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SHOWBIZ NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

KRIS AQUINO: JAMES YAP 'MISING OUT' ON BEING A FATHER TO BIMBY


NOVEMBER 25 -Screen grab from Kris Aquino’s Instagram account.
Television actress-host Kris Aquino on Tuesday lamented how basketball superstar James Yap is supposedly missing out on being a father to their son Bimby.Sharing that her invitation to attend their son’s first Communion on Nov. 26 was “ignored” by Yap, Aquino said she hopes her ex-husband would exert effort to spend time with and reach out to Bimby.“Sana matauhan sya that he’s missing out on being a father to such a good boy. And it’s sad that there is no effort for this kind hearted & generous boy from the other person in this world who should want to be a part of his life. Hindi ko pinipigilan, walang issue na sunduin nya sa school at mag merienda sila, pero wala pong kusa. No sharing even w/ just education expense, sana man lang Time & Effort. SAD, but that’s why Bimb has learned to not look for who’s not there for him,” Aquino said in an Instagram post. Aquino said she got a reply from Yap regarding her invitation almost a month after sending a texting message in Hawaii.READ MORE...

ALSO: TAYLOR's Shock absence from the American Music Awards


NOVEMBER 23 -taylor swift ama
One Direction has claimed the highest honour at the world’s biggest fan-voted music awards for the second consecutive year.
The popular British boy band, which has a legion of devoted followers, racked up more votes than fellow nominees Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift to be crowned Artist of the Year. Swift threw her own substantial fan base into a tizzy by unexpectedly snubbing the red carpet event in Los Angeles, despite winning three awards, including the coveted Song of the Year (Blank Space). The singer was reportedly spotted flying to New Zealand instead, perhaps for a well-earned break. • Adele snubs streaming service for new album The Aussie label that caught James Bond’s attention A day in the life of supermodel Robyn Lawley Jennifer Lopez sizzled in her role as hostess, starting the night with a 10-minute dance montage of the year’s biggest hits, from Uptown Funk and Girl Crush to Swift’s Bad Blood and the meme-perfect Hotline Bling. Later in the night, she teared up while telling the crowd she was fulfilling her girlhood dream of hosting the award ceremony. But it was Celine Dion who made the audience cry with her emotional tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks, set against images of the Eiffel Tower and other French landmarks. READ MORE...

ALSO FUNFARE BY RICKY LO: Matteo minus Sarah


NOVEMBER 28 -Matteo Guidicelli and girlfriend Sarah Geronimo: Are the sweethearts going through ‘rough sailing’? 
When Matteo Guidicelli mounts his first solo concert, MG1, at the Music Museum starting at 8 o’clock tonight, the audience might wonder why Matteo’s girlfriend Sarah Geronimo wouldn’t be present either as a guest performer or a spectator. Early on, Matteo has been saying that Sarah wasn’t showing up (unless she springs a “surprise” on him) presumably because Sarah herself will have her own concert, From The Top, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Dec. 4 and 5. Are the sweethearts going through, uhm, rough sailing? Neither Matteo nor Sarah would comment but Funfare sources said that lack of quality time between the sweethearts seems to be the problem, besides the fact that Sarah’s parents haven’t given Sarah total freedom. But special guests Martin Nievera and Morissette Amon should be more than enough for the concert directed by Frank Lloyd Mamaril with Marvin Querido as musical director. (Producer is Hills & Dreams Events Concepts Co. Ticket prices are P3,000 for Orchestra Center, P2,500 for Orchestra Side and P1,500 for Balcony. Call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or 721-0635/721/6726.) It’s Matteo’s second time to perform at a concert. His first was in Dreamboys staged a few months ago with Daniel Matsunaga and JC de Vera. During the lunch reception hosted by the Aquino sisters (Kris, Viel, Ballsy and Pinky) for the wives of world leaders after a tour of Fort Santiago, part of the just-concluded APEC, Matteo was among the actors who serenaded the ladies. Recalled a Funfare source who was there, “Matteo sang Corner Of The Sky. Naraporn Chan-o-Cha, wife of Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha, was so impressed that she even took a picture of Matteo singing.” Matteo told Funfare that Corner Of The Sky was the first song he ever learned. READ MORE....ALSO BRIEFLY NOTED:.....

ALSO: Pink-diamond blues


November 27, 2015 An official from the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) shows a tiara, seized froma a set of jewellery collection of former first lady Imelda Marcos, at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Philippine authorities had the dazzling collection appraised by auction houses for a second day, ahead of a possible sale. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ 
An official from the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) shows a tiara, seized from a a set of jewellery collection of former first lady Imelda Marcos, at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ
It was 1975, the fourth year of martial law, and Ferdinand Marcos was at the zenith of his power. All his opponents were in jail, Congress had been padlocked, and media offices were either shuttered or under new management by his cronies. He was the absolute ruler of the Philippines, and beside him was his wife Imelda, whose charisma and indefatigable glad-handing skills had been instrumental in getting him elected, twice, and securing Malacañang for their conjugal political ambitions. In December of that year, Imelda was named one of the 10 richest women in the world by Cosmopolitan magazine. None of the Marcos-controlled papers carried the news; in fact, according to a January 1976 cable from the US Embassy that would come to light decades later via Wikileaks, the Marcoses’ “sudden rise to riches is not a story they want to advertise in the Philippines. They didn’t want to censure Cosmopolitan magazine. That would only have attracted attention to the story, and would have led to bad, world-wide publicity. So, the Marcos’ [sic] quietly arranged with their rich friends to buy up all the copies of Cosmopolitan as fast as they hit the Philippine newsstands. Thus, the magazine disappeared from the newsstands overnight…” While Imelda reveled in her powerful position as one-half of the Marcos dictatorship, she and her husband had reason to be fearful of letting the country know just how big a jackpot she had hit. It was only the fourth year of martial law, and already she had amassed riches beyond what her husband’s annual salary (the equivalent of around $5,700) could have afforded. At that time she had no official government function yet, and earned no salary of her own. While belonging to a distinguished clan, her family was not known to be particularly wealthy. Where did all that fabulous new wealth come from? There could only be one logical explanation: The Marcoses were using the Philippine treasury as their private account, and on such a scale that they would, in time, be estimated to have looted a staggering $10 billion (they are enshrined in the Guinness records), leaving the Philippines impoverished in the process. READ MORE...

ALSO FLASHBACK By Raissa Robles: The Marcoses never really left home


(From left) Gov. Imee Marcos, Rep. Imelda Marcos, and Senator Bongbong Marcos: They never really left. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS
(Editor’s Note: Starting Sept. 21, the 42nd anniversary of the proclamation of martial law by President Ferdinand Marcos, we have been running a series of articles to remember one of the darkest chapters in Philippine history. The articles are necessarily commemorations and more so a celebration of and a thanksgiving for the courage of the men and women who endured unspeakable pain and loss to overcome the Marcos dictatorship and regain our freedoms. These are some of their stories.) When the Marcoses fled Malacañang in 1986, many Filipinos heaved a sigh of relief, thinking they were gone for good. Now 28 years later, the Marcoses are parked at the very doorstep of Malacañang, with the dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ only son and namesake being groomed to retake the Palace come 2016. Ferdinand Jr. (Bongbong) is a senator eyeing the presidency; his sister Imelda Jr. (Imee) is governor of their northern stronghold; their mother Imelda is a congresswoman; and their late dictator-dad turned into a saintly-looking icon like the dead Pope that is miraculously preserved inside St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican. Religious cults like the Alpha-Omega have sprung to await Marcos’ resurrection. As cult member Teresita Maglahus said in 1993: “We are waiting for a miracle in the Philippines, the new Jerusalem. It will be revealed to our countrymen and other nations that … President Marcos is God.” How do you account for such a stunning reversal from ill fortune? Simple. They never really left. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Kris Aquino: James Yap ‘missing out’ on being a father to Bimby


Screen grab from Kris Aquino’s Instagram account.

MANILA, NOVEMBER 30, 2015 (INQUIRER) @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 03:30 PM November 25th, 2015 - Television actress-host Kris Aquino on Tuesday lamented how basketball superstar James Yap is supposedly missing out on being a father to their son Bimby.

Sharing that her invitation to attend their son’s first Communion on Nov. 26 was “ignored” by Yap, Aquino said she hopes her ex-husband would exert effort to spend time with and reach out to Bimby.

“Sana matauhan sya that he’s missing out on being a father to such a good boy. And it’s sad that there is no effort for this kind hearted & generous boy from the other person in this world who should want to be a part of his life. Hindi ko pinipigilan, walang issue na sunduin nya sa school at mag merienda sila, pero wala pong kusa. No sharing even w/ just education expense, sana man lang Time & Effort. SAD, but that’s why Bimb has learned to not look for who’s not there for him,” Aquino said in an Instagram post.

Aquino said she got a reply from Yap regarding her invitation almost a month after sending a texting message in Hawaii.

READ MORE...

“While we were in Hawaii, to be precise 2X on Oct 31, 12 hours apart I sent a text informing Bimb’s father about his 1st Holy Communion & extending an invitation. I had gone to Church 2X while on vacation & felt that I should give him the opportunity to be part of this special occasion, primarily because of the 4th Commandment: To honor thy father & mother. I got no reply until Tuesday, Nov 24,” she said.

The presidential sister added that she did her part in “opening the door to communication” to Yap, as she did not want to deprive Bimby of getting to know and spending time with his father.

“I reached a turning point in 2014 when I felt I didn’t want my son deprived of a relationship w/ his father because of pride. We settled amicably in court regarding visitation… I know you know how I dote on my 2 sons, and I prayed for Bimb to feel loved & appreciated not just by me & Kuya, & those close to me, but also by his father & if that meant humbling myself & opening the door to communication, I did do it. I don’t have to say much more, all you have to do is check the social media accounts of both of Bimb’s parents & you’ll see the truth regarding prioritizing parental responsibility,” she added.
Aquino and Yap annulled their marriage in 2012. YG

RELATED STORIES

Kris Aquino favors divorce in PH SHARES: 347 VIEW COMMENTS By: Marinel R. Cruz @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:07 AM September 28th, 2015

Actress Kris Aquino, whose marriage to basketball star James Yap was annulled in 2012, said she was in favor of divorce in the Philippines.

“I’m a devout Catholic, but I disagree with the Church’s point of view. I’ve been through an annulment and I know how painful it is. I prefer the concept of ‘irreconcilable differences’ (which provides possible grounds for divorce),” said Kris in an interview for her latest film project, “Etiquette for Mistresses,” which will be screened in theaters starting Sept. 30.

“Annulment is expensive, difficult and painful because you have to recall all the painful issues that led to your breakup,” she pointed out. “In the end, it’s the children who pay for it—all the dirty laundry is on the court papers for them to see.”

Kris has two sons—Bimby, 8 (with James), and Josh, 20 (with actor Phillip Salvador).
At the recent press conference for the Chito Roño film, Kris was asked about sensitive issues in connection with her past relationships.

“It’s not a secret. I got into relationships with two men whose marriages weren’t annulled,” she admitted.

“What I went through wasn’t easy. I heard that word kabit so often because, at that time, I hadn’t ironed out my relationship problems.”

Aside from Salvador, Kris also had a relationship with actor and former Parañaque City mayor Joey Marquez. She was recently linked to Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista.

“I also experienced being cheated on by my [now estranged] husband so I’ve looked at love from both sides. Honestly, I prefer a man whom I don’t have to share with anyone.

Sometimes, you have to make mistakes for you to [learn]. I’ve paid for those consequences three times,” she told the Inquirer.

Despite her many heartbreaks, Kris still believes in the institution of marriage.

“I pray for that (marriage) for myself. It’s just that I’ve learned that you have to love yourself first before you are able to completely love another person.”

For Kris, “marriage should be forever. My parents had their forever, and my three elder sisters have theirs.”

Kris is the youngest daughter of the late senator Benigno S. Aquino Sr. and late president Corazon C. Aquino.

Kris acknowledged that marriage “isn’t all about being happy. I’ve witnessed how my mom and dad went through hell but they still stuck with each other. I think it’s about respect, commitment and love,” she said.

How does one do it?

“By being a good provider; by being fair, supportive and having fidelity,” Kris answered. “You should be best friends with your husband. I see that in my sisters.”

In “Etiquette for Mistresses,” Kris plays Georgia, mentor to Ina, Kim Chiu’s character.

Kris said of their roles: “Ina is the girlfriend of someone (Zoren Legazpi) who is married to a senator (Aiko Melendez) running for president. Georgia’s partner is one of their political backers.”

Economic reasons

She revealed what she learned from making the movie: “Men, whether from A Class or E Class, experience the same thing (attraction to other women). But those with the capacity to do it (cheat on wives) are those who are able to pull it off. In the cases of women who get into such relationships, the reason is often economic.”

“Etiquette for Mistresses” also features Iza Calzado, Claudine Barretto and Cheena Crab. It is based on the 1993 book written by journalist Jullie Yap-Daza.
(mcruz@inquirer.com.ph )

ALSO:

Kris Aquino lambasts netizen for ‘meddling in her family’ SHARES: 38.3K VIEW COMMENTS @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 10:53 AM June 17th, 2015


Actress-TV host Kris Aquino posted on Instagram these pictures of her son Bimby when he attended the 46th Guillermo Mendoza Box-Office Awards night Sunday night. He was named Most Popular Male Child Performer. A comment by a netizen prompted a sharp response from Aquino. INSTAGRAM SCREENGRAB

“You don’t know us personally.”

This was the response of an irked Kris Aquino after one of her followers on Instagram asked why comedian Vice Ganda and not James Yap accompanied her son Bimby during the 46th Guillermo Mendoza Box-Office Awards.

On Sunday, Bimby was named as the Most Popular Male Child Performer during the Guillermo awards in Pasay City but neither Aquino nor Yap was able to accompany their son to the awards night.

Aquino posted a photo collage of her son during the awards night in her Instagram account.

A netizen (@sipaulina) then asked, “bakit hindi si James Yap ang pinasama mo? im sure mabilis pa sa alas kuatro! ‘And I’m sure #JamesYap shares my pride in how loving & lovable, kind hearted, well mannered, and smart our Bimb has become’ NO……. kasi kng ganyan sya tatay nya dapat ngayon ang kasama nya hindi ang honorary stepfather nya!”
The honorary stepfather referred to by the netizen was comedian Vice Ganda, a close friend of Aquino.

The TV host-actress made a lengthy reply to the netizen who “[made] pakialam sa buhay pamilya namin.”

Aquino explained that Bimby was still hurting from a misunderstanding he had with his father, James.

“”naka medication ako, so straight truth ito,” she started.

“I text James regarding a Father’s Day merienda for him w/ Bimb any day next week. He said Wednesday. “You don’t know us personally, you don’t know how much I needed to make pakiusap kay Bimb na mag merienda sila,” Aquino said.

She continued: “And since MAKULIT ka & gusto mo nang GULO, may nasabi si James na nasaktan ang feelings ni Bunso.”

Aquino said the misunderstanding happened last March.

“I got home from taping & he was still crying from their phone conversation.”

The celebrity then said: “Stop making it about my lack of effort, the fact I initiated for Bimb to see his dad even though my son still has hurt feelings means I have the ability to process emotions maturely.”

“And if you will continue to make pakialam sa buhay pamilya namin, please enclose address & contact details, kasi siguro sa super sawsaw mo, mag contribute ka na rin sa allowance & milk money ng Anak namin para naman you put your money where your mouth is,” she added.

This is not the first time Aquino responded to a basher on her Instagram.

In January, a fuming Aquino also responded to bashers who called Bimby “gay.”


NEWDAILY.COM.AU

Shock absence from the American Music Awards Nov 23, 2015 THE NEW DAILY 2 The New Daily brings you all the glitz and glam from the red carpet and the stage of the 43rd AMAs.


taylor swift ama One Direction has claimed the highest honour at the world’s biggest fan-voted music awards for the second consecutive year.

The popular British boy band, which has a legion of devoted followers, racked up more votes than fellow nominees Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift to be crowned Artist of the Year.

Swift threw her own substantial fan base into a tizzy by unexpectedly snubbing the red carpet event in Los Angeles, despite winning three awards, including the coveted Song of the Year (Blank Space). The singer was reportedly spotted flying to New Zealand instead, perhaps for a well-earned break.

Adele snubs streaming service for new album

The Aussie label that caught James Bond’s attention

A day in the life of supermodel Robyn Lawley


LOPEZ

Jennifer Lopez sizzled in her role as hostess, starting the night with a 10-minute dance montage of the year’s biggest hits, from Uptown Funk and Girl Crush to Swift’s Bad Blood and the meme-perfect Hotline Bling.


celine dion ama Celine Dion stole the show with her moving tribute. Photo: Getty

Later in the night, she teared up while telling the crowd she was fulfilling her girlhood dream of hosting the award ceremony.

But it was Celine Dion who made the audience cry with her emotional tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks, set against images of the Eiffel Tower and other French landmarks.

READ MORE...

The Canadian sang Edith Piaf’s classic Hymne a l’Amour in French, barely a week after the terrorist atrocity.


Selena Gomez. Photo: Getty

The moving tribute overshadowed notable performances by Selena Gomez singing her hit Same Old Love, Carrie Underwood performing her romantic ballad Heartbeat and Demi Lovato’s duet of You Outta Know with Alanis Morissette.


Carrie Underwood. Photo: Getty

Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth also set hearts racing and tongues wagging by pashing onstage after their performance of Marvin Gaye.

Based on votes tallied from the AMA website, Minaj won both most popular rap/hip-hop artist and most popular rap/hip-hop album.


Nicki Minaj. Photo: Getty

Sam Hunt was declared New Artist of the Year, while Skrillex, Diplo and Justin Bieber took out Collaboration of the Year with Where Are Ü Now.

Ed Sheeran and Grande were the favourite artists in the pop/rock division, Minaj in rap/hip-hop, The Weeknd and Rihanna in soul/R&B, Fall Out Boy in alternative rock, Enrique Iglesias in Latin, and Calvin Harris in electronic dance music.

Rebel Wilson’s movie Pitch Perfect 2 won Top Soundtrack.

VIDEO: Céline Dion – Hymne à l’amour Tribute to Paris victims
American Music Awards 2015 Hosted by Christian Blayk

 
https://youtu.be/xmblKQj0_Xo

The Hymn to Love

 The blue sky over us can collapse on itself and the ground can (really) cave in.
Little matters to me if you love me I couldn't care less about the whole world
As long as love will flood my mornings
As long as my body will tremble under your hands
The problems make little difference to me
My love, because you love me.

I will go to the end of the world
I will dye my hair blond If you ask me to
I will go take down the moon
I will steal fortune if you ask me to.

I will renounce my country
I will renounce my friends if you ask me to.
One could really laugh at me
I will do anything if you ask me to.

if one day life tears you away from me
if you die than you will be far from me
what's it matter if you love me because I will die too.
We will have for us, eternity in the blue of all the immensity in heaven,
no more problems my love
 do you believe that we love each other
God, reunite those who love each other.

Submitted by MorphineBattery on Thu, 17/02/2011 - 04:23

Hymne à L'amour

Le ciel bleu sur nous peut s'effondrer
Et la terre peut bien s'écrouler
Peu m'importe si tu m'aimes
Je me fous du monde entier
Tant qu'l'amour inond'ra mes matins
Tant que mon corps frémira sous tes mains
Peu m'importent les problèmes
Mon amour puisque6 tu m'aimes

J'irais jusqu'au bout du monde
Je me ferais teindre en blonde
Si tu me le demandais
J'irais décrocher la lune
J'irais voler la fortune
Si tu me le demandais

Je renierais ma patrie
Je renierais mes amis
Si tu me le demandais
On peut bien rire de moi
Je ferais n'importe quoi
Si tu me le demandais

Si un jour la vie t'arrache à moi
Si tu meurs que tu sois loin de moi
Peu m'importe si tu m'aimes
Car moi je mourrai aussi
Nous aurons pour nous l'éternité
Dans le bleu de toute l'immensité
Dans le ciel plus de problèmes
Mon amour crois-tu qu'on s'aime
Dieu réunit ceux qui s'aiment

Submitted by MorphineBattery on Thu, 17/02/2011 - 04:21 Last edited by Future Dr. Juanita on Wed, 11/11/2015 - 12:01


PHILSTAR

Matteo minus Sarah FUNFARE By Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 28, 2015 - 12:00am 7 0 googleplus0 0


Matteo Guidicelli and girlfriend Sarah Geronimo: Are the sweethearts going through ‘rough sailing’?

When Matteo Guidicelli mounts his first solo concert, MG1, at the Music Museum starting at 8 o’clock tonight, the audience might wonder why Matteo’s girlfriend Sarah Geronimo wouldn’t be present either as a guest performer or a spectator. Early on, Matteo has been saying that Sarah wasn’t showing up (unless she springs a “surprise” on him) presumably because Sarah herself will have her own concert, From The Top, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Dec. 4 and 5.

Are the sweethearts going through, uhm, rough sailing? Neither Matteo nor Sarah would comment but Funfare sources said that lack of quality time between the sweethearts seems to be the problem, besides the fact that Sarah’s parents haven’t given Sarah total freedom.

But special guests Martin Nievera and Morissette Amon should be more than enough for the concert directed by Frank Lloyd Mamaril with Marvin Querido as musical director. (Producer is Hills & Dreams Events Concepts Co. Ticket prices are P3,000 for Orchestra Center, P2,500 for Orchestra Side and P1,500 for Balcony. Call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or 721-0635/721/6726.)

It’s Matteo’s second time to perform at a concert. His first was in Dreamboys staged a few months ago with Daniel Matsunaga and JC de Vera. During the lunch reception hosted by the Aquino sisters (Kris, Viel, Ballsy and Pinky) for the wives of world leaders after a tour of Fort Santiago, part of the just-concluded APEC, Matteo was among the actors who serenaded the ladies.

Recalled a Funfare source who was there, “Matteo sang Corner Of The Sky. Naraporn Chan-o-Cha, wife of Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha, was so impressed that she even took a picture of Matteo singing.”

Matteo told Funfare that Corner Of The Sky was the first song he ever learned.

READ MORE...

“I realized that I could sing when I joined the musical Pippin when I was in senior high school.”

Speaking of Sarah, neither is Sarah guest-performing on Matteo’s debut album which he himself is co-producing with his manager Joji Dingcong and Star Records, to be formally launched maybe on tomorrow’s edition of ASAP.

The album will carry some original compositions, a remake of John Denver’s You Fill Up My Senses, an APO song and Matteo’s duet of an Ogie Alcasid song with Regine Velasquez-Alcasid. It was Matteo himself who selected the songs because, according to him, “They mark the stage of the journey of love that I am on.”

Did he get any pointers from Sarah?

“No,” stressed Matteo. “Everything comes from my heart.”

Pressed what his and Sarah’s theme song is, Matteo begged off. “Secret muna. You will find out soon.”

If and when he and Sarah get married, what song would he like to be played?

“I don’t know yet what particular song,” Matteo blushed. “But all I know is that it will be a dream come true if Tito Martin (Nievera) would be the singer.”

Said Joji, “We thank Martin for supporting Matteo in his concert. He’s doing it for love of Matteo just like Regine and Ogie who didn’t accept payment for the arrangement and for their participation on the album. Regine insisted talaga that she sing a duet with Matteo. We can’t thank Martin, Regine and Ogie enough. Thank you, too, to Louie Ocampo.”

Incidentally, Matteo is busy with the indie film Tupang Ligaw and Single/Single, his series with Shaina Magdayao co-produced by The Philippine STAR and Cinema One, airing Saturday nights at 8 o’clock with replays on Sundays at 10 p.m. and Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m.

Speaking of Sarah, sales of tickets to her (eighth major) concert was so brisk that its producer, VIVA Live, Inc. decided to hold it one more day. From The Top is directed by Paolo Valenciano (who co-directed the MOA show for the APEC guests) with Louie Ocampo as musical director. (Ticket prices are P4,770 for Patron; P3,700 for Box Premium; P3,180 for Box Regular; P1,590 for Upper Box; and P400 for General Admission. Call Ticketnet at 911-5555 or VIVA Concepts at 687-7236/687-5853 local 656.)

Briefly Noted



Kris Aquino (photo) is said to be happy with her first cousin Sen. Bam Aquino’s vote against the disqualification case filed against Sen./Presidentiable Grace Poe at the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET). On her Instagram, Kris posted that she was proud of Bam, accompanied by a photo of Bam’s along with the lyrics of the Mariah Carey hit song I Made It Through The Rain. Kris: “I admire Sen. @bamaquino’s decision on the SET issue of natural-born citizenship (w/ reference to Sen. Grace Poe). Pinili niya ang prinsipyo at hindi lamang partido…”



During his guesting on TV5’s Happy Hour forum, Sen./Vice Presidentiable Chiz Escudero (photo) revealed the secret of his improving relationship with his in-laws, his wife Heart Evangelista’s parents. “Anuman ang rason o dahilan,” said Chiz, “palaging ang may kasalanan ay iyong mas bata. Aminin mo lang iyon, mas magkakasundo kayo.” According to reports, Heart’s mom Cecile Ongpauco is supporting Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago who’s running for president with Sen. Bongbong Marcos as running mate. But Chiz added that he and Heart will try to convince Cecile to support Sen. Grace Poe with whom Chiz is running.



Heart Evangelista (photo) accompanied husband Chiz to Ilocos Norte, known to be a Marcos baluarte, when Chiz went there to condole with his friend Rep. Rudy Fariñas on the death of Rudy’s son JR in a motorcycle accident. Heart said that she was happy to revisit the province where she shot the Regal movie Temptation Island and the teleserye Ang Panday in which she played leading lady to ex-boyfriend Jericho Rosales.


INQUIRER

Pink-diamond blues @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 02:08 AM November 28th, 2015


November 27, 2015 An official from the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) shows a tiara, seized froma a set of jewellery collection of former first lady Imelda Marcos, at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Philippine authorities had the dazzling collection appraised by auction houses for a second day, ahead of a possible sale. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

It was 1975, the fourth year of martial law, and Ferdinand Marcos was at the zenith of his power. All his opponents were in jail, Congress had been padlocked, and media offices were either shuttered or under new management by his cronies. He was the absolute ruler of the Philippines, and beside him was his wife Imelda, whose charisma and indefatigable glad-handing skills had been instrumental in getting him elected, twice, and securing Malacañang for their conjugal political ambitions.

In December of that year, Imelda was named one of the 10 richest women in the world by Cosmopolitan magazine. None of the Marcos-controlled papers carried the news; in fact, according to a January 1976 cable from the US Embassy that would come to light decades later via Wikileaks, the Marcoses’ “sudden rise to riches is not a story they want to advertise in the Philippines.


Victorious … Ferdinand Marcos and family in Manila after his inauguration as president in 1965. Photo: Corbis

They didn’t want to censure Cosmopolitan magazine. That would only have attracted attention to the story, and would have led to bad, world-wide publicity. So, the Marcos’ [sic] quietly arranged with their rich friends to buy up all the copies of Cosmopolitan as fast as they hit the Philippine newsstands. Thus, the magazine disappeared from the newsstands overnight…”

While Imelda reveled in her powerful position as one-half of the Marcos dictatorship, she and her husband had reason to be fearful of letting the country know just how big a jackpot she had hit. It was only the fourth year of martial law, and already she had amassed riches beyond what her husband’s annual salary (the equivalent of around $5,700) could have afforded.

At that time she had no official government function yet, and earned no salary of her own. While belonging to a distinguished clan, her family was not known to be particularly wealthy. Where did all that fabulous new wealth come from?

There could only be one logical explanation: The Marcoses were using the Philippine treasury as their private account, and on such a scale that they would, in time, be estimated to have looted a staggering $10 billion (they are enshrined in the Guinness records), leaving the Philippines impoverished in the process.

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In 1986, after the Marcoses had been deposed by the Edsa People Power Revolution, People magazine in the United States reported: “Her (Imelda’s) shopping flings are legendary.


Photo credit http://goturboegon.deviantart.com

For one of them, in 1982, she arrived in New York with 40 assistants and 300 suitcases. According to an associate of a New York antiques dealer, in 1981 Imelda bought a Park Avenue apartment and its contents for $9.5 million, but the building’s board refused to let her move in. So she gave away the furnishings and instead took over an East Side property that was owned by the Philippine government. That was on a Monday.

Imelda announced that by Friday the building, which was in poor repair, must be totally refurbished for a Halloween party the next day. She imported laborers from the Philippines who worked around the clock to install everything from pink silk wallpaper in her bedroom to a hot tub in the maid’s bath. By Friday she had bought and arranged $1.5 million in furniture and paintings to adorn the place and had her party.

Imelda still wasn’t satisfied. She decided security at the building was not good. She stayed instead at the Waldorf Towers, ordering $5,000 in flowers for her arrival and $1,000 in fresh bouquets every day.”

These stories are hardly mentioned nowadays. Imelda is back in power, unrepentant and reeking of glitz and wealth (her declared worth in 2012 was $22 million, making her the second richest Filipino lawmaker after Manny Pacquiao), and her son is also gunning for the vice presidency, a heartbeat away from his old party grounds in Malacañang.

But there’s news that a rare 25-carat, barrel-shaped pink diamond, said to be worth $5 million, has been found in Imelda’s jewelry collection that had been seized by the government and appraised by London auction house Christie’s. It’s a rude reminder of the historic unfinished business that this country still has with the family that ran it to the ground.

The reappearance of the pink diamond, which is but a small fraction of Imelda’s fabled jewelry and art hoard, prompts yet again some questions: Why is this woman at large? And why have Filipinos let her and her family get away with murder?


FLASHBACK INQUIRER COMMENTARY OCTOBER 2014

The Marcoses never really left home By: Raissa Robles @inquirerdotnet
05:59 AM October 1st, 2014


(From left) Gov. Imee Marcos, Rep. Imelda Marcos, and Senator Bongbong Marcos: They never really left. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

(Editor’s Note: Starting Sept. 21, the 42nd anniversary of the proclamation of martial law by President Ferdinand Marcos, we have been running a series of articles to remember one of the darkest chapters in Philippine history. The articles are necessarily commemorations and more so a celebration of and a thanksgiving for the courage of the men and women who endured unspeakable pain and loss to overcome the Marcos dictatorship and regain our freedoms. These are some of their stories.)

When the Marcoses fled Malacañang in 1986, many Filipinos heaved a sigh of relief, thinking they were gone for good.

Now 28 years later, the Marcoses are parked at the very doorstep of Malacañang, with the dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ only son and namesake being groomed to retake the Palace come 2016.

Ferdinand Jr. (Bongbong) is a senator eyeing the presidency; his sister Imelda Jr. (Imee) is governor of their northern stronghold; their mother Imelda is a congresswoman; and their late dictator-dad turned into a saintly-looking icon like the dead Pope that is miraculously preserved inside St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican.

Religious cults like the Alpha-Omega have sprung to await Marcos’ resurrection. As cult member Teresita Maglahus said in 1993: “We are waiting for a miracle in the Philippines, the new Jerusalem. It will be revealed to our countrymen and other nations that … President Marcos is God.”

How do you account for such a stunning reversal from ill fortune?

Simple.

They never really left.

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Political roots intact

The 1986 People Power Revolution did chop down the Marcos political tree. But its intricate roots that spread far and wide across the state bureaucracy and Philippine society remained intact. All the Marcoses had to do was nurture the roots and wait for the tree to grow back.

In 1998, by Imee Marcos’ own reckoning, “we waited 12 years to be on the right side of the fence.” Right side meant a political alliance with then victorious President-elect Joseph Estrada, velvet seats in Congress for Imee and her mother, and a governorship for Bongbong.

An ecstatic Imee spilled the family’s secret to success: “Many professionals were appointed by my father. So you have this immense bedrock of Marcos appointees who keep moving up.”

Like secret stay-behind units, this vast army of professionals scattered in all sectors of society have defended the Marcoses and helped erase the dark legacy of their regime.

For various reasons, no post-Marcos administration made it a point to keep the memory of the atrocities and the greed alive and pass this on to the next generation. I remember early on then President Corazon Aquino’s board of censors chief Manoling Morato scolding the public and the media for discussing the Marcos excesses. “Let’s stop demonizing the Marcoses,” he said, after the dictator died in 1989.

Morato was probably following the age-old Filipino practice of not speaking ill of the dead.

I have been a Marcos watcher since 1981 when I unwittingly witnessed the paper “lifting” of martial law in Malacañang. This was courtesy of an invite from Ferdinand Marcos’ speechwriter Adrian Cristobal who had taken over the Philippine Education Company which published The Review magazine. I was its associate editor.

I did not know it then but that was part of my political awakening—to see up close the pomp and power of the dictatorship. Imelda Marcos delayed the speech but no one minded. When she entered Heroes’ Hall, the center parted like the Red Sea as she walked regally, towering above all, heavily made up and in a terno that made her look like a character in a play. She knew how to stage drama.

Later, I would cover her as the governor of Metro Manila Commission, then as congresswoman and an accused.

Looking back, I can see the various factors that helped the Marcoses stage their comeback.

First of all, few in the political opposition that replaced Ferdinand Marcos knew how to run a government. President Corazon Aquino had to rely heavily on the bureaucracy that Marcos had built up to institutionalize his tyranny. Enough key civil servants remained closet Marcos loyalists or were sympathetic or deeply grateful to the Marcos couple for acts of favor.


Corazon C. Aquino From malacanang.gov.ph

President Cory tried to “deMarcosify” the bureaucracy through a purge but the Senate pressured her to suspend this twice, according to Dr. Ledivina Cariño, a University of the Philippines College of Public Administration professor in her 1992 book, “Bureaucracy for Democracy: the Dynamics of Executive-Bureaucracy Interaction during Governmental Transitions.”

This is probably what enabled Mrs. Marcos to beat her corruption conviction.

In 1991, President Cory’s government was faced with a difficult dilemma. The Swiss Federal Court had given an ultimatum: If Manila did not take Mrs. Marcos to court by December 20, 1991, the freeze on all the Marcoses’ Swiss bank assets, including the already identified US$356 million, would be lifted. That meant the Marcoses could claim them all.

This was why Imelda Marcos was finally allowed to come home.

Former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr.—Mrs. Aquino’s second Interior and Local Governments Minister—told me the second factor that allowed Mrs. Marcos to manipulate the situation. The Aquino government stopped itself from implementing deeply needed reforms that could have rooted out the dictatorship because “we wanted to be the opposite of Marcos.”


Former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. -23rd President of the Senate of the Philippines

When Marcos imposed Martial Law, he jailed his political enemies. When Imelda Marcos returned home on November 4, 1991, she was allowed to stage a dramatic homecoming.

Writing about that moment in “The Aquino Administration–Record & Legacy” published by the University of the Philippines Press in 1992, Mrs. Aquino’s executive secretary, Franklin Drilon (now the Senate President), said: “Mrs. Marcos was allowed to return with no restriction to the pomp and pageantry which accompanied it. Her personal security was ensured, and she was allowed to participate in the election.”

Goofy sound bites

Imelda’s return probably marks the start of the family’s slow but steady climb back to power. Reporters, both foreign and local, simply adored her because she gave such goofy sound bites.

By September 1995, as the Church and militant groups prepared to mount nationwide protests against the 27th anniversary of martial law, Mrs. Marcos defiantly said: “The martial law declaration on Sept. 21, 1972, was one of the best things that happened in Philippine history … to ensure peace for our country.”

Few recalled that this was the same woman who got a convicted murderer to win the presidency in 1965 by serenading voters and telling them—would someone as beautiful as I marry a murderer?

Off-camera, she tirelessly nurtured the network that she and her husband had built up over two decades of being in power. That network gave her the edge when she fought off hundreds of lawsuits and she was convicted on Sept. 24, 1993, for approving an “anomalous transaction” that caused the Light Rail Transit Authority, which she chaired, to lose the equivalent of US$4.8 million. The LRTA vice chair Jose Dans was also convicted for signing the contract on behalf of LRTA.

Convicted but never jailed

This transaction involved leasing out two train station terminals at below market rates to a private foundation that she herself put up and headed. Philippine General Hospital Foundation was supposed to raise funds for the state-owned Philippine General Hospital but its hospital director told me then in an interview that PGH never got a cent from PGH Foundation. Mrs. Marcos signed the contract with LRTA on behalf of the foundation even though she was also the LRTA chair.

In 1996, the Supreme Court found Mrs. Marcos “guilty beyond reasonable doubt,” sentenced her to 12 years in jail and fined her the equivalent of the anomalous contract. Dans was acquitted because the Court found “no conspiracy” between him and Mrs. Marcos.

Around the same time that the government of Fidel Ramos—the dictator’s second cousin—was prosecuting Mrs. Marcos in court, it was secretly negotiating a deal that only came to light in 1996 when former Solicitor General Frank Chavez asked the Supreme Court to stop it. The deal would have allowed the Marcoses to walk off with 25 percent of all their ill-gotten wealth—here and abroad. Tax-free. In addition, all pending criminal and civil cases against them would be dropped.

But that wasn’t all. Chavez presented a letter dated Jan. 24, 1995, from Mrs. Marcos’ lawyer to Presidential Commission on Good Government chair Magtanggol Gunigundo saying “it is further understood that $50 million will be taken from the top as approved by President Ramos and your (Gunigundo’s) good self.”

“Where will the $50 million taken from the top go?” Chavez demanded to know as he asked to court to permanently bar all compromise deals with the Marcoses.

Just think. If the late lawyer Chavez had not won this case, the Marcoses would have walked off with at least US$89 million, or P3.9 billion (at P44 per dollar). That would have been their cut in the US$356 million loot the dictator and his wife stashed in Swiss banks—not for the Filipino people but for their three children. I have copies of Swiss documents to show this.

In addition, the government would never have known about the US$40 million Arelma account that the court recently awarded “with finality” to the government as part of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.

Senator Bongbong Marcos told me during a foreign correspondents forum in 2011 that he was still after striking a deal: “We’ve been pursuing a compromise settlement since 1986. We will continue to do so.”

You can just imagine what he will do with the rest of his family’s cases if he became President.

Part of the Marcos propaganda being propagated on the Internet is that no Marcos has ever gone to jail for any crime. Therefore all the crimes alleged against them are untrue.

Mrs. Marcos was acquitted in 1990 over the antiracketeering case in New York for four reasons.

First, Mr. Marcos who was the principal accused was never arraigned because he said he was “too ill” to stand trial.

Second, the Swiss bank documents that would have traced the money trail for the purchase of New York properties from Manila to Hong Kong to Switzerland to New York never came. Her lawyers had successfully blocked their release. Third, Mrs. Marcos’ lawyer Gerry Spence used the “I’m just a housewife” defense while the former First Lady put on an act before the jury. And fourth, the jurors felt Mrs. Marcos should be standing trial in Manila, not in New York.

If Twitter and Facebook had existed then, her trial would have had a different outcome.

Now let me go back to the LRTA case for which Mrs. Marcos was actually convicted. This illustrates how she has managed to escape convictions all these years.

Five years after her conviction by the Sandiganbayan over the LRTA anomaly, Ramos’ Solicitor General Romeo de la Cruz suddenly submitted a highly unusual request before the Supreme Court to reverse Mrs. Marcos’ conviction for lack of evidence.

I was greatly puzzled and shocked by seeing the chief government lawyer throw away a landmark case that the government had been trying to win all those years.

And so, I interviewed SolGen De la Cruz on the matter. He told me then: “Sandiganbayan erred. It should not have convicted Mrs. Marcos. It played blind to the evidence she presented. So we recommended to the Supreme Court…to acquit Mrs. Marcos.”

He also told me that he arrived at this on “purely legal grounds” and “without asking clearance form higher officials including President Ramos.”

This was even though his office was under the Office of the President and it was never involved in prosecuting the case before Sandiganbayan. The Office of the Ombudsman provided the prosecution lawyers.

I asked him how he got involved and he said it was because the Supreme Court had directed the SolGen, not the Ombudsman, to comment on Mrs. Marcos’ appeal for acquittal.

One of the boys

I asked him about his background and I learned that SolGen De la Cruz became a government lawyer in 1974 serving under Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza—Mrs. Marcos’ lead lawyer. De la Cruz slowly rose through the ranks before being appointed chief government lawyer by Ramos in February 1998—a nearly midnight appointment.

A disgusted human rights lawyer Rene Saguisag told me at that time, “Solicitor General Romeo de la Cruz’s flip-flop is a reflection of the new power situation. If, as we understand it, he is one of the boys of former Solicitor General and Justice Minister Estelito Mendoza, the snicker or wink factor will be there. That passes for administration of justice in our benighted country.”

The Supreme Court used Solgen De la Cruz’ stunning request for acquittal as one of the grounds to acquit Mrs. Marcos on Oct. 6, 1998, by a vote of 8-5-1.

“Thank you, Lord,” Mrs. Marcos said.

But former Senator Jovito Salonga had a different take on the verdict. He noted that five upheld Mrs. Marcos’ conviction: Chief Justice Andrews Narvasa, Justices Artemio Panganiban, Florenz Regaldao, Flerida Ruth Romero and Hilario Davide Jr.

Gerry Spence

But Salonga noted that seven of the eight justices who cleared Mrs. Marcos owed their appointments to senior judicial positions to Mr. Marcos or to Estelito Mendoza, her lead counsel.

I tried checking out Salonga’s statement and this is what I found. Four of the eight justices who had acquitted Mrs. Marcos once had her lawyer Estelito Mendoza as their boss.

Reynato Puno (now a retired Chief Justice) worked under Mendoza for nine years. Vicente Mendoza was Assistant SolGen under Mendoza from 1973 to 1980. Santiago Kapunan worked under Mendoza from 1972 to 1973. Fidel Purisima did not work under the SolGen but Mr Marcos appointed him a judge.

The two others who acquitted Mrs. Marcos were Antonio Martinez and Leonardo Quisumbing. I could not find any reference to Martinez but I personally knew Quisumbing who once worked at the Defense Department under Ramos. Jose Vitug abstained from voting.

If this was a jury in the United States, at the very least some of them could have been questioned for possible conflict of interest.

To this day, the Supreme Court is silent about its dark history during the dictatorship. When Renato Corona was Chief Justice, the court website just skipped any reference to the fact that it was the Supreme Court that legitimized the Marcos dictatorship. Today, if you click the icon that says “history,” nothing comes out.

Is the Supreme Court ashamed of its history? Or is it still being rewritten?

As my fellow journalist husband Alan wrote, “It is a truism that Filipinos are a forgiving people. But how will they ever forgive the crimes of the Marcoses? They cannot even seem to remember them.”

Raissa Robles is journalist-webmaster of raissarobles.com: inside Philippine politics and beyond and Manila correspondent of South China Morning Post. Her twitter handle is @raissawriter and her Facebook community page is www.facebook.com/raissawriter.

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