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WASHINGTON — Donald Trump says there’s genius in his tweets, but his wife wishes he would stop.
He has twice cited an account called WhiteGenocideTM, and just a week ago, he quoted a message from an account with a user name that alluded to masturbation.
Whoever these mysterious users are, they sometimes provide Trump with information that migrates into his social media assertions, campaign speeches and media interviews. One common theme for a mention, quote or retweet appears to be praise for Trump or harsh words for his rivals. One such infamous retweet was a meme mocking Heidi Cruz’s appearance in comparison to a photo of glamorous Melania Trump.
In the days afterward, Trump acknowledged that retweeting the photo was a mistake and conceded that his retweeting could get him in trouble.
Some of the accounts have a substantial track record of tweets bearing the hallmarks of accounts that are programmed to post tweets automatically — commonly known as bots.
Trump opponents and Twitter sleuths have noted commonalities among some of the most prolific accounts, such as years of dormancy, the absence of non-Trump material and account creation dates within minutes — or even seconds — of each other.
Patrick Ruffini, a Washington politics and media consultant opposing Trump, published an analysis of 465 followers of Trump on Twitter that had encouraged people to report unwanted Ted Cruz campaign phone messages to the Federal Communications Commission.
Ruffini said a small group of Trump supporters was combining automated tweets with human-generated content to exaggerate Trump’s support online. MANILA — Believing he still wields the so-called “Erap magic,” Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Thursdayannounced his 12 picks for senator in the May 9 elections, saying he would be vouching for them in the villages as he wages his own reelection campaign. Topping Estrada’s selection is his incumbent vice mayor and now senatorial candidate Isko Moreno, who he said should be Manilenos’ No.
In a statement, Estrada also endorsed the following: former Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian, former Akbayan partylist Rep. Despite being convicted for plunder in 2007 after his ouster from Malacanang six years earlier, Estrada, who received presidential pardon, garnered around 10 million votes and came in second in the 2010 presidential race, losing only to Benigno Aquino III.
MANILA — The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has given recognition to 10 policemen who successfully tracked down the suspect in a spate of robberies, rapes and killings, including the gruesome death of a popular musician’s widow in February.
NCRPO Director Joel Pagdilao said the Medalya ng Kagalingan (Medal of Merit) was awarded to the officers led by Senior Supt. He was arrested based on two warrants issued last year by the Makati and Manila courts, where he is facing robbery charges. The police earlier identified the suspect in these cases as “Ricky Ramos.” Pagdilao later said this was an alias used by Ison, a resident of Barangay Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City. This year, the NCRPO has so far given 21,836 awards to its members for various accomplishments. Asked what he considered to be the turning point in the manhunt for Ison, Barlam cited the recovery of the “Jashkyle” taxi which Teng Gamboa took before she was found dead.
After the taxi was found abandoned also in Makati, the blood samples taken from the cab were later found to be matching the victim’s, he recalled. Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday went to woo the influential  Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) to his side, meeting with INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo. Binay’s communication director Joey Salgado confirmed a report of the religious sect’s Eagle News that the vice president went to see Manalo. Binay is the third presidential candidate to meet with Manalo after  Sen.  Grace Poe and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. During elections, candidates seek the endorsement of the influential INC which has been known to vote as a bloc. Meanwhile, Binay has expressed confidence he would win the presidency despite lagging behind two of his rivals in the surveys. Back in 2010, people who were not interviewed in the vice presidential surveys voted for him, he said. In recent  surveys by the Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia, Binay lagged behind Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Poe.
Commenting on some supporters’ vow to stand by  Duterte despite his controversial statements, Binay said he observed the opposite on the campaign trail.
Many people were now “shaking their heads” when they found out the true character of the tough-talking mayor, he said. Binay has been campaigning for a week now with a warning not to vote for Duterte who he said was an executioner of children and the poor. Binay also did not talk kindly about Poe when he compared their similar platforms to  uplift the lives of the poor.
He claimed that while Poe has yet to deliver on her promises, he has done much for the poor in his long experience as an administrator and an executive.
BAGUIO CITY—The Supreme Court is expected to release the results of the 2015 bar exams in less than two weeks.
The high court is scheduled to hold a special en banc session on May 3, the same day as the anticipated release of the results of the November exams, according to a court insider. The new lawyers are set to take their oath on June 16, as earlier announced by Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, chair of the high court’s bar committee.
Some 6,600 aspiring lawyers took the exams held over four weeks in November at the University of Santo Tomas.
BAGUIO CITY—As the Supreme Court en banc goes into a five-week break, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno Thursday explained how the tribunal had attempted to settle critical cases related to the coming elections, underscoring the importance of establishing jurisprudence that could foreshadow guidelines for future polls.
Speaking briefly to reporters, Sereno described the just concluded monthlong summer sessions as “very interesting” because of the political season. During its sessions here, the court resolved with finality the question on the presidential bid of Sen.
The final ruling ended debates within the court on whether Poe, a foundling who became an American citizen but later reacquired her Filipino citizenship, is a natural citizen and a 10-year Philippine resident. Seven of the magistrates upheld Poe’s qualification on both points in separate votes, in which several justices opted not to participate: three abstained on the citizenship issue while two did not vote on the residency question. The ruling invited sharp criticism from dissenting justices, with several pointing out the lack of a clear majority on the vote on both the citizenship and residency issues. The political party of presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he may have done more for decades to promote the welfare, health, safety and empowerment of women and children than any of his rivals for the presidency. Duterte, who remains the front-runner in several voter preference polls, refused to apologize for his rape joke in a campaign sortie in Quezon City last week, disowning a statement his publicists had prepared and sent out to the media on his behalf. In a statement, PDP-Laban spokesperson Paola Alvarez said Duterte may be the only mayor of any city or municipality to assign a battery of lawyers to handle all the legal concerns of abused and battered women in Davao City. She also cited Duterte’s health programs for pregnant women and their babies, as well as the Child-Minding Centers he put up to take care of children while their mothers are at work. Alvarez said Duterte is being “unjustly and unfairly pilloried over a misunderstood statement” he made on a hostage-taking incident in 1989 that resulted in the death of an Australian lay missionary.
Alvarez pointed out that Duterte even offered himself in exchange for the freedom of the hostages. Alvarez said she was speaking not only as spokesperson of PDP-Laban but also as someone who had seen Duterte from up close and witnessed the many projects he had initiated for women and children. She said that if elected president, Duterte will not only be the protector of women and children and the oppressed in Davao City, but of the weak and the marginalized in the entire Philippines. Despite being told that it is illegal and that preparations for it are being conducted beyond the period allowed, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is pushing through with mall voting in 101 barangays nationwide on May 9. Comelec Chair Andres Bautista said the poll agency had met all the requirements for transferring 337 clustered precincts to 80 participating malls.
He said the commission en banc had given him the authority to enter into memorandums of agreement with the mall managements.
Earlier, Bautista cited the Constitution, particularly Article IX-C, Section 2 (3), as well as Sections 153 and 154 of the Omnibus Election Code, as giving the Comelec the power to designate polling places.
In a press briefing earlier this week, former Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said mall voting could not be legally implemented with less than a month until Election Day. He said the Omnibus Election Code did not allow the transfer of polling precincts 45 days before an election. He also questioned the lack of a Comelec resolution specifying which polling precincts would be transferred to shopping malls. Bautista, however, explained that Minute Resolution 16-0152 contained the final data on the transfer of 337 clustered precincts, and their 231,174 voters, to the participating malls nationwide. The new polling precincts will be at 27 SM malls, 20 Robinsons, 14 Ayala malls, five WalterMarts, five Gaisano Grand Malls, three Pacific Malls, three City Malls, and one each at Sta.
The Palace issued the statement after critics of the administration protested the use of the presidential helicopter by President Aquino’s youngest sister, TV host-actress Kris Aquino, reportedly during a campaign sortie for Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas and running mate Leni Robredo in Argao town in Southern Cebu on Tuesday, alleging it was a case of misuse of government resources. Because he is a bachelor, the President’s sisters— Pinky Aquino-Abellada, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Viel Aquino-Dee and Kris—are considered his immediate family and have been taking turns standing in the role of first lady in official functions. In an interview in Lipa City, the President told reporters that Kris was only a year old when martial law was declared and practically grew up seeing their family at their lowest point as they suffered from the abuses of the dictatorship. The chase is on for a photo shoot of humpback whales of the North Pacific in their southernmost breeding ground.
This also makes the remote islands stage to one of the world’s least understood underwater symphonies. The behemoths reserve these recitals for their breeding grounds—off Hawaii and Okinawa and the waters between the Philippines and Taiwan. Acebes, director of the research nonprofit Balyena, has studied the seasonal whale migration since 1999, when a local resort owner alerted the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)  to the event.
She has since regularly visited the area to catch the peak of the mating season (March through May). The Philippine seas are home to half the known whale species and to date, most of that diversity has been documented around the Visayas. But there are a number of unique creatures whose behavior have not been studied extensively by scientists. For example, the Tanon Strait between Cebu and Negros islands has a large population of dwarf sperm whales who squirt ink when pursued.
Though the distances between these habitats are vast, the process of divining the populations’ links is relatively simple.
Each individual humpback whale’s tail and dorsal fin is unique like a human’s fingerprints.
Photos are then matched against multiple albums of whale tail photos to determine if the whale in question has visited the Babuyan waters before or been photographed by researchers in other breeding or feeding grounds.
Acebes and scientists in Japan have found one instance where a whale commuted from the Babuyans to the coast of Japan and back in the space of a month. Acebes laments there is so much more research to be done on one of the world’s least studied humpback whale populations. So rich are the waters of the Luzon Strait that in 2014, the local fishermen’s association asked for help in setting up a marine protected area. Poaching from Taiwanese vessels is the biggest problem, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Dynamite fishing by local fishermen and the use of hand-operated beach trawlers are also troubling. Now that he has rung the final bell on his boxing career, Manny Pacquiao has enough time—and mental energy—to rethink his latest run for public office. There is little room for optimism when judging his political record, if one is to go by his first stint as an elected official.
Pacquiao’s colleagues in the House, perhaps wary of the backlash that can come with criticizing a national icon, would often rush to his defense, citing his hectic training schedule as a reason for his absences. And the collective joy of a nation over each brutal win may have been enough to deflect the issue a bit.
He will be judged by a public that had tried to dissuade him from embarking on a political career, and, when  he did so anyway, urged him not to seek a higher post, and to protect his sporting legacy by remaining a private person (if that’s at all possible for a world champion). There was a better path for Pacquiao to be of service to his less fortunate countrymen, whose plight, he said, is a constant reminder of where he came from. He could have used his name and his popularity to train the spotlight on causes and advocacies that need a crusader to rally support or intervention their way. He could have provided the kind of help that does not need an official political title or a big chunk of his personal savings. It’s time Manny Pacquiao buckled down to study what he needs to know and do now that he has fully committed to his senatorial run. The filing of the case was based most recently on Duterte’s remarks recounting his reaction upon seeing the body of Australian lay missionary Jacqueline Hamill who had been held hostage and then killed in a standoff with troopers.
With less than a month left before the voting on May 9, it’s iffy if this case and the outcry raised against the mayor’s recent remarks—and the pattern of offensive words and behavior toward women during the campaign—would have an impact on his chances at the polls.
But it’s still worth putting it on record, I believe, that many folk raised their voices and even risked political capital to make themselves heard. Among the first to issue a public protest against the Davao City mayor was former Negros Occidental governor Lito Coscolluela, who said that “when you insult women with your vile behavior, I only think of my loving mother, my only daughter, my caring wife and my many decent women relatives and friends. She decried how “a man aspiring (to) the highest office in our land casually made a rape joke amid a very real and tragic situation. The evangelical leaders thus joined Catholic bishops who earlier denounced the candidate’s callous remarks. While saying they would not demand an apology or any sort of action, the pastors said they were leaving Duterte’s fate up to the judgement of God and the Filipino people.
Though he was writing about the American presidential elections and another candidate—Donald Trump—New York Times columnist David Brooks has words that bear eerie echoes with our own Duterte conundrum. As an avid collector of antiques since the 1970s, it was inevitable that Rosita Arcenas ended up with over 500 pieces of Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics, mostly excavated in the Philippines.
History is a narrative, and the story of these ceramics is the same as those told in the ceramic galleries of the National Museum and by the Roberto Villanueva Collection in the Ayala Museum—stories from artifacts rather than in books and archival manuscripts. Arab and Chinese traders encountered small seafaring communities by the coasts and waterways of the Philippine archipelago in the 9th century.
Traces of this trade are the ceramics that, in our museums, most people find boring because it seems that once you have seen one blue-and-white Ming plate, you have seen them all. In time, and because of their design and utility, these imported ceramics became prestige objects that proclaimed their owner’s wealth and status. Most of the ceramics were found in graves, obviously placed there as furniture the soul could bring to the afterlife. Then there are elegant ewers in the shape of the auspicious double gourd with graceful handles in the form of dragons. Next time you get bored with a museum display of ancient pots, give them a second look and imagine how they must have figured in our prehistory and how they figure in our lives today.
This year’s April 23 is a special World Book Day because it commemorates the 400th death anniversary of two of the world’s best and, maybe, most famous writers: William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes.
About Shakespeare and Cervantes, there have been many attempts to compare the two since they were contemporaries.
Then there are the number of translations of Shakespeare—some 100 languages, according to an article in The Guardian. Shakespeare seems particularly popular in Asia where his plays are frequently adapted, crossing borders in time and place. These adaptations, including those for the cinema, are a testament to Shakespeare’s being able to capture themes that are timeless and universal, in countless enigmatic, even paradoxical ways. The Spaniards claim “Don Quixote” has been translated into some 140 languages; I did check for but could not find a Filipino translation.
I despair too when I get into planes, seeing non-Filipinos struggling to get on board with bags full of books while the Filipinos stagger in with loads of duty-free liquor and cigarettes.  Sure, maybe the Filipinos, like myself, have the books on Kindle or an iPad, but when I go around the cabin I rarely see my   kababayan  reading books or, for that matter, reading anything. Even the philosopher Socrates had reservations about writing (which he said would erode memory) and reading (which would lead to students thinking they have knowledge). But the neglect of books and reading is serious in the Philippines, and made even more tragic when you think about how we are a democracy, which means we almost have unlimited access to books. Books create civility, and congeniality.  I love the way we Filipinos are so good at quoting lines from movies, but wouldn’t it be even better if we could quote from literature, our own or the world’s? The battles to promote book appreciation have to be fought at home, in schools and in communities. The other pitch I want to make is for a group that purchases Filipino children’s books for public schools, day-care centers and other groups.
I am part of that unique subpopulation—millennials—who came of age at the turn of the century when huge strides were made in communication and technology. Into this picture comes something that I had never paused to think about prior to my discovery of the Internet: social justice, or the view that all people deserve fair and equitable treatment at all levels—social, economic, political and so forth. It’s through social media that a lot of us are educated about what is “Not Okay,” and this is one of those times.


Maybe there’s a lesson here: that it’s also through the discussion of online social justice that we are reminded that the first reaction to prejudice and privilege should be to educate, and not castigate.
Last week, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, a candidate in the upcoming presidential election, pledged to declare drug-related problems as a national security threat and to allocate two divisions of the Philippine Army and 3,000 policemen to fight it. It seems that harsh penalties are not a deterrent, as despite having some of the harshest penalties for drug offenses in Asia, more and more people are arrested for drug use and possession every year in the Philippines. The unbalanced investment in heavily punitive measures has diverted attention and resources away from ensuring access to evidence-based drug treatment and harm reduction services, such as the provision of needle and syringe programs to prevent the spread of HIV among people who inject drugs. In other parts of the world, governments are turning away from the use of harsh punishment to manage drug-related problems. It is the devastating consequences of prohibitionist and punitive drug policies that motivated the heads of state of Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia to call for the first Ungass on the world drug problem in almost two decades, which started in New York April 19 and will end today.
With the Ungass, the Philippines was similarly presented with an opportunity to revisit and revise its drug policy and move away from punitive drug laws that are ineffective in addressing drug problems and are detrimental to public health. In this context, it is disconcerting that Duterte is proposing to divert resources toward militarizing the drug enforcement response. In practice, however, the ritual of the majority of senators—past and present—is to silently question yet loudly accept a dogma that fundamentally frames the Philippines’ external relations standpoint. This is the case no matter how severely harmful these prescriptions may be and which regularly violate Philippine sovereignty and endanger the lives of the Filipino masses in the long run.
Sadly for us, from July 4, 1946, until the present, the Senate only once delivered a majority vote against America’s strategic interests. Hence, most senators tend to lose their strategic focus quite rapidly, because they no longer see the need to provide any type of independent leadership for their people anymore.
The disappointing political deterioration of the Senate is clearly rooted in the backward and underdeveloped national structures and processes of the Philippine capitalist system itself. Indeed, the current international terrain is a shifting landscape of complex and complicated dynamics. Because these global issues gravely impact upon us all, we are now compelled to pursue an alternative foreign policy framework in response to external challenges. Decisively, today’s highly fluid international environment should push a new generation of senators to urgently and swiftly cochart a path to independently lead our country through a multifaceted mix of global forces.
Rasti Delizo is an international affairs analyst and presently the political affairs coordinator of the socialist labor center Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino. She said she agonized over her choice, and concluded that many others agonized over their choices, too. This is a natural consequence of not being able to go beyond personalities to concepts and platforms. What is worse and sadder, though, is the blatant hypocrisy of the noisiest among partisans. I had written in a previous article that decisions of people are dictated by the number and intensity of their fears, their basic needs and their deepest aspirations. Our partisanship, therefore, is rooted on the dynamics of our fears, our needs and our dreams or aspirations.
I do not understand why we seem forced to intellectualize our reasons for our preferences to others. What is extremely difficult for many is to respect the right of others to choose whoever they please. When we hide our inability to extend respect to those we differ with, we naturally point to the weakness of their choice, either the character or the record of their preferred candidates, or question the very intelligence or integrity of their fellow voter. The Aquino administration’s revised “Philippine Development Plan: 2011-2016” targeted to reduce the country’s poverty incidence. The Philippines has a democratic form of government but it is dominated by the elite—big businessmen and politicians. Among developing countries—such as Kenya, Bangladesh, India, Ghana, Laos, Timor-Leste and the Philippines—where the ratio of public sector employment to total population (public sector employment rate) is less than 2 percent, the poverty incidence is more than 24 percent.
Given the above realities, the Filipino voters should elect a president and political leaders who have the charisma, guts, capability and sincerity to lead the nation in accelerating the development of agriculture to its maximum, sustainable productivity while keeping the current momentum in improving its CPI and GDP growth.
According to the Insurance Commission, Loyola Plans had already released checks due for 36 plan holders who earlier filed claims, while 61 checks for claimants with matured benefits had been turned over to the regulator for release. The Insurance Commission said all 95 complaints it earlier received with regard to Loyola Plans’ nonpayment of matured benefits had been addressed, with 13 already settled, 20 pending verification and being processed for check issuance and 61 with checks ready for release. Loyola Plans’ president Jesusa Puyat Concepcion  assured Loyola plan holders in the provinces that they “will not be affected by the said closure of the company’s provincial branches,”  the Insurance Commission said. Top Philippine conglomerates, like most of their peers in the region, have been picking up European real estate as a way to diversify, officials from Dutch financial giant ING said. One recent deal involving a Philippine investor is the acquisition by tycoon Andrew Tan of Torre Espacio, a 224-meter, 56-storey tower that is considered one of the iconic skyscrapers in Madrid. The property was acquired by Tan in November 2015 from Spain’s Grupo Villar Mir of international construction group OHL.  ING Bank was the sole underwriter and mandated lead arranger for the 280-million euro, seven-year loan to finance 50 percent of the acquisition price.
In a statement Thursday, ING Bank Manila country manager Consuelo Garcia said Europe—particularly Spain, which has close historic ties with the Philippines—was a good destination for Asian investors because of good valuation, transparency, ease of doing business, specialized high-tech sector, among other factors. Demand for European commercial real estate from Asian investors, including those from the Philippines, is seen to grow due in part to their need for diversification of assets under management, the increase in buying opportunities and the attraction posed by lower interest rates and the Euro-US dollar exchange rate. Scholten cited the growing number of sovereign wealth funds, life insurance companies, asset management funds and family offices from almost every country across Asia as some of the parties investing in Europe. ING REF deems itself well-positioned to cater to the influx of cross-border investments with its leadership position in real estate finance. In the Philippines, ING Bank is a key player in financial markets, mergers and acquisitions (M&As), and specialized sector financing such as utilities, power, and infrastructure.
About six months ago, a businessman and former investment banker was looking at a proposal about a certain remittance firm that was on the selling block.  After looking at the documents, however, the businessman decided not to endorse to his principal investor the acquisition of this company.
The rationale was that in an environment of tighter financial regulations and technological advances globally, it would be difficult for an independent or non-bank remittance firm to thrive. Six months later, the businessman could only heave a sigh of relief that he didn’t recommend the takeover of this remittance firm to the group. Otherwise, it would have been him in hot water before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee explaining the $81-million dirty money flow coming from the cyber heist on the Bangladeshi central bank. Months before the “jackpot” deal turned into ashes, controversial Philrem Service Corp.—led by couple Michael and Salud Bautista (that’s “Concon” and “Sheba,” respectively, for those who know them)—was on sale, based on the reckoning of the businessman. Casino junket operator Kim Wong suspects that $17 million of the “unaccounted” money from Bangladesh that slipped through the banking system is still with Philrem, which the latter has strongly denied. Its officials have been criticized for a lot of inconsistencies in their stories and sworn testimonies.  With its footprint all over the place, being the central party involved from the transfer of all the money to the recipients and their conversion into pesos, Philrem still has a lot of explaining to do.
Casinos have been getting a lot of bad press recently due to the role they allegedly played in the $81-million money laundering scandal that has rocked the local banking industry, or more specifically, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.
A lot of the criticism focused on the casino industry’s exclusion from coverage under the Anti-Money Laundering Law, presumably because it would place an unnecessary burden on a still-young industry. An ongoing senate investigation has revealed that one way for laundering to occur was for a player to bet on both sides. With Thursday’s announcement of the departure of Raul Tan as the treasurer of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., the task of ensuring the smooth flow of funds into, out of and within the bank has now fallen on Carlos Cesar “Lito” Mercado. Initially, word on the street was that the task of running RCBC’s treasury department in the interim would be given to senior vice president Jomi Deveras, known to be a close associate of the bank’s president-on-leave Lorenzo Tan.
But for one reason or another, this didn’t pan out, so the job of running the bank’s coffers is now with Mercado, who has a rank of senior vice president and was previously the bank’s head of trading. Before joining RCBC, Mercado was part of the Lucio Tan Group, specifically the conglomerate’s fund management unit called Basic Capital Investments Corp.
The local stock barometer Thursday firmed up as regional markets were perked up by the rebound in oil prices, which traded closer to $46 per barrel. Outside of the PSEi, one notable gainer was NOW, which rallied by 21.51 percent and was the most heavily traded company in the market.
Elsewhere in the world, the sharp drop in oil prices is resulting in a slowdown in countries and regions dependent on the resource.
The company’s Brazil port used to be among its biggest revenue contributors, alongside Manila, Poland, Madagascar, China, Ecuador and Paksitan. Nevertheless, Razon said ICTSI remained open to bidding for port deals overseas, but added that it would assume a less aggressive stance. ICTSI announced earlier that capital spending for 2016 would hit $420 million, mainly to expand its presence overseas. The company said this year’s budget was allocated for new container terminals in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq, and the continuing development of its project in Australia. ICTSI said profit in 2015 slipped 68 percent to $58.5 million, citing one-time adjustments and non-recurring charges. Solaire’s opening in 2013 marked the launch of the 120-hectare Entertainment City gaming complex, the Philippines’ response to casino hubs in Singapore and Macau. While the Philippines is facing oversupply, regional gaming hubs, meanwhile, are facing harder times.
Amid new supply putting a strain on gaming prospects, Razon said the company was expecting to reverse its P3.37-billion loss in 2015.
He said Bloomberry remained keen on expanding its presence overseas.  Bloomberry already owns the Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino in South Korea.
18, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens to his mobile phone during a lunch stop in North Charleston, S.C. He has celebrated the support of scores of accounts on the social media service that appear almost solely dedicated to him. Many of the accounts with which he interacts use hazy identities or images of models widely circulated on the internet. The tweet originated from a user named Don_Vito_08, who tweets as many as 23 self-generated Trump memes an hour.
Other accounts Trump has elevated include ones claiming to be end-times believers, researchers of time travel and a man who says he was devoted to the mystical significance of the number 11. Many of the accounts appeared to have a sideline promoting business-to-business social media software, or in some instances pornography. Accounts that Ruffini suspected of involvement began posting mocking messages at him, which gave way to a harassing wave of pornography. Risa Hontiveros, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Francis Tolentino, Sarangani Rep. Grace Poe, citing his close friendship with her late father and movie icon Fernando Poe Jr. Ernesto Barlam, chief of the Makati City police, for the arrest of Nitro Agustin Ison in San Miguel, Bulacan province, on April 14.
10 killing of Amparo “Teng” Santaromana Gamboa, wife of the late Tropical Depression frontman Dominic “Papadom” Gamboa.
But the PNP presented him to the media last week as a suspect in more recent crimes, including the Gamboa case, two more homicides, three rapes, seven car thefts, and seven robberies.
For sure, I will win and my advantage will be by 7 to 10 percent,” said the standard-bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance party. Reiterating his misgivings about them, he claimed that other surveys were being done to make it appear certain candidates were on top of the race.
So we have to immediately find out what is the best solution for some important issues,” Sereno said.
When negotiations failed, the mayor also put his life on the line by leading the operation against the criminals, she said. If the transfer of the clustered precincts is illegal, the proceedings of the board of election inspectors in those clustered precincts are illegal. Aquino also turned wistful in explaining why he was happy to show his sister around the country with only a little over two months left in his term. Annually, these creatures—each the length of a basketball court and weighing 22,000 to 36,000 kilograms—migrate from the Arctic to these balmy Babuyan waters to mate and breed. After receiving a doctoral degree from Murdoch University in Australia in 2007, Acebes moved from WWF to Balyena. In the Babuyan waters, false killer whales, pilot and melonhead whales are frequently sighted near humpback pods.
Eleven have been matched to whales spotted off Okinawa; another 28 have been spotted wintering off Russia’s eastern Siberian peninsula of Kamchatka. Acebes and her team of five volunteers spend eight hours a day spotting whales, and getting close enough to get a clear picture of their tails. No, it seems too much to ask that he back out of the Senate race, especially because his candidacy is one of his two main reasons for quitting the sport, the other being his decision to give in to his family’s wish that he hang up his gloves. It’s a statement we hope he will repeat even more, this time in a private setting, to himself. His absences during sessions at the House of Representatives provide more than ample fuel for critics to question how well he served his constituents in Sarangani province in the chamber.
He is busy bringing honor to the country, they would say, selling the premise that the glory he earned in the boxing ring was sufficient substitute for his lack of activity as a legislator—blows for laws, as it were. This time, a successful run for a Senate seat will be put under heavy scrutiny, the likes of which he may be completely unaware.
Because of how strongly he has been warned that he is unfit for a Senate seat, he cannot hope to do a Lito Lapid—that is to say, ill-equipped, incoherent, a veritable doorstop—during his term.
But there are those who will still judge him by his declaration of wanting to serve the Filipino public. And it isn’t by being, in his promoter’s words, a “one-man social service department” shelling out dole to the long queue constantly making a beeline for his house. He could have used the international goodwill he gained as a boxing icon to seek foreign assistance to help ease the conditions of the country’s poorest sectors. Forget the rounds, the purses, the prizes, the belts, the pay-per-view-shares, the big-name opponents.
According to the mayor, seeing how lovely—“like a movie actress”—Hamill was, he was angered not just because she had been gang-raped by the prisoners but also because “she was so beautiful” and he rued that they should have let the mayor (himself) have a go first.
Many of them are victims of economic dislocation and it is hard to fault them for seeking a change, of course, even if it is simplistic and ignorant.
Part of our nation’s story comes from old pots that illustrate trade and civilization in these islands long before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. But if you take the time to give these ceramics a second look you will realize that the high-fired imported ceramics are different from low-fired Philippine earthenware; these are impermeable, glazed, ornamented with iron spots or with freely painted auspicious symbols in Chinese or Tibetan characters, as well as with images of pine, prunus, peach, twin, fish, twin Mandarin ducks, dragon chasing pearl, phoenix, and frolicking Fu dogs. These were used as water droppers on scholars’ tables where water was added to an ink stone on which ink sticks were ground to produce the ink for Chinese calligraphy.
They come in three types: white qingbai glaze, white qingbai glaze with brown iron spots, or white qingbai glaze painted with floral sprays in cobalt blue.
Of course, Shakespeare comes out looking like the winner because he was so prolific, with 37 plays and 154 sonnets in all to his name. Dulaang UP recently staged one such adaptation of “King Lear,” which, it turns out, seems to have a particular appeal to Asians; one particularly spectacular version was staged in Melbourne with actors from several Asian countries speaking their parts in Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia and Japanese. The narrative’s theme of lofty idealism is universal, too, so much so that in English we now have words like “quixotic” (which means to be unrealistic and impractical) and “chasing windmills,” referring to some people’s pursuit of a daunting personal cause, which is seen by many as futile, yet is respected because it is so unrelenting. Alas, Cervantes’ great novel is perhaps much too long to read, and the number of people who have read it cover to cover is probably going to dwindle even more in this age of SMS (short message service), Twitter and Facebook postings. The British have another World Book Day on March 3 and, strangely, call April 23 World Book Night, which as you might imagine will be celebrated with extra enthusiasm this year.
All over the world, there’s ambivalence about books.  Just think of the connotations of words like “bookworm” and “bookish,” suggesting that people who read are too detached from the world, impractical and idealistic like Don Quixote. Dictators—secular, political, religious—were more fearful of the printed word as giving people dangerous ideas.  Just look at how books were censored, even burned. Our problem lies with the environments we have, at home and in school, where the libraries are limited, and where books are associated with assignments that are difficult or boring, or both. The rather dismal choices we have in this year’s elections are due, in part, to our inability to see beyond our archipelago, even with millions of Filipinos living overseas (and who, working hard all day, have little time for books or, if they do, would have other budgetary priorities). But outlets like Books for Less have gone a long way toward creating more book-friendly homes. The unrepeatable phenomenon of experiencing life without and then with the Internet defined a huge shift in our childhoods; thus on some level we grew up more educated by the Internet than by our schools.
It’s become a part of how we use the Internet; we express indignation at the mistreatment of others, we share articles on great strides against racism or sexism or other types of prejudice.
People with and without political agenda or preferred candidates are coming out of the woodwork to say that rape jokes are unacceptable. Whatever our feelings about the presidential candidates, or their flaws and their achievements relative to each other’s, it ought at least to be clear that a rape joke by itself is nonnegotiably a bad thing.


Clearly the rape joke (and whatever it might represent about the candidate) is just one among many factors to consider in candidate selection. Regardless of who wins on Election Day, rape culture and the structures that keep it in place, will still exist afterwards, and what we do and say during this time has power beyond the elections and beyond the next presidential term. This lack of investment in health services means that those who are looking for help with problems relating to their drug use cannot get it.
After a century of prohibitionist drug policies, with vast resources poured into law and military enforcement and increasingly severe punishments imposed for drug use and supply, the world is very far from achieving the “drug-free world” envisaged by the last UN General Assembly Special Session (Ungass) on the world drug problem in 1998.
The Ungass was envisaged as a critical juncture to evaluate the effectiveness of existing drug policies and to debate alternative strategies that could achieve better outcomes for the health and welfare of humankind—the objective of the international drug treaties.
It should review its laws criminalizing people who use drugs and disproportionately punishing low-level offenders, and create new policies that allow evidence-based harm reduction services such as needle-and-syringe exchange programs.
Such action risks escalating violence, at great cost to human life and the security of communities, with virtually no chance of success in even suppressing drug markets. Aside from its high-profile public investigations “in aid of legislation,” the Senate can effectively make or break the Philippine state’s position on a wide range of internationally focused economic, political and security questions.
Thus, the basic attitude of Philippine foreign policy is to always bow to the global dictates of the United States and to never oppose its self-serving policy impositions on us.
And because our foreign policy logic is stuck in a neo-Cold War syndrome, our traditional political elites cannot seem to conduct Philippine diplomacy beyond a 20th-century mindset. Combined with the support of a strong anti-US-bases mass movement at the time, 12 senators finally abrogated the RP-US Military Bases Agreement on Sept.
This is one major factor why our senators cannot seem to appreciate the formal powers of sovereignty which the Senate officially still wields, and that is vested within their collective leadership.
Almost the entire Philippine state’s economic-political-security setup is directly plugged into, and fully dependent on, a global capitalist system dominated by a bloc of imperialist powers led by the United States. Thus, a new external relations agenda should be truly independent, progressively sovereign, democratically cooperative, and internationalist in character. The urgency of formulating a forward-looking foreign policy as a frontline weapon to protect our people’s collective interests from potential external threats and dangers cannot be overstated. In that post, she said that if elections were held today, she would vote for a particular presidential candidate. And she then challenged others to disparage her choice if they were willing for their choices to be disparaged as well. We devolve to choosing from character preferences instead of higher visions—because there is a lack of solid virtues and an absence of visions to compare.
In that dimension of partisan politics, I think it has become the norm to simply shoot one’s mouth off in defense of his or her choice as though the words that come out are intelligent or objective. We are not elevating the good and noble to dominate our value system, to be the primary guides for decision-making. A little wrong is the beginning of a bigger wrong, the angry thought the beginning of a violent act, the insult a preface for a slap. That same democracy has incorporated a system of systemic change through elections, and elections via popular choice.
There is nothing that changes this principle substantially except substantial changes in fear, need and aspiration levels. We are closely monitoring the claims settlement process of Loyola to fast-track the release of overdue claims. The bank also boasts of a global network across 40 countries in Asia, Europe, the United States and Latin America. Scholten noted that ING had over 220 dedicated real estate financing experts in eight of the most liquid markets in Europe, teams in New York, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
It would have been him dealing with the tax evasion charges filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Before this, he was the treasurer of the now defunct local unit of Singapore’s United Overseas Bank, and before that, with Equitable-PCI Bank (before it was acquired by BDO Universal Bank). Tan) will be the last casualty of the management shakeup within RCBC or if—as the word on the street suggests—there will at least be one more big name to follow.
Through the years, it has focused on high-growth, emerging and, sometimes, difficult areas.
It cut spending last year to $353.5 million, from the $530 million it had allotted, given slowing trade growth worldwide. Of this amount, it said $60 million was allocated for its share in a container terminal venture in Buenaventura, Colombia.
Without these extraordinary items, ICTSI said net income would have increased by 1 percent to $174.7 million last year. Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada is expected to open his Manila Bay Resorts in Entertainment City by the end of 2016 while Resorts World Bayshore is scheduled to open in 2018.
Casinos in Macau, the world’s biggest gambling market, are struggling with slowing earnings growth following an anti-graft campaign launched by Chinese president Xi Jinping. On Tuesday, the full court threw out the second motion for reconsideration plea against its ruling, saying the attempt by former Sen. Also, the currents near the Babuyans are swift and waters often murky—tough for underwater observations. No longer just a representative of a district, he will be answerable to a much larger, much more demanding, constituency that may not have forgotten his lamentable slur on same-sex relationships. If the case prospers and gets a favorable hearing, Duterte may end up, if not yet in hell, then at least behind cold, steel prison bars. Now well-curated in the University of San Carlos Museum in Cebu, the ceramics have become tangible proof of a lively maritime trade between the Philippines and its neighbors from the 11th through the 19th centuries.
Many of these pots are older than the name “Filipinas” such that the pioneering prehistorian H. Trade was conducted through barter; silk, iron, parasols, glass and porcelain brought by the Chinese were exchanged for the Filipinos’ pearls, tortoise shell, yellow wax, betel nut, abaca fabric, cotton and provisions of fresh water, meat, vegetable and fruit for their onward journey. These images meant something to the Chinese; what did they come to mean to the early Filipinos?
These 14th-century Yuan “balimbing jarlets” that come in plain white  qingbai  glaze, or white with brown iron spots, or with floral designs in cobalt blue or underglaze red, are significant because these were not found in China. What ancient Filipinos used these jarlets and water droppers for, aside from grave furniture, remains a mystery. Then I’ll go into the importance of World Book Day to the Philippines, and close with an appeal to help make this year’s World Book Day more meaningful.
I’m elated seeing our book fairs packed with people, but I worry, too when my kids beg to go to National Bookstore or Powerbooks only to end up buying everything except books. Books are the lifelines of faculty members, and the loss of their private libraries was devastating.  Fortunately, Anvil and the university presses of Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle and the University of Santo Tomas have teamed up for a Sagip Guro project that offers books at great discounts for faculty members affected by the fires. It was the great “Equalizer”: For the first time, concepts that were previously confined to academic circles and dry social science treatises were widely available to any 13-year-old with a modem. Some of them are your garden-variety mudslinging, but some of them stem from the genuine need to point out that there is such a thing as rape culture, and that the Philippines in the 21st century needs to be able to recognize that such a thing exists. Whether it plays any substantial part in swaying votes one way or another remains to be seen. Maybe we do deserve a president who is willing to recognize that rape culture and systematic oppression do exist, and who won’t contribute to that. Despite already significant investment of state resources in law enforcement for police to conduct raids, arrests and seizures to tackle drugs, a violent criminal market continues to grow in the Philippines. Possession of drugs alone can lead to a sentence of life imprisonment, while the maximum sentence for homicide is 17 years imprisonment.
The Philippines now has a health crisis on its hands, with the world’s second highest rate of HIV prevalence among people who inject drugs. The reality is that even in countries that have meted out the most excessive brutality in an attempt to eliminate drugs—from Thailand’s 2003 “war on drugs” (which resulted in 2,800 people dead from extrajudicial killings in the first three months) to Mexico’s militarization of its drug war in 2006 (which provoked outbreaks of violence with drug cartels leading to over 164,000 homicide victims between 2007 and 2014)—no claim of success in even suppressing drug markets, least of all eliminating them, can be made. In the lead-up to the Ungass, many governments including the United States, Uruguay and Colombia, called for a shift in drug policies from a focus on law enforcement toward public health. This is the lesson learned by governments around the world that have attempted to fight drug problems with violence and punishment.
Partly because they are not guided by any sovereign perspective linked to a progressive foreign policy agenda, many senators lack a broad world view on the changing international system. This blend of principles should help advance a more liberating and nonchauvinistic foreign policy paradigm for our people amid the current international conflicts and regional tensions buffeting our country. It should also advance a set of internationalist solidarity initiatives to help guide the world’s oppressed majority toward a humanity-oriented global project that is rights-based, people-centered, and socially-just.
She knew that naming the person she was most likely to vote for (she did say her decision was not final) would create a controversy even among her own friends and network of social media allies.
Noisy partisans would become the laughing stock of an audience that is truly intelligent and objective. We then try to justify our preferences with all sorts of reasons, usually the good traits or deeds of our choices, which is what it should be, but we cannot help but put down the other candidates. Even if the candidates who present themselves to us all have their dark secrets, so have we. If we explain why we prefer someone to another person who prefers another, our explanation will not be understood, or respected—just as theirs will not be to us either.
Unusual choices, the kind that surprises others, are built on unusual emotional and material conditions. And the hypocrites are the last ones to recognize their hypocrisy as they are too busy pointing to the wrongs of weaknesses of others. And the foremost consideration of the appointees is the vested interests of their sponsors. Cambodia’s small farmers, or those with less than two hectares per household, account for most of private sector activity. The Insurance Commission will issue further announcement and advisory with regard to this matter,” he said.
It has closed more than $17 billion worth of M&A deals for the government and its clients. Casino executives, meanwhile, argued that while they could spot this practice “a mile away,” it was not actually illegal. He has celebrated the support of scores of accounts that appear almost solely dedicated to him. Francis Escudero) as his vice presidential candidate, out of gratitude to the lawmaker’s mother Imelda.
People will demand to see him in action during televised inquiries mounted in aid of legislation. Or will he be shown up as a mere carnival barker peddling public service dreams as currency for political clout? Otley Beyer defined the 10th to early 16th centuries as a period different from the earlier Stone Age and Iron Age. Some high-fired plates and bowls, ringing like a bell when flicked with a finger, came to be used for rituals because they were believed to possess magic qualities. They were found only in archeological sites in the Philippines and parts of Indonesia, which suggests that they were made specially for export to the Southeast Asian market. A simpler and smaller version of these can be seen in Chinese restaurants today, as droppers for soy sauce or vinegar. But old habits die hard, and in the 21st century Filipinos still practice a form of pabaon by throwing flowers into the grave of loved ones at the time of burial; or by leaving a cut rosary, paper currency, or other keepsakes in the coffin to accompany the dead in the afterlife. Well, they’ll have Shakespeare readings in that grand institution that is the British Library, which presumably will stay open through the night. You can also buy books from them with specific instructions on what or which institution or department you want the book for. Maybe it’s also a function of the way social media allows us to explore stories that are not our own. As such, people who had never paused to think about rape jokes before are forced to confront the idea that words have power: that the trivialization of rape is both an effect of and a contributor to the objectification of women.
To me however it has come out as a sort of felix culpa, a happy fault—an unfortunate occurrence bearing some semblance of good fruit. But, regardless of who wins, maybe change is coming—and maybe it starts with us and with our keyboards, and our capacity to educate ourselves and others. These measures have led to the highest prison overcrowding rates (over 700 percent in some regions) in Southeast Asia.
Year after year, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime reports expanding and diversifying drug markets, especially for methamphetamine in Southeast and East Asia.
And thus, they readily lose sight of any positive potential which the Philippines can yet contribute to the greater welfare of the global order today. And what is more important is the good they have and the good they can do, from their past performance as proof of what they are most predisposed to do. And our preferences for particular candidates are grounded on this fundamental behavioral platform.
It is simply because the context of our choices are intimately and directly related to an inner context of fears, needs and wishes.
In an election, there is no demand that we understand in the same way, feel in the same way, and vote for the same candidates. It is so much easier to resent and insult others who do not agree with us, so much easier to condemn the weaknesses of candidates we do not prefer, and so hard to simply respect our differences. Every new administration makes thousands of elite-backed appointments; this explains the lack of continuity in our national directions and policies, which weakens our institutions and makes them more vulnerable to patronage and corruption.
They are provided with technical assistance and training to better prepare them to adapt to climate change; water-use efficiency is enhanced to protect their livelihood and sustain food security. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) director Joel Villanueva, Bayan Muna Rep. Estrada spent the early part of his political career as town mayor of San Juan during the Marcos years. Dennis Batangan (0917-5045272) if you want to help.  I’ve been helping them with their campaign with a request to allocate books for the lumad (indigenous people in Mindanao) communities in evacuation centers.
For the first time, through blogging platforms and online communities, a teenager growing up in a middle-class Filipino household could have an idea of what it was like to be black in the middle of a white American suburb, or to be a lesbian afraid to come out to her conservative Christian family, or to be poor, or to be a rape victim just beginning to recover from her trauma. In a political season where the discussion on the rights of women and other marginalized groups has often been pushed to the back burner, suddenly the topic is on everyone’s lips and their Facebook feeds.
Whatever else the rape joke has turned out to be, it’s turned out to be a lesson on the power of words and of the Internet, and how we wield them.
Paiboon Khumchaya, publicly acknowledged the goal of eradicating drugs as counterproductive, leading only to systemic police corruption, and prisons overcrowded with low-level drug offenders from impoverished backgrounds.
For the Philippines to go against this trend is to perpetuate the devastating consequences of unjust and ineffective drug policies, and the waste of already scarce resources, without improving outcomes for the health and security of communities. The debate then moves to what is the graver sin, killing or stealing, lying or adultery, stupidity or not caring enough.
Because the good they are and the good they can do must be the basis of our choice—the good and not the nonexistent lesser evil.
Hence, Cambodia has earned the reputation of being one of the world’s best performers when it comes to poverty reduction.
I visited one such center in Davao and was touched by how, amid the difficult conditions, the children have been able to continue studying, but struggling with very few books. Through the experience of other people’s stories and exposure to a variety of ideas and counterideas, we are more able to recognize privilege and the existence of systematic inequality across cultures.
There might be Internet trolls who thumb their noses up at the women’s rights movement and ask what all the fuss is about, but across the nation there are people looking at their phones and computer screens slowly digesting the idea that all along, women have had to live with some things that fundamentally have never been an obstacle to men. It is often those who are already poor and vulnerable that suffer most from these punitive policies. And if we as a people cannot go nearer towards this, then our popular choices will bring us regret after regret. For example, while women are a minority in the prison population, one out of every two women is incarcerated because of a drug-related crime.



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