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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)

FROM ABS-CBN

By RAISSA ROBLES: BONGBONG MARCOS PLANS TO SNEAL INTO VICE-PRESIDENCY THE WAY BINAY DID
[Can the Marcoses be charged in court using their dad’s “Anti-Fencing” decree?]


OCTOBER 15 -By Raissa Robles
Don’t be fooled by what the Marcoses are saying – that Imelda is “disappointed” and Imee is “surprised” that the unico hijo is only running for VP. That’s the spin the first family of crime wants the public to believe. That Baby Marcos is not running for the presidency, but the spare tire position underneath. Ho hum. Nothing to worry about. Let Baby Marcos be. The Marcoses are clever at running national campaigns and they don’t do things halfway. If Marcos junior DOES win the vice-presidency, he will be in a very powerful position. To start off, he would be able to take advantage of political developments no matter who becomes president. If Binay runs and wins the presidency and gets impeached or overthrown, guess who’d replace him? If Poe wins and gets overwhelmed by citizenship considerations, guess who’s waiting in the wings. Binay, Joseph Estrada, Noli de Castro have shown the tremendous propaganda potential of the vice-president’s office. Just by occupying the post and doing feel-good things, a vice-president can outshine the sitting president in popularity polls surveys. Which is why the office is considered a launching pad for the presidency. To win the vice-president, Marcos Jr can easily do what Binay did in 2010. Bongbong Marcos can graft himself to two of the leading presidential contenders – Senator Grace Poe and Vice-President Jejomar Binay. Both Poe and Binay are on very friendly terms with Marcos Jr. And even to a third – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte – if the latter again changes his mind and runs for president. Even if Duterte doesn’t run, the mayor has already dropped the word that BBM is welcome to campaign in his city. Which should make people wonder at Duterte’s set of values – for instance, he said he would also go after “corrupt” officials but here he is happily backing the son of the most corrupt leader this country has ever had. It is no sweat for Bongbong Marcos to print sample ballots and plaster the nation with stickers and campaign posters saying – “Poe-Marcos” and “Binay-Marcos”. There is no election law against it. It’s probably cynical and unethical, but it isn’t illegal. And the Marcoses have the money to do this nationwide. After all, everybody knows they stole at least US$10 billion when they were in power. Who knows what that plunder is worth after interest? Of course, at the last moment, if Bongbong Marcos’ numbers do not improve, he might opt to just run again for the Senate and ask supporters to back one of the presidential candidates. That is what Imelda Marcos did in 1998. She started by running for the presidency, then backed out and supported Estrada. When Estrada won, Ate Imee gushed that they were “over the moon” with Erap’s victory. The nation soon found out why, when Estrada tried to bury daddy big bucks Marcos’ corpse in Libingan ng mga Bayani. Failing that, Estrada still tried to forge a compromise deal with the Marcos family but was stopped cold by his ouster from office. Senator Bongbong has to make up his mind about running for which post by December – the deadline the Comelec gave to candidates to ensure their names will be printed on the ballots. Pro-Marcos loyalists have slammed me for heaping the sins of the father on the son, which they said Senator Bongbong Marcos should not be blamed for. Ganito yon. (It’s like this.) Bongbong Marcos’ dictator-father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., signed Presidential Decree No. 1612 or the “Anti-Fencing Law of 1979.” I have printed out the entire decree at the end of this piece. PD 1612 defines fencing as “the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any other manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft.” Notice in particular the words “possess”, “keep”, “acquire” and “conceal” as the elements of the crime of fencing. Isn’t what the Marcoses doing fencing when they insist on continuing to keep “the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft” – but in this case, grand theft? READ MORE...

ALSO By Ellen Tordesillas: Why Pres. Aquino held back comments on U.S. warship foray into Subi Reef
[There are two reasons why Aquino was the voice of moderation in a topic that he has in the past been passionate about. One, he does not want to antagonize Chinese President Xi Jinping to make sure that the latter will be in Manila on Nov. 18 and 19 for the Leaders Meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC. The other reason is, it could complicate or jeopardize the Philippine case before the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal which was carefully designed not as a territorial conflict issue but questions on maritime entitlements.]


OCTOBER 30 -Ellen T. Tordesillas
 In President Aquino’s talk with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) last Tuesday, about a third of the questions were about the challenge of the United States to China’s claim of sovereignty on the surrounding waters of its artificially-created islands in Spratlys in the South China Sea, which the Philippines also claims. At the time of the FOCAP Forum, the U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen was sailing through within 12 nautical miles from Subi Reef’s man-made shores, according to reports by the U.S Navy. USS Lassen The news report which was known later, after the forum with the President, it also sailed through Mischief Reef, occupied by the Chinese in 1994. It is significant to note that Mischief Reef and Subi Reef are the nearest to Philippine shores of the eight features in the Spratlys occupied by the Chinese. Subi Reef is 26 kilometers away from Philippine–occupied island Pag-asa. SUBI REEF Yet, at the FOCAP forum, it was obvious Aquino was holding back in his answers, so uncharacteristic of him who had earlier compared China’s expansion in the South China Sea to Nazi Germany gobbling up Europe. Aquino told the foreign correspondents:”We have voiced our concerns about the buildup of islands or the creation of—buildup of features that somehow resemble islands already at this point in time. We have voiced our concern about the issues that confront the South China Sea in the sense that we have about 40 percent of world trade that has to traverse this particular body of water. “We have expressed publicly on numerous occasions our concern that any movement through this particular body of water should not be hampered by any entity. And I think we have stated and restated this position and we have actually even gone to as far as arbitration to finally try and resolve these longstanding issues. That, I think, is the support in general—not just to the American transiting of this body of water, but to the general principle that freedom of navigation should not be impeded, especially if we are after our people’s betterment.” He stuck to that tone when the subject was raised again and again in various forms and angles. There are two reasons why Aquino was the voice of moderation in a topic that he has in the past been passionate about. One, he does not want to antagonize Chinese President Xi Jinping to make sure that the latter will be in Manila on Nov. 18 and 19 for the Leaders Meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC. Aquino mentioned this when there was no let up of the questions on U.S. freedom of navigation challenge to China.. He said, “You know, I am welcoming their leader and you put me in a position of criticizing some of their previous actions, which might impinge on our own hosting for economic cooperation.” In the briefing of Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang, also last Tuesday in Beijing, he was asked if Xi is coming to Manila for APEC. His reply: “The Chinese side has received the letter from President Benigno Aquino III inviting President Xi Jinping to attend the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. APEC is the most influential forum for economic cooperation and trade in the Asia-Pacific region at the highest level. China was the host of the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting which was held successfully in Beijing and achieved a series of historic outcomes, making prominent contributions to APEC cooperation… It is hoped that this year's APEC would stick to the principle of focusing on economic cooperation and trade and make new contributions to regional economic cooperation. It is believed that President Xi Jinping will give positive thought to President Aquino's invitation.” READ MORE...

ALSO: Why some OFWs remain poor despite working abroad


SEPTEMBER 20 -While most Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) earn better in other countries, some of them still experience financial problems despite years of hard work due to inefficient money management. The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) has identified over-dependency of families and relatives of OFWs as one of the common causes why workers abroad struggle with their finances, despite their higher pay. “People tend to think that once you go abroad, it seems that you get a higher income and that will solve all your problems,” said Andrea Anolin, CFO executive assistant for joint migration and development initiative. Anolin added that an OFW may already have financial problems even before leaving the Philippines, such as the accumulation of debts due to over-borrowing in the belief that the money can be returned once hired overseas. “The families who are left behind and also the migrants themselves have very unrealistic expectations. They equate going overseas with an automatic improvement in the quality of their lives,” she said. In addition, some OFWs are said to easily give in to the requests of their families and relatives for remittances and gifts from abroad, thus the failure to save sufficient money for the future. “We don’t really save for the rainy days. We don’t really think long term. Our plans, our objectives are vague and we don’t really know how to get from one place to the next. So it’s easy to be lured by commercial spending,” Anolin said. According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), eight out of 10 Filipinos don't have bank accounts -- an indication that financial literacy among Filipinos is not high, as CFO pointed out. While it is not that bad for OFWs to spend for their families with imported commodities, CFO stressed that they should not let themselves end up without savings and should not forget to save more than they spend in order to achieve a common goal of creating a sustainable income in their homeland. “It’s not the lack of money to save eh. It’s the lack of the will to save,” said Warner Dawal, senior emigrant services officer for Peso Sense Program. “The most common misconception is the families here in the Philippines think that the remittance they receive is forever,” he added.THE FULL REPORT FROM THE WEB

ALSO: Fil-Canadian brings Pinoy tribal art to Canada


OCTOBER 27 -CANADA – A Filipino-Canadian artist in Montreal is gaining popularity for the Philippine indigenous art she creates. Julie Nieto's family moved to Canada back in 1978. They lived in Montreal for years but had to move out west due to French language issues. As an adult, Nieto decided to move back to the artsy city where she began her passion for Philippine indigenous art. "It's only been in the last 3-4 or maybe 5 years that I've been getting into our culture our indigenous art culture," she said. Nieto learned tribal art and tattoos in Buscalan, a small village in the Philippines' mountain province. Apo Wangud, the last living Kalinga tattoo artist, showed her the traditional style of using sticks and thorns to apply ink on skin. For Nieto, her discovery and subsequent passion for Philippine indigenous art helped her discover her own identity. "When I started learning about our culture, I felt more rooted. So I do encourage the youth to do research and to go out there. Find little bits about our culture, go back to the Philippines," she said. Today, Nieto's unique and beautiful tribal art is sought after by Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike. THE FULL STORY.

ALSO UNDAS 2015: PINAY WIDOW STILL GRIEVES 3 YEARS AFTER HUSBAND’S TRAGIC DEATH


UNDAS 2015 -A Filipina widow, Malou Mananghaya, visits her husband’s grave at least three times a week, without fail.
“Alam natin na ‘pag namatay ka na wala na, hindi na babalik, di ba? Pero yung love, yung happy memories, nandididito yun eh. Hindi mo pwedeng kalimutan yun kaya I’m always here,” she said during one of her recent cemetery visits. It was love at first sight for Malou and Michael Tristan Mananghaya when they first met in 2006. “Sweet, very sweet yan, lalo na pag may sakit ako. Wala, para akong reyna. Pagka-birthday ko, I have breakfast in bed,” Malou said. “Yun ang nami-miss ko sa kanya. Saka dun ako na-inlove masyado. Very sweet.” But tragedy came just a few months after their church wedding, Michael was killed in a freak accident. In 2012, Michael, an electrician, was guiding a crane operator to lift a 40-foot industrial air conditioning unit at the Bronx – Lebanon Hospital when a chain broke. The massive refrigeration unit crashed, pinning him to the wall. He was dead on arrival at the hospital’s emergency room. Malou said that on that same morning, Michael said his goodbyes three times before he left for work. “Ang hirap maka-move on, lalo na alam mong hindi siya nagkasakit — bigla bigla na lang. Pagmulat ng mata mo wala na asawa mo. Yun ang pinaka-masakit,” she said. It has been nearly three years, since her husband’s tragic death. But Malou says the case against her husband’s employers is still in court. “Talagang dapat may justice right away di ba? Pero until now wala pa rin eh, wala pa rin akong naririnig. Masakit para sa akin, saka sa pamilya ng asawa ko,” she said. On Nov. 1, Malou says she will be spending hours at the North Arlington Cemetery in Kearney, New Jersey. “Ang pinaka malaking natutunan ko dun,” Malou said, “Give your family more time, be happy, don’t waste time. Always give them love kasi hindi natin alam kung anong mangyayari kinabukasan, ngayon masaya kami, kinabukasan.” On all souls day, Malou says as we remember the dead, we should honor and show our love to those who are still living. You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com  for more information.THE FULL STORY


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Bongbong Marcos plans to sneak into the vice-presidency the way Binay did

Can the Marcoses be charged in court using their dad’s “Anti-Fencing” decree?


By Raissa Robles

MANILA, NOVEMBER 2, 2015 (ABS-CBN) Raissa Robles Posted at 10/15/2015 6:07 AM ANALYSIS - Don’t be fooled by what the Marcoses are saying – that Imelda is “disappointed” and Imee is “surprised” that the unico hijo is only running for VP.

That’s the spin the first family of crime wants the public to believe. That Baby Marcos is not running for the presidency, but the spare tire position underneath.

Ho hum. Nothing to worry about. Let Baby Marcos be. The Marcoses are clever at running national campaigns and they don’t do things halfway.

If Marcos junior DOES win the vice-presidency, he will be in a very powerful position. To start off, he would be able to take advantage of political developments no matter who becomes president. If Binay runs and wins the presidency and gets impeached or overthrown, guess who’d replace him? If Poe wins and gets overwhelmed by citizenship considerations, guess who’s waiting in the wings.

Binay, Joseph Estrada, Noli de Castro have shown the tremendous propaganda potential of the vice-president’s office. Just by occupying the post and doing feel-good things, a vice-president can outshine the sitting president in popularity polls surveys. Which is why the office is considered a launching pad for the presidency.

To win the vice-president, Marcos Jr can easily do what Binay did in 2010. Bongbong Marcos can graft himself to two of the leading presidential contenders – Senator Grace Poe and Vice-President Jejomar Binay. Both Poe and Binay are on very friendly terms with Marcos Jr.

And even to a third – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte – if the latter again changes his mind and runs for president. Even if Duterte doesn’t run, the mayor has already dropped the word that BBM is welcome to campaign in his city. Which should make people wonder at Duterte’s set of values – for instance, he said he would also go after “corrupt” officials but here he is happily backing the son of the most corrupt leader this country has ever had.

It is no sweat for Bongbong Marcos to print sample ballots and plaster the nation with stickers and campaign posters saying – “Poe-Marcos” and “Binay-Marcos”. There is no election law against it.

It’s probably cynical and unethical, but it isn’t illegal. And the Marcoses have the money to do this nationwide. After all, everybody knows they stole at least US$10 billion when they were in power. Who knows what that plunder is worth after interest?

Of course, at the last moment, if Bongbong Marcos’ numbers do not improve, he might opt to just run again for the Senate and ask supporters to back one of the presidential candidates. That is what Imelda Marcos did in 1998. She started by running for the presidency, then backed out and supported Estrada. When Estrada won, Ate Imee gushed that they were “over the moon” with Erap’s victory.

The nation soon found out why, when Estrada tried to bury daddy big bucks Marcos’ corpse in Libingan ng mga Bayani. Failing that, Estrada still tried to forge a compromise deal with the Marcos family but was stopped cold by his ouster from office.

Senator Bongbong has to make up his mind about running for which post by December – the deadline the Comelec gave to candidates to ensure their names will be printed on the ballots.

Pro-Marcos loyalists have slammed me for heaping the sins of the father on the son, which they said Senator Bongbong Marcos should not be blamed for.

Ganito yon. (It’s like this.)

Bongbong Marcos’ dictator-father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., signed Presidential Decree No. 1612 or the “Anti-Fencing Law of 1979.” I have printed out the entire decree at the end of this piece. PD 1612 defines fencing as “the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any other manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft.”

Notice in particular the words “possess”, “keep”, “acquire” and “conceal” as the elements of the crime of fencing.

Isn’t what the Marcoses doing fencing when they insist on continuing to keep “the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft” – but in this case, grand theft?

READ MORE...

Please recall that in the year 2012, I asked Senator Marcos during a foreign correspondents forum (Focap) whether he still intended to pursue a compromise settlement on the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth cases and the wealth still out there hidden in various bank vaults from the government.

Senator Bongbong Marcos replied to me: “We’ve been pursuing a compromise settlement since 1986. We will continue to do so.”

Here is the link to what Senator Marcos told me.

His mother Imelda herself has publicly claimed on various TV interviews that so much Marcos “gold” and other assets are still out there, hidden. She has shown gold certificates as proof to the BBC and other media outlets.

These pronouncements suggest that the Marcoses themselves are acknowledging they have assets out there, assets concealed from the Filipino people. There is already a final and definitive ruling by the Supreme Court on the Marcos loot – that any earnings beyond what the conjugal dictatorship did not pay taxes on are considered stolen.

A forensic analysis of the various Statements of Assets and Liabilities (SALNs) filed by Imelda, Imee and Bongbong as public officials through the years could help establish what the children earned legitimately.

If you read the Anti-Fencing Marcos decree, the Marcoses could each be looking at up to 20 years in jail, if they are found guilty of fencing goods stolen from the Filipino people.

This is in Section 3 (a) of PD 1612 which states that “if the value of such property exceeds the latter sum (of P22,000) the penalty provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each additional 10,000 pesos but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years.”

Please also recall that a year ago, some paintings were seized from Congresswoman Imelda Marcos. Can’t she be charged with fencing on this matter? You can read about the seizure here.

Interestingly, the Marcos decree expanded the definition of fencing. Instead of punishing only those who buy stolen goods, the mere act of receiving, possessing, concealing and/or acquiring stolen goods now constitute fencing.

Will anyone dare to file a lawsuit against the entire Marcos family using the Anti-Fencing Law?

Here below is the Anti-Fencing Law:

Presidential Decree No. 1612 ANTI-FENCING LAW OF 1979

WHEREAS, reports from law enforcement agencies reveal that there is rampant robbery and thievery of government and private properties;

WHEREAS, such robbery and thievery have become profitable on the part of the lawless elements because of the existence of ready buyers, commonly known as fence, of stolen properties;

WHEREAS, under existing law, a fence can be prosecuted only as an accessory after the fact and punished lightly;

WHEREAS, is imperative to impose heavy penalties on persons who profit by the effects of the crimes of robbery and theft.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree as part of the law of the land the following:

SECTION 1. Title. — This decree shall be known as the Anti-Fencing Law.

SECTION 2. Definition of Terms. — The following terms shall mean as follows:

a. “Fencing” is the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any other manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft.

b. “Fence” includes any person, firm, association corporation or partnership or other organization who/which commits the act of fencing.

SECTION 3. Penalties. — Any person guilty of fencing shall be punished as hereunder indicated:

a) The penalty of prision mayor, if the value of the property involved is more than 12,000 pesos but not exceeding 22,000 pesos; if the value of such property exceeds the latter sum, the penalty provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each additional 10,000 pesos; but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In such cases, the penalty shall be termed reclusion temporal and the accessory penalty pertaining thereto provided in the Revised Penal Code shall also be imposed.

b) The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if the value of the property robbed or stolen is more than 6,000 pesos but not exceeding 12,000 pesos.

c) The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods, if the value of the property involved is more than 200 pesos but not exceeding 6,000 pesos.

d) The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period to prision correccional in its minimum period, if the value of the property involved is over 50 pesos but not exceeding 200 pesos.

e) The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period if such value is over five (5) pesos but not exceeding 50 pesos.

f) The penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period if such value does not exceed 5 pesos.

SECTION 4. Liability of Officials of Juridical Persons. — If the fence is a partnership, firm, corporation or association, the president or the manager or any officer thereof who knows or should have known the commission of the offense shall be liable.

SECTION 5. Presumption of Fencing. — Mere possession of any good, article, item, object, or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or thievery shall be prima facie evidence of fencing.

SECTION 6. Clearance/Permit to Sell/Used Second Hand Articles. For purposes of this Act, all stores, establishments or entities dealing in the buy and sell of any good, article, item, object of anything of value obtained from an unlicensed dealer or supplier thereof, shall before offering the same for sale to the public, secure the necessary clearance or permit from the station commander of the Integrated National Police in the town or city where such store, establishment or entity is located. The Chief of Constabulary/Director General, Integrated National Police shall promulgate such rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section. Any person who fails to secure the clearance or permit required by this section or who violates any of the provisions of the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall upon conviction be punished as a fence.

SECTION 7. Repealing Clause. — All laws or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

SECTION 8. Effectivity. — This Decree shall take effect upon approval.

Done in the City of Manila, this 2nd day of March, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine.


Why Pres. Aquino held back comments on U.S. warship foray into Subi Reef Ellen T. Tordesillas Posted at 10/30/2015 1:56 AM


Ellen T. Tordesillas

 In President Aquino’s talk with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) last Tuesday, about a third of the questions were about the challenge of the United States to China’s claim of sovereignty on the surrounding waters of its artificially-created islands in Spratlys in the South China Sea, which the Philippines also claims.

At the time of the FOCAP Forum, the U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen was sailing through within 12 nautical miles from Subi Reef’s man-made shores, according to reports by the U.S Navy.

The news report which was known later, after the forum with the President, it also sailed through Mischief Reef, occupied by the Chinese in 1994.

It is significant to note that Mischief Reef and Subi Reef are the nearest to Philippine shores of the eight features in the Spratlys occupied by the Chinese. Subi Reef is 26 kilometers away from Philippine–occupied island Pag-asa.

SUBI REEF

Yet, at the FOCAP forum, it was obvious Aquino was holding back in his answers, so uncharacteristic of him who had earlier compared China’s expansion in the South China Sea to Nazi Germany gobbling up Europe.

Aquino told the foreign correspondents:”We have voiced our concerns about the buildup of islands or the creation of—buildup of features that somehow resemble islands already at this point in time. We have voiced our concern about the issues that confront the South China Sea in the sense that we have about 40 percent of world trade that has to traverse this particular body of water.


USS Lassen

“We have expressed publicly on numerous occasions our concern that any movement through this particular body of water should not be hampered by any entity. And I think we have stated and restated this position and we have actually even gone to as far as arbitration to finally try and resolve these longstanding issues. That, I think, is the support in general—not just to the American transiting of this body of water, but to the general principle that freedom of navigation should not be impeded, especially if we are after our people’s betterment.”

He stuck to that tone when the subject was raised again and again in various forms and angles.

There are two reasons why Aquino was the voice of moderation in a topic that he has in the past been passionate about. One, he does not want to antagonize Chinese President Xi Jinping to make sure that the latter will be in Manila on Nov. 18 and 19 for the Leaders Meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC.

Aquino mentioned this when there was no let up of the questions on U.S. freedom of navigation challenge to China.. He said, “You know, I am welcoming their leader and you put me in a position of criticizing some of their previous actions, which might impinge on our own hosting for economic cooperation.”

In the briefing of Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang, also last Tuesday in Beijing, he was asked if Xi is coming to Manila for APEC. His reply: “The Chinese side has received the letter from President Benigno Aquino III inviting President Xi Jinping to attend the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. APEC is the most influential forum for economic cooperation and trade in the Asia-Pacific region at the highest level. China was the host of the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting which was held successfully in Beijing and achieved a series of historic outcomes, making prominent contributions to APEC cooperation… It is hoped that this year's APEC would stick to the principle of focusing on economic cooperation and trade and make new contributions to regional economic cooperation. It is believed that President Xi Jinping will give positive thought to President Aquino's invitation.”

READ MORE...

The other reason is, it could complicate or jeopardize the Philippine case before the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal which was carefully designed not as a territorial conflict issue but questions on maritime entitlements.

That’s why the Department of Foreign Affairs Oct. 13 statement did not even mention the word “support”. It merely said, “If the U.S. decides to send naval vessels within the 12 nautical mile of the reclaimed low-tide elevation features in affirmation of this objective, this would be consistent with international law and rules-based order of the region. Failure to challenge false claims of sovereignty would undermine this order and lead China to the false conclusion that its claims are accepted as a fait accompli.”

It was Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin’s brief comment yesterday that nailed the issue. He said despite the artificial islands built by China in the disputed area, the USS Lassen’s successful sailing within the 12 nautical mile of Subi Reef “proved there is freedom of navigation there.”


ZAMBALES FISHERS

He said, “Well, ang napu-prove lang natin dito, na meron talagang freedom of navigation. Dahil kasi pag ikaw ay nasisita na dati mong nilalayagan, walang freedom of navigation.” That brings the issue closer to what really matters to the Philippines.

Fishermen in Zambales complain that the presence of Chinese ships in Scarborough shoal also known as Panatag shoal and Bajo de Masinloc has prevented them from doing their livelihood.

Last July, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, was asked his concept of freedom of navigation would include waters near Scarborough shoal.

His reply: “So if it’s a fisheries issue, access to fishing grounds, that’s really a State Department and Department of Justice (issue). It’s really for the international courts to determine . It has to do with EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) management.”

Translation: Wala kaming paki-alam sa problema ng mangingisda nyo.

***

Blog: www.ellentordesillas.com  E-mail: ellentordesillas@gmail.com


Why some OFWs remain poor despite working abroad ABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 09/20/15 12:58 PM

While most Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) earn better in other countries, some of them still experience financial problems despite years of hard work due to inefficient money management.

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) has identified over-dependency of families and relatives of OFWs as one of the common causes why workers abroad struggle with their finances, despite their higher pay.

“People tend to think that once you go abroad, it seems that you get a higher income and that will solve all your problems,” said Andrea Anolin, CFO executive assistant for joint migration and development initiative.

Anolin added that an OFW may already have financial problems even before leaving the Philippines, such as the accumulation of debts due to over-borrowing in the belief that the money can be returned once hired overseas.

“The families who are left behind and also the migrants themselves have very unrealistic expectations. They equate going overseas with an automatic improvement in the quality of their lives,” she said.

In addition, some OFWs are said to easily give in to the requests of their families and relatives for remittances and gifts from abroad, thus the failure to save sufficient money for the future.

“We don’t really save for the rainy days. We don’t really think long term. Our plans, our objectives are vague and we don’t really know how to get from one place to the next. So it’s easy to be lured by commercial spending,” Anolin said.

According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), eight out of 10 Filipinos don't have bank accounts -- an indication that financial literacy among Filipinos is not high, as CFO pointed out.

While it is not that bad for OFWs to spend for their families with imported commodities, CFO stressed that they should not let themselves end up without savings and should not forget to save more than they spend in order to achieve a common goal of creating a sustainable income in their homeland.

“It’s not the lack of money to save eh. It’s the lack of the will to save,” said Warner Dawal, senior emigrant services officer for Peso Sense Program.

“The most common misconception is the families here in the Philippines think that the remittance they receive is forever,” he added.


Fil-Canadian brings Pinoy tribal art to Canada Elizabeth Reymundo, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau Posted at 10/27/15 6:42 PM

CANADA – A Filipino-Canadian artist in Montreal is gaining popularity for the Philippine indigenous art she creates.

Julie Nieto's family moved to Canada back in 1978. They lived in Montreal for years but had to move out west due to French language issues.

As an adult, Nieto decided to move back to the artsy city where she began her passion for Philippine indigenous art.

"It's only been in the last 3-4 or maybe 5 years that I've been getting into our culture our indigenous art culture," she said.

Nieto learned tribal art and tattoos in Buscalan, a small village in the Philippines' mountain province.


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Apo Wangud, the last living Kalinga tattoo artist, showed her the traditional style of using sticks and thorns to apply ink on skin.

For Nieto, her discovery and subsequent passion for Philippine indigenous art helped her discover her own identity.

"When I started learning about our culture, I felt more rooted. So I do encourage the youth to do research and to go out there. Find little bits about our culture, go back to the Philippines," she said.

Today, Nieto's unique and beautiful tribal art is sought after by Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike.

Read more on Balitang America.


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UNDAS 2015: PINAY WIDOW STILL GRIEVES 3 YEARS AFTER HUSBAND’S TRAGIC DEATH KEARNY, N.J. –


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A Filipina widow, Malou Mananghaya, visits her husband’s grave at least three times a week, without fail.

“Alam natin na ‘pag namatay ka na wala na, hindi na babalik, di ba? Pero yung love, yung happy memories, nandididito yun eh. Hindi mo pwedeng kalimutan yun kaya I’m always here,” she said during one of her recent cemetery visits.

It was love at first sight for Malou and Michael Tristan Mananghaya when they first met in 2006.

“Sweet, very sweet yan, lalo na pag may sakit ako. Wala, para akong reyna. Pagka-birthday ko, I have breakfast in bed,” Malou said. “Yun ang nami-miss ko sa kanya. Saka dun ako na-inlove masyado. Very sweet.”

But tragedy came just a few months after their church wedding, Michael was killed in a freak accident.

In 2012, Michael, an electrician, was guiding a crane operator to lift a 40-foot industrial air conditioning unit at the Bronx – Lebanon Hospital when a chain broke. The massive refrigeration unit crashed, pinning him to the wall.

He was dead on arrival at the hospital’s emergency room.

Malou said that on that same morning, Michael said his goodbyes three times before he left for work.

“Ang hirap maka-move on, lalo na alam mong hindi siya nagkasakit — bigla bigla na lang. Pagmulat ng mata mo wala na asawa mo. Yun ang pinaka-masakit,” she said.

It has been nearly three years, since her husband’s tragic death. But Malou says the case against her husband’s employers is still in court.

“Talagang dapat may justice right away di ba? Pero until now wala pa rin eh, wala pa rin akong naririnig. Masakit para sa akin, saka sa pamilya ng asawa ko,” she said.

On Nov. 1, Malou says she will be spending hours at the North Arlington Cemetery in Kearney, New Jersey.

“Ang pinaka malaking natutunan ko dun,” Malou said, “Give your family more time, be happy, don’t waste time. Always give them love kasi hindi natin alam kung anong mangyayari kinabukasan, ngayon masaya kami, kinabukasan.”

On all souls day, Malou says as we remember the dead, we should honor and show our love to those who are still living.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com  for more information.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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