have just seen one of the American stuntmen rehearsing.”

“I’m very excited about this,” Picados shared. “I’ve been awake as early as 6 a.m. I’m not at all bothered by the chaos. I’m used to the noise and because I live close to the public market.”

Bike shop owner Sonia Prieto, however, was disgruntled. She said her business was affected by the road closure around the public market. “My clients are complaining. Nahihirapan silang pumasok (They’re having a hard time entering the area.) There’s also a big truck blocking the front of my store. I heard that this would go on for four more days,” she said.

Parked on Leveriza Street were 10 trailer trucks, some marked with “sound and video,” “grip,” “lighting and effects” and “props.” On stand by were an ambulance, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and a truck carrying power generators.

Twenty five personnel from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) were deployed in the area since 4 a.m. “There’s still no word from our office as to when we could leave and go home,” MMDAemployee Rogelio Nuiz told the Inquirer at noon.

Personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the film’s local producer, Philippine Film Studio Inc. (PFSI), took charge of crowd control.

“The first day of filming went well. They were mostly day scenes and interior shots,” said Juban, adding that today’s shoot would be “more or less in the same area. There would be exterior shots, too.”

Bourne Legacy shooting

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Betting big on budget hotels

Of the seven children of the late industrialist Ramon del Rosario Sr., it was only his youngest, Jose Mari, who was able to stay with him when he was posted as ambassador to Canada, Germany and Japan.

The nine years spent helping his father dispense his official duties exposed the younger del Rosario to the very best that the glamorous yet highly competitive hotel world can offer, and he knew then that his career lay in the never-boring hospitality industry.
Thus while his elder brother, Ramon Jr.,

followed in their father’s footsteps and pursued a career in the corporate world, Jose Mari continued on to Valais, Switzerland to complete a diploma in hotel and restaurant management from Hotelconsult Schulhotels after graduating with a Commerce degree from De La Salle University.

There was no looking back since, and del Rosario was able to chart an impressive career in the hospitality industry. He started out as a front desk receptionist at the Hotel Lausanne Palace in Switzerland and worked his way up to food and beverage coordinator at The Manila Peninsula Hotel, management trainee at The Imperial Hotel in Japan and was eventually named the first Filipino general manager and chief operating officer of The Manila Hotel.

Yet when the time came for him to switch careers from employee to entrepreneur in 1997, after going through the General Managers Program of Cornell University in New York and getting his Masters of Science in Management from the Arthur D. Little School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he did not go the five-star route.

Del Rosario, who left The Manila Hotel after it was taken over by the Emilio Yap group to pursue graduate studies, surveyed the hospitality landscape in the Philippines and saw that the five-star hotel industry was limited and not contributing much to the development of the tourism sector in the Philippines.
The sector that he found more compelling was the affordable, no-frills segment of the hospitality industry that has for long been ignored and consequently underserved.

According to the father of four, a good number of today’s travelers are not actually looking for the “bells and whistles” that come with the deluxe hotels, such as the mint on the pillow at sundown, the gliding staircase and the turndown service.

What most people are looking for, del Rosario says, are a comfortable bed, a clean bathroom and safety and security. They do not want to spend too much for their accommodations since they are out of the hotel most of the day anyway. They just need a place to sleep and literally and figuratively recharge their batteries before going off again the next day.

But the middle-market travelers that Del Rosario wants to cater to will not just stay anywhere, he says. They still want a brand that they can trust and want consistency in service offerings.

This is why when the chance to bring in the Microtel brand, Del Rosario pounced on it, armed with his own money, steadfast belief in his cause and the all-important moral and financial support from his elder brother.

“I was able to convince Ramon to put in some money. He made a leap of faith for the sake of his younger brother,” recalls Del Rosario with a smile.

Paramount Property Management Co. was set up in 1997, initially to provide property management services for real estate projects that were sprouting at that time. Paramount, for instance, managed the Phinma office buildings and also the Cebu City Sports Club of the Ayala group. But just the next year, Del Rosario went back to his first love and his Paramount brought in the Microtel franchise to meet the demand for affordable hotel accommodations.

The first Microtel hotel was opened in Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac in 2001 and 10 years later, the chain has expanded into nine. Plans underway to open at least four more in 2012—one each in the expansion property of the Ayala Technohub in Quezon City, Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Naga City in Camarines Sur and the former Clark Airfield in Pampanga.

And buoyed by the success of the Microtel branches in the vacation spots of Boracay, Baguio and Puerto Princesa, Del Rosario says he is also looking to put up the Microtel brand in Panglao in Bohol and two more in Palawan.

“We are looking to expand in major crossroads and business centers as well as in tourist destinations,” says the 54-year-old Del Rosario.

Del Rosario is bullish on the growth prospects of Microtel because he expects that domestic and regional tourists will continue to rule the field, and they will most likely go for the budget hotels and not five-star accommodations.

“In 2011, 70 percent of the guests are intracountry travelers and we see that continuing up to next year,” he says, “travelers from East Asia and North Asia are coming in strongly and they are not really looking for five-star but rather value accommodations.”

In contrast, he does not see the long haul jet set market coming soon to the Philippines because of the economic difficulties in the developed countries that have drastically reduced travel budgets of their citizens.

Del Rosario says one piece of evidence that Microtel is headed in the right direction is the fervent interest shown by other real estate developers in the budget travel segment.

Megaworld Corp., SM Development Corp. Ayala Land Inc. the Gokongwei group are just some of the ‘big boys’ of real estate development now developing or are set to develop budget hotels all over the country.

To prepare for the onslaught of formidable competition, Del Rosario says that Microtel would bank on its years of experience in the sector, its track record for providing value-for-money services, location in key business centers, the backing of the Phinma group to which Paramount now belongs and growing marketing and distribution reach.

He says that Microtel’s online presence is already reaping dividends for the company, saying that many travelers are now more comfortable about booking their rooms through the Internet. Online promotions will be combined with the usual sales calls as well as presence in important local and foreign trade shows to drive traffic to Microtel.

Del Rosario concludes that Microtel has to remain nimble enough to quickly adapt to a fast-changing marketplace as he envisions competition to grow even more as more travelers around the world realize the tourism gem that is the Philippines.

Philippine Peso Exchange Rate

Friday, January 6, 2012

Food forecast for 2012

Hello 2012! Let me peer into my crystal ball and see what delights you have in store for us this leap year.

As the world welcomes the Year of the Dragon on Jan. 23, I predict lots of fiery Szechuan cooking to increase fire chi and balance out the incredible hydro-forces of the Water Dragon. I hear Mandarin Oriental will serve an eight-course lauriat dinner for the countdown to be led by feng shui master Joseph Chau while Jasmine at New World Hotel will serve an 11-course lauriat which will include dried oysters with sea moss, among other treats.

In this auspicious year, there will be lots of travel, especially to nearby Hong Kong where foodies can enjoy both foie gras burgers at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and foie gras dumplings at Man Wah at Mandarin Oriental. Foie shizzle!

I see a lot of out-of-town dates in the month of Cupid. After Tourism Secretary Mon Jimenez’s launch of the new Pilipinas campaign, couples will travel the Philippines and strengthen their love for country as they strengthen their love for each other. Rima, the Italian restaurant of Shangri-La Boracay; Vieux Chalet in Antipolo; Badjao Restaurant in Puerto Princesa; or Hill Station in Baguio all present views that will be sure to take your date’s breath away.

Health is wealth. Sustainable eating (not sustained eating, which is simply katakawan, haha) will be highlighted by restaurants. Sustainable eating means the restaurant promotes sustainable agriculture: Produce are from farms that practice sustainable farming; and nothing goes to waste as everything is cooked “from nose to tail.” Sustainable agriculture advocate ECHOstore and ECHOmarket will have more products for the responsible eater.

I also see that “locavorism,” i.e., eating food that is locally produced, will be taken to new heights as efforts are made by foodies nationwide to preserve heritage recipes.

Nitrogen will become oxygen as molecular gastronomy vanishes into thin air. Pinoys have expressed their preference for hearty as opposed to foamy meals.

Above ground
And following the likes of 1-Altitude in Singapore, partying will be waaay above ground as established by the recently opened Skye Lounge at the W Building at The Fort. Because of this development, we reckon the rise of restos with a view. For example, you may order souffles at Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie on the 34th floor of the Citibank Building in Salcedo Village and have steak at 22 Prime on the 22nd floor of Discovery Suites.

The “pop-up” will find its way into Philippine consciousness. Margarita Fores is once again at the forefront, with Pepato popping up every now and then at White Space on Pasong Tamo (like the Pepato Facebook page for updates). Later, other signature pop-ups will emerge.

Meantime, we will applaud the efforts of Pinoy pop-ups that have successfully gotten Pinoy food trending in the international market. Maharlika started a few months ago as a weekend only pop-up restaurant serving brunch at Resto Leon in New York (as per their website, they are now on first and seventh and serve both brunch and dinner). Their presentation of Filipino food is not exactly classic Pinoy. For example, the “Eggs Imelda,” a spin on the eggs benedict, uses pan de sal in lieu of an English muffin, laing in place of spinach, grilled prawn instead of bacon, a calamansi hollandaise and kamote instead of fries. But whether or not the former first lady and now congresswoman knows or approves, this Fil-Am movement must get credit for doing its part in pounding our gastro-greatness into the international psyche.

Finally, I see charity and generosity. Recovery may take a while for Sendong victims so restaurant owners, chefs, foodies young and old must come together to “feed the hungry.” Soup kitchens, donations of water and food will continue. Because the best way to receive blessings is to share them!

Happy eating, everyone! May it be a sumptuous year!

Details at margauxlicious.blogspot.com; Facebook.com/margauxlicious; twitter.com/mar -gauxsalcedo
Philippine Predictions for 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

To Reclaim their Honor

The PBA Philippines Cup’s Final Four Series in Thursday is expected to turn into one of the best basketball matches before the championship as two of the best PBA teams will square-off to test their strengths at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay after their much needed rest after the holiday season.

The PBA Philippines Cup’s Final Four Series in Thursday is expected to turn into one of the best basketball matches before the championship as two of the best PBA teams will square-off to test their strengths at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay after their much needed rest after the holiday season.

Reclaiming their Honor
The two big teams that will go head-to-head with each other this coming Thursday are Talk N’ Text and Petron Blaze. According to latest PBA News, the Tropang Texters had been on the Booster’s heels since Petron Blaze had denied Talk N’ Text a place in the history of the league, when Petron ruled last season’s Governors’ Cup to prevent the team’s fifth Grand Slam.

According to TNT coach, Chot Reyes, his squad is as ready as ever to reclaim their lost honor in this match-up against Petron Blaze, though Reyes himself have said that the fight wouldn’t be an easy one.

“It’s 50-50,” said Reyes of his return match with the Boosters which he has tried to down play as a time for them to get even. “Health and conditioning will definitely be factors, but so will hunger and execution.”

Both teams is said to possess no advantage or edge over the other, which is why PBA fans will expect a great fight between two would-be champions, a championship before a championship.

Welcoming Back their Old Teammates
According to latest PBA News, Reyes will welcome back two regular big men to his rotation in Ali Peek and Ranidel De Ocampo, but whether or not they are in game-shape and could match up with the Boosters’ frontline remain to be seen.

Peek, who survived a gunshot wound at the back of the neck last November, has started practising and could be the muscle that the Texters need in order to battle the Boosters’ big men led by Danny Ildefonso, Nonoy Baclao and the vastly improved Rob Reyes.

In addition to their two big boys, Reyes will also seek the assistance of Japeth Aguilar, the the hero in the Texters’ last win over the Boosters in the eliminations, could again be asked to play a key role by Reyes. But the 6-foot-9 beanpole must be willing to rough it up inside in order to stay on the floor long.

Petron Blazers has played a game more than the Texters after needing to win a best-of-three series against Meralco. The Boosters showed their true strength in that series, with Alex Cabagnot and Dennis Miranda proving to be the biggest headaches for their rivals.

Two of the leading candidates in the Best Player of the Conference award come from Petron, with Arwind Santos eyeing the trophy for the second straight conference. Santos has been a consistent double-double guy for Petron, finishing in double figures in both scoring and in rebounding 12 times. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Top Videos 2011 Philippines

Editor’s Note: Chief Justice Renato Corona’s declaration of war against President Benigno Aquino III is INQUIRER.net’s top video pick for 2011. His bold speech during a rally by supportive judges and court employees is a portent of things to come as he starts 2012 with his impeachment trial. This year’s picks are a combination of beauty and grit, with a reminder of a once glorious chapter in the country’s history when, 25 years ago, a people united to oust a dictator in what is now known as the Edsa Revolution

05 Shamcey visits alma maters Makati High, UP Diliman »
MANILA, Philippines—Miss Universe third runner-up Shamcey Supsup went around Metro Manila on Monday, her second day home after representing the country in the prestigious beauty pageant held last week. She visited the Makati High School where she finished high school and graduated salutatorian in 2003. Wearing lime green sun dress, Supsup arrived at her former [...]
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04 Preventing Graft »
PREVENTING GRAFT. Former auditor Heidi Mendoza is not after prosecuting the guilty, but in preventing further graft and corruption. Her solution: an active, conscientious citizenry.
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03 Edsa at 25 »
EDSA at 25. Tanks along EDSA draped in flowers, yellow confetti, songs and parade of soldiers and prominent personalities that played a part in the peaceful revolt that toppled a dictator highlighted the 25th year anniversary of EDSA People Power 1.
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02 Arroyo on her way to VMMC »
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her security convoy left St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig and was on her way to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.
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01 Corona declares war on Aquino »
FIGHTING BACK Impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona, with his wife and children behind him, comes out with all guns blazing against President Aquino during Wednesday’s rally in front of the Supreme Court building in Padre Faura, Manila. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA
Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona on Wednesday came out swinging at President Benigno Aquino III and Malacañang’s allies in the House of Representatives, claiming his impeachment was part of a plot to make the Supreme Court subservient to the whims of the administration.
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