PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK

EDSA SHRINE: SYMBOL OF UNFINISHED REVOLUTION 

DEC 17 ---PHOTO: President Aquino sits in a back pew at the mass celebrating the 25th anniversary of the consecration and dedication of the EDSA Shrine in Mandaluyong City yesterday. Shrine custodians said it was a symbol of an unfinished revolution. MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino and some members of his family attended the consecration of the EDSA Shrine on Monday night. Aquino was accompanied by his sisters Ballsy Cruz and Viel Dee during the mass officiated by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. Cruz received a miniature image of the Virgin Mary on top of the shrine in honor of their family’s contribution to the church. In his homily, Villegas said the EDSA Shrine is a symbol of the country’s unfinished revolution. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Holy cow! Vatican to open pope's farm to public 

DEC 17 --PHOTO: Cows, chickens, donkeys and ostriches on show as Pope plans to open up farm within grounds of Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residenceThe farm, which was established by Pope Pius XI in 1929, is due to be opened up to visitors next year Photo: Alamy CASTEL GANDOLFO — Pope Francis is opening the doors to an earthly paradise: the working farm at the papal summer residence here that produces the dairy, meat and vegetables for the pope and his staff. Francis has decided not to use the hilltop retreat overlooking Lake Albano, preferring to stay put in his suite at the Vatican hotel during vacations. The last time the palazzo was used was when Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI took up residence for a few months after his dramatic resignation in 2013. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: 7,000 tango dancers greet Pope Francis on his 78th birth anniversary 

DEC 17 ---HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Pope Francis waves as he leaves at the end of a meeting with journalists and employees of the Catholic television network ‘TV2000’ at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican Monday. The Pontiff turns 78 today. (AP) How does the leader of the world’s 1.2-billion strong Roman Catholic Church celebrate his 78th birth anniversary today? According to the Catholic News Agency, some 7,000 tango dancers will perform a flash mob for the Argentine pope at 4 p.m. (10 p.m., Manila time) at Rome’s Risorgimento Square, just a few steps from St. Peter’s Square. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Communist Rebels declares ceasefire for holidays, Pope's visit

DEC 17 ---MANILA, Philippines - Communist rebels on Wednesday declared a staggered ceasefire for the holidays and for the upcoming visit of Pope Francis next month. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said the holiday truce would take effect from December 24 until December 26 and from December 31 to January 1. The communist fighters’ offensives will be suspended anew from January 15 to January 19 in deference to the visit of Pope Francis. “During the aforementioned days, all units of the New People’s Army (NPA) and people’s militia are ordered to desist from carrying out offensive operations against units and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and the various armed paramilitary groups attached to the Government of the Philippines,” the CPP said in a statement. READ FULL REPORT..

ALSO: 2015 will be a luckier year – Master Chau 

PHOTO: DRAGON DANCE – Manila Bulletin Vice President and Compliance Officer Melito S. Salazar Jr., world-renowned Feng Shui expert Master Joseph Chau Kam Shing and Manila Bulletin Associate Editor Julie Yap Daza watch a dragon dance before the launching of Master Chau’s very first Feng Shui Book – Feng Shui Essentials Year of the Goat 2015 – at the Cowrie Grill in Greenhills, San Juan City yesterday. (Mark Balmores) The incoming Year of the Goat will be a luckier year than 2014. Feng Shui Master Joseph Chau Kam Shing stressed this at the launch of his book “Feng Shui Essentials Year of the Goat 2015” at the Cowrie Grill in Greenhills, San Juan City, yesterday. “Last year, we had too much fire element. This explains the thunders, explosions, and terrorisms of 2014,” Master Chau said. “In 2015, there will be less fire.” While the Year of the Goat is deemed to be a luckier one, Master Chau said the country will still be facing challenges. READ FULL REPORT...

Heads will roll in Munti, New Bilibid Prison probe part of gov’t reform agenda – Coloma 

PURGE LOOMS – Key officials of the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) are in hot water after a surprise raid at the maximum security compound of the national penitentiary uncovered the luxurious lifestyle of some influential convicts. Malacañang has already vowed that heads will roll after the conclusion of an investigation ordered by President Aquino. In this photo, a National Bureau of Investigation sniper is shown as he stood ready for any eventuality while Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was leading the raid last Monday. (Linus Guardian Escandor II) --Malacañang yesterday said that heads will roll in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) after a surprise raid at the national penitentiary uncovered the luxurious lifestyle of some inmates who are allegedly operating inside the NBP as drug lords. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Rob gang boss' music video shot in Bilibid resurfaces

MANILA, Philippines — A convicted leader of a robbery gang shot a music video and recorded an album while inside the New Bilibid Prison, where authorities found a music bar in a raid on Monday. Herbert "Ampang" Colangco's music video features him singing "Pa'no 'Yon" while a band plays behind him. It was posted on his YouTube channel in May this year. The music studio where that video was apparently recorded has a stage, a flat screen television and musical instruments and among the "kubols" found by state investigators and policemen in the drug raid led by Justice Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in the prison compound. READ FULL REPORT...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

EDSA Shrine 25th: Symbol of unfinished revolution


President Aquino sits in a back pew at the mass celebrating the 25th anniversary of the consecration and dedication of the EDSA Shrine in Mandaluyong City yesterday. Shrine custodians said it was a symbol of an unfinished revolution.

MANILA, DECEMBER 22, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Aurea Calica  - President Aquino and some members of his family attended the consecration of the EDSA Shrine on Monday night.

Aquino was accompanied by his sisters Ballsy Cruz and Viel Dee during the mass officiated by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.

Cruz received a miniature image of the Virgin Mary on top of the shrine in honor of their family’s contribution to the church.

In his homily, Villegas said the EDSA Shrine is a symbol of the country’s unfinished revolution.

“None of us, perhaps not even President Noy, imagined that he would be President of the Philippines on the silver jubilee of this church,” Villegas said.

He said the President’s mother, Corazon, was one of the main supporters of the church built after the People Power Revolution in 1986 that catapulted her to the presidency.

“The first adjective to describe the EDSA Shrine is that it was unfinished,” Villegas said.

Villegas noted that the altar’s floor was only carpeted, not tiled or marbled and that there was no sound system and the lights were not functioning well.

“And up to now, the EDSA Shrine should remain faithful to its original description – it is an unfinished church. Why so? Because the EDSA Shrine has no right…to stop moving. It has no right to be a maintenance church… Because if you will not move as a shrine, you are going to gather moss like the stones, or you’re going to gather dust like the pieces in the museum,” he said.

“The EDSA Shrine is an unfinished church and it will always be an unfinished church. I hope the rector or the succeeding rectors will not attempt to smoothen it because that is the perfect symbol of an unfinished church, of an unfinished revolution, of an unfinished mission. Everyone who comes to this church must embrace revolutions. We must be ready to pioneer. We must be ready to break boundaries. We must be ready to break records, like EDSA 1986 that broke the record of peace-making movements in the whole world,” he added.

Villegas said the EDSA Shrine should stand as the shrine of unfinished revolutions.

The EDSA Shrine – also known as the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace, Our Lady of EDSA – is a small church located at the intersection of Ortigas Avenue and Epifanio de los Santos Avenue in Barangay Ugong Norte, Quezon City.

Built in 1989 to commemorate the People Power Revolution, the shrine stands on the site of two peaceful demonstrations that toppled former Presidents Ferdinand Marcos and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

Villegas said the consecration of the church was supposed to be Dec. 8, but a coup was staged against Mrs. Aquino and that the artists, contractors and engineers failed to meet the deadline set by then Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin.

He said the shrine is transparent and small compared to other Catholic churches.

“There could be no democracy without transparency and the glass walls would show a church that was not restrictive but would help people look at the society and become agents of social transformation,” he said.

Villegas said the shrine was small because the Gokongweis could only donate 2,500 square meters of their property for the church.


FROM PHILSTAR

Holy cow! Vatican to open pope's farm to public By Daniela Berretta (Associated Press) | Updated December 17, 2014 - 7:01am 0 1 googleplus2 0


Cows, chickens, donkeys and ostriches on show as Pope plans to open up farm within grounds of Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residenceThe farm, which was established by Pope Pius XI in 1929, is due to be opened up to visitors next year Photo: Alamy

CASTEL GANDOLFO — Pope Francis is opening the doors to an earthly paradise: the working farm at the papal summer residence here that produces the dairy, meat and vegetables for the pope and his staff.

The Vatican is planning to open the farm at Castel Gandolfo to the public next year, after finding success with its guided tours of the surrounding gardens, fountains and Roma-era archaeological treasures on the sprawling estate 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Rome.

Francis has decided not to use the hilltop retreat overlooking Lake Albano, preferring to stay put in his suite at the Vatican hotel during vacations. The last time the palazzo was used was when Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI took up residence for a few months after his dramatic resignation in 2013.

Soon, the public will be able to see the free-range hens housed in a majolica-decorated chicken coop, the ostriches, turkeys, rabbits and 80 cows that feed Francis and his staff at the Santa Marta hotel.

"We wait for the order from Santa Marta," said Osvaldo Gianoli, who runs the villa. "We proceed according to that order and put together a special basket for the Holy Father that reaches his table and his kitchen."

Pope Pius XI had the farm built between 1929 and 1934, and it still operates according to the agricultural methods of the time: It's not an organic farm, but works with natural fertilizers. Synthetic chemicals are used only when strictly necessary, Gianoli said.

Eight people currently tend to the animals and vegetable patch where potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes and other produce are grown. One of the staffers, Emilio Scarsella, has been here for 33 years and served four popes. "For them I made milk, yogurt, mozzarella, butter, fresh cheese", Scarsella said, as he lifted a mound of cheese from its water.

The Castel Gandolfo complex has three villas, including Villa Barberini, the gardens of which were built over the residence of Roman Emperor Domitian. In all, the estate extends over 55 hectares (135 acres), significantly larger than the Vatican itself, which occupies 44 hectares in central Rome.

Francis himself wanted the Villa Barberini gardens to open to the public, and since its March opening some 8,000 people have passed through. Gianoli says that while plans aren't final yet, he hopes to add a visit to the farm and a more comprehensive visit to the gardens "and, why not, even the possibility of tasting our products."


FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

7,000 tango dancers greet Pope Francis on his 78th birth anniversary by Christina I. Hermoso December 17, 2014 (updated) Share this:


HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Pope Francis waves as he leaves at the end of a meeting with journalists and employees of the Catholic television network ‘TV2000’ at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican Monday. The Pontiff turns 78 today. (AP)

How does the leader of the world’s 1.2-billion strong Roman Catholic Church celebrate his 78th birth anniversary today?

According to the Catholic News Agency, some 7,000 tango dancers will perform a flash mob for the Argentine pope at 4 p.m. (10 p.m., Manila time) at Rome’s Risorgimento Square, just a few steps from St. Peter’s Square.

Cristina Camaroni, who organized the two-hour flash mob, posted on Facebook that she is very happy with the event. “We have gotten all of the permits and we will dance a milonga with the official permission of the city of Rome and the Vatican gendarmerie,” she said.

Early in the day, about 3,000 of the tango dancers, wearing white handkerchiefs around their necks, will attend Pope Francis’ regular Wednesday general audience in St. Peter’s Square. In a book review published in 2010, then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio had confessed “to like tango very much. It is something that comes from inside me,” he said. Tango is a popular dance in his native Argentina.

Last year, Pope Francis celebrated his 77th birth anniversary with a Mass at the humble priests’ guesthouse at the Vatican where he has made his home, followed by breakfast with four homeless people often seen near the Vatican.

He also welcomed his favorite football team, San Lorenzo, to the Vatican. The Buenos Aires football club, which the Pope has supported since he was a boy, won the Argentine league title last year. A six-person delegation from the club, including players and members of the management team, brought the trophy to Rome to show the pontiff, according to Bloomberg News.

In the Philippines, Rep. Eric L. Olivarez recently authored House Resolution 1683 (HR 1683) “expressing the House of Representatives’ warmest congratulations to Jorge Mario Bergoglio, more popularly known as Pope Francis, on the occasion of his 78th birthday.”

“Pope Francis is noted for his humility, his concern for the poor, and his choosing to live a simpler life and less formal and rather novel approach to the papacy,” Olivarez said.

Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936, in Flores, a barrio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was the eldest of five children of Mario Jose Bergoglio, an Italian immigrant accountant, and Regina Maria Sivori, a housewife. According to accounts, the young Jorge worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub bouncer before beginning seminary studies. His only living sibling is Maria Elena after his brother Alberto died in 2010.

According to the Vatican website, Pope Francis was ordained a priest on December 13, 1969, and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina’s provincial superior of the Society of Jesus. He became the archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was named a cardinal in Feb, 21, 2001, by Saint John Paul II.

After the resignation of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on February 28, 2013, a papal conclave elected Pope Francis on March 13 as the 266th head of the Roman Catholic Church, to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order, who was known for his vow of poverty. He is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first non-European pope since the Syrian Pope Gregory III in the year 741.

“Throughout his public life, both as an individual and as a religious leader, Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, his concern for the poor, and his commitment to dialogue as a way to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and faiths,” says a Wikipedia account on Pope Francis.

“ He is known for having a simpler and less formal approach to the papacy, most notably by choosing to reside in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse rather than the papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace used by his predecessors. In addition, due to both his Jesuit and Ignatian (after Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus) background, he is known to prefer simpler vestments void of ornamentation, including refusing the traditional papal mozzetta cape upon his election, choosing silver instead of gold for his piscatory ring, and keeping the same pectoral cross he had when he was cardinal.”

CLOSING GUANTANAMO

Meanwhile, the Vatican on Monday offered to help the United States in its efforts to close Guantanamo prison, a goal fervently supported by Pope Francis.

The offer came during talks between the pontiff’s Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, No. 2 in the Vatican hierarchy, and John Kerry, the US Secretary of State.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the Holy See welcomed recent signs President Barack Obama appears to have accelerated efforts to close the controversial facility where some detainees have been held for more than a decade without charge and tortured.

He said the Vatican stood ready to “help find adequate humanitarian solutions through our international contacts” in order to help place detainees, adding that Parolin and Kerry had discussed the issue in depth.

Obama came to power six years ago promising to close Guantanamo but has been frustrated in his efforts by a combination of opposition from Congress and the difficulties involved in finding homes for prisoners who are often unwanted by their home states and/or suspected of involvement in terrorist actions, including the September 11, 2001 attacks in some cases.

The Pope made clear his feelings on the kind of abuses associated with Guantanamo in October, when he railed against the “penal populism” that led to countries facilitating torture, using the death penalty and incarcerating people without trial.

“These abuses will only stop if the international community firmly commits to recognizing… the principle of placing human dignity above all else,” he said.

Six prisoners — four Syrians, a Palestinian, and a Tunisian — left Guantanamo earlier this month for Uruguay after 13 years of detention. That left 136 still incarcerated, 67 of whom had been cleared for release by the US administration.

Of that group, 54 are Yemenis who cannot go home because of the country’s chaotic current state.

Of the men who have not been cleared for release, some 15 are classified as “high value” detainees currently considered too dangerous to be tried or incarcerated in the United States.

For Guantanamo to be closed, Obama will have to persuade Congress to accept the transfer of this group to US facilities, which currently looks unlikely, according to most observers of the US political scene.

Kerry was in Rome for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of an effort to relaunch a peace process in the Middle East. The Vatican spokesman said Francis welcomed the US efforts on that score. (With a report from AFP)


FROM PHILSTAR

CPP declares ceasefire for holidays, Pope's visit By Alexis Romero (Associated Press) | Updated December 17, 2014 - 3:56pm 0 4 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Communist rebels on Wednesday declared a staggered ceasefire for the holidays and for the upcoming visit of Pope Francis next month.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said the holiday truce would take effect from December 24 until December 26 and from December 31 to January 1.

The communist fighters’ offensives will be suspended anew from January 15 to January 19 in deference to the visit of Pope Francis.

“During the aforementioned days, all units of the New People’s Army (NPA) and people’s militia are ordered to desist from carrying out offensive operations against units and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and the various armed paramilitary groups attached to the Government of the Philippines,” the CPP said in a statement.

“This declaration is being issued in solidarity with the Filipino people in their observance of traditional holidays which coincides with the CPP anniversary celebrations on December 26,” it added.

The CPP announced the truce two days after the military and the police declared the suspension of offensives against the rebels. The government-declared truce will take effect today (December 18) and will end on January 19.

Security officials, however, have stressed that the ceasefire would not prevent ground troops from defending themselves and civilian communities against attacks.

“The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) will continue to undertake active security operations and proactive actions to secure civilian communities, government establishments, investment facilities, vital installations and military bases,” AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said in an earlier statement.

“Support operations will also be sustained to assist the civil authorities, government instrumentalities and other agencies and their mandate for peace, development and humanitarian assistance programs,” he added.

Despite the truce, the CPP ordered its fighters to remain in “active defense mode.”

“All commanders, Red fighters and militia should remain ever vigilant and alert against the treacherous encroachment of operating military troops and police personnel of the GPH into the territories of the people’s democratic government,” it said.

The CPP also instructed NPA units to be prepared to engage with “aggressive units” of the government “to prevent them from committing acts of brutality and repression with impunity.”

Last year, the government truce started on December 20 and ended on January 15 while that of the CPP took effect from December 24 to 26 and from December 31 to January 2.


FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

2015 will be a luckier year – Master Chau by Jaimie R. Aberia December 17, 2014 Share this:

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DRAGON DANCE – Manila Bulletin Vice President and Compliance Officer Melito S. Salazar Jr., world-renowned Feng Shui expert Master Joseph Chau Kam Shing and Manila Bulletin Associate Editor Julie Yap Daza watch a dragon dance before the launching of Master Chau’s very first Feng Shui Book – Feng Shui Essentials Year of the Goat 2015 – at the Cowrie Grill in Greenhills, San Juan City yesterday. (Mark Balmores)

The incoming Year of the Goat will be a luckier year than 2014.

Feng Shui Master Joseph Chau Kam Shing stressed this at the launch of his book “Feng Shui Essentials Year of the Goat 2015” at the Cowrie Grill in Greenhills, San Juan City, yesterday.

“Last year, we had too much fire element. This explains the thunders, explosions, and terrorisms of 2014,” Master Chau said. “In 2015, there will be less fire.” While the Year of the Goat is deemed to be a luckier one, Master Chau said the country will still be facing challenges.

He said industries such as the hotel, logistics, transportation, sales, medical, mining, and entertainment will be challenged by competition. He also warned people to be wary of respiratory and liver problems.

LUCKY SYMBOLS

The feng shui expert said almost all animal signs are lucky, except the rooster. This, however, can be cured by surrounding one’s self with good vibes.

“Do not go to funerals, so that you would not absorb the mourning. Instead, go to parties,” he said.

Master Chau is acknowledged as a primary figure in Chinese geomancy and has been featured in various television shows and publications around the world.

He said the compilation of daily guide and tips for good luck and fortune published by the Manila Bulletin (MB) Publishing Corp. is based on Chinese culture and history.

“The participation of the Manila Bulletin in this event is an affirmation of its commitment to provide Filipino readers with a wide range of informative, interesting, and inspiring publications,” said MB Vice President Melito Salazar Jr.

“His excellence has made his statements highly anticipated every year,” Salazar added. Master Chau’s predictions are published annually by the Manila Bulletin in its Chinese New Year Supplement. Copies of his book are available at National Bookstore, Powerbooks, Collecticons, and Filbars for P499. (With reports from Jecker A. Juarez and Jenina Mae A. Tsuchiya)


 FROM THE MANILA BULLETIIN

Heads will roll in Munti NBP probe part of gov’t reform agenda – Coloma by Madel Sabater-Namit & Jonathan M. Hicap December 17, 2014 (updated) Share this:


N.B.P. PURGE LOOMS – Key officials of the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) are in hot water after a surprise raid at the maximum security compound of the national penitentiary uncovered the luxurious lifestyle of some influential convicts. Malacañang has already vowed that heads will roll after the conclusion of an investigation ordered by President Aquino. In this photo, a National Bureau of Investigation sniper is shown as he stood ready for any eventuality while Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was leading the raid last Monday. (Linus Guardian Escandor II) N.B.P.

Malacañang yesterday said that heads will roll in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) after a surprise raid at the national penitentiary uncovered the luxurious lifestyle of some inmates who are allegedly operating inside the NBP as drug lords.

“The investigation is ongoing and those who will be found responsible for these illegal activities will be made accountable,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

Coloma said the investigation on the NBP is part of the reforms being implemented by the Aquino administration at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

He said President Aquino gave specific instructions to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, adding that the President was alarmed by the discoveries inside the NBP.

“We are focusing on how we can fully get rid of illegal activities inside the National Penitentiary and how we can make it drug-free,” he said.

Yesterday, De Lima ordered NBP officials and personnel to explain why they should not be administratively charged for their failure to stop illegal drug trade and other prohibited activities inside the country’s penitentiary.

But De Lima spared BuCor Director Franklin Bucayu from the investigation despite the command responsibility, saying that the state prison official was involved in the planning and the raid inside the NBP.

De Lima said she has already issued a show-cause order against NBP officers and personnel assigned at the maximum security compound, including its superintendent Roberto Rabo.

Coloma said the problems inside the NBP cannot be solved overnight.

“We are now investigating its extent and depth,” Coloma said.

The BuCor yesterday started dismantling and removing luxury items, including a hot tub, in various “kubol” (cubicles) of the so-called drug lords at the maximum security compound of the NBP.

Supt. Celso Bravo, officer-in-charge of the BuCor Office of the Assistant Director for Prison and Security, told Manila Bulletin that they started dismantling the cubicles Monday immediately following the order of De Lima, who made a surprise inspection of the maximum prison facility.

The inspection team discovered suspected shabu, more than a million in cash, hot tub, airconditioning units, TVs, PlayStation gadget, refrigerator, expensive liquor, musical instruments, expensive watches and even a sex doll.

Coloma said a modern prison facility is being put up in Nueva Ecija for a more effective system of imprisonment.

Bravo said the luxury items are being inventoried to ensure that all things are accounted for, adding that they have contacted the relatives of the so-called high-profile inmates for the items.

He said these items will be under the safekeeping of the BuCor until a decision is made on what to do with them.

Bravo said the “kubol” will be used as dormitories for other inmates. He said that if one cubicle was used by only one inmate before, it will now be used by several inmates.

The BuCor will also conduct its own investigation on how the luxury items were smuggled into the maximum security facility, Bravo said.

He suspects that these items entered the facility either because someone approved it or through connivance.

Before the inspection by De Lima, Bravo said the BuCor had already reshuffled 41 prison guards at the maximum security compound and ordered the voluntary drug testing of 208 prison guards. (With a report from Leonard D. Postrado)


FROM PHILSTAR

Rob gang boss' music video shot in Bilibid resurfaces By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated December 17, 2014 - 10:23am 21 1698 googleplus0 0


The back of the album "Kinabukasan" of convicted robbery gang leader Herbert "Ampang" Colangco, an inmate in the Maximum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prison as seen in this screencap from Facebook page "Bilibid Atin Ito."

MANILA, Philippines — A convicted leader of a robbery gang shot a music video and recorded an album while inside the New Bilibid Prison, where authorities found a music bar in a raid on Monday.

Herbert "Ampang" Colangco's music video features him singing "Pa'no 'Yon" while a band plays behind him. It was posted on his YouTube channel in May this year.

The music studio where that video was apparently recorded has a stage, a flat screen television and musical instruments and among the "kubols" found by state investigators and policemen in the drug raid led by Justice Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in the prison compound.

READ: NBI discovers mini theater inside Bilibid compound

Also seized from Colangco's "kubol" were luxury watches inside storage vaults.

The song is the carrier single of Colangco's album "Kinabukasan" distributed by Ivory, which turned platinum earlier this year for allegedly selling 15,000 copies. He was sentenced in 2009 as a leader of bank robbery syndicates responsible for heists in Pampanga in 2003 and Quezon City and Parañaque in 2005.

In May, the same month the video was shot, Colangco was rushed to the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang supposedly due to urinary tract infection.

The trip out of jail and hospitalization in a private medical facility eventually forced the relief of Bilibid Chief Supt. Fajardo Langsangan and 12 jail guards last June. De Lima also ordered an investigation on the so-called "Very Important Prisoners" in the national penitentiary.

Facebook page "Bilibid Atin Ito" in June posted photos of Colangco and claimed he hosted a birthday bash featuring female guests relations officers and cameramen


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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