Mar 312016
President Benigno S. Aquino lll delivers his speech during the opening ceremony of Publish Asia 2016 Conference, with the theme "Mapping Challenges and Opportunities in the New Asian Media Game," held at the Manila Hotel in One Rizal Park in Manila, Wednesday, March 30, 2016. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino lll delivers his speech during the opening ceremony of Publish Asia 2016 Conference, with the theme “Mapping Challenges and Opportunities in the New Asian Media Game,” held at the Manila Hotel in One Rizal Park in Manila, Wednesday, March 30, 2016. (MNS photo)

ANGELES, Pampanga, Mar 31 (Mabuhay) – Presidential aspirant Grace Poe said she does not harbor any ill-feeling toward President Benigno Aquino III despite the latter’s recent tirades against her.

“Hayaan mo na sya basta ako naman ay inihahayag ko lang ang nararapat, kung ano ang sa aking palagay ay ang dapat gawin sa ating bansa. Kung yan ang kanyang pananaw,” Poe said on Thursday when asked about her relationship with Aquino after the latter’s reported criticisms on what seemed to be her choice to have an arms race with China over the South China Sea maritime dispute.

“Kaya nga siguro yun ang kanyang piniling kandidato. Meron kaming hindi mga pagkakapareho ng solution para sa problema ng kababayan at kahirapan,” Poe added.

(Let him be, as for me, I only express what is right, what I believe must be done for our country.

Perhaps that’s why they chose him as their candidate. We have differences in our solutions for the problems of our countrymen and of poverty.)

She was apparently referring to Aquino’s presidential bet, former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

Aquino appointed Poe as chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board in 2010. She ran and topped the 2013 senatorial race also under Aquino’s ticket.

Asked if she was hurt by Aquino’s attacks on her, Poe answered no.

“Hindi ako nasasaktan,” she said.

“Yes, I continue to respect him but para sa akin ang problema ng kahirapan ng ating mga kababayan ang ating tinututukan…”she said.

(No, I am not hurt.

Yes, I continue to respect him, but for me, the problem of poverty among our countrymen is what we focus on.)

Pressed further if she bore no ill feelings even if the President seemed to belittle her, Poe said in jest: “Maliit kasi talaga ako (I truly am small).”

Regarding her stand on the South China Sea, Poe explained that the Philippines does not have to engage in an arms race but it should not also give up its fight easily.

“Alam mo, hindi naman nakikipagsabayan pero mayroon tayong deterrent rin. Hindi naman pwede rin na basta-basta na lang ay hindi na natin kaya,” she said.

“Sabi nga di ba pader man ang ating kabangga,’meron ngang wrecking ball na sinasabi pero ang sinasabi natin hindi naman basta-basta, hindi naman tayo nakikipag-away maski kanino…”she added.

(You know, it’s not that we should keep up with them, because we also have deterrents. But we can’t just say that we can’t do [anything].

Like they say, we’re hitting a wall, there’s a so-called wrecking ball [for that], but it’s not that easy, we are not fighting with anyone.)(MNS)

Mar 312016
Duterte won’t scrap 4Ps, slams bets who dangle it to voters

Presidential aspirant and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte chants “Mabuhay ang Moro people!” before entering his vehicle after his campaign rally in Cotabato City on Saturday. Majority of the Bangsamoros in the event expressed support for Duterte for his clear stance on resolving the Mindanao conflict.(MNS photo) MANILA, Mar 31 (Mabuhay) – Presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has clarified that he will not scrap the government’s conditional cash transfer program, especially because it benefits poor families. “Don’t worry that 4Ps will stop. It will continue under a Duterte presidency,” he said on Wednesday during a campaign rally in Catanauan, Quezon. Pantawid Pamilyang Piilipino Program (4Ps), is a conditional cash transfer mechanism implemented first during the term of former president and now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It was expanded to cover more families under the Aquino administration. Its beneficiaries are required to keep their children in school and invest in their health and nutrition. “Who are you (candidates) to stop a program that benefits underprivileged Filipinos,” Duterte said. However, he pointed out that the funding of 4Ps is not from candidates but from the government itself. According to a statement from the Duterte camp, the mayor criticized administration bets who claimed that the 4Ps would stop if they lose in the elections. Earlier this month, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that four out of five Filipinos would “probably vote for” a candidate who will continue the 4Ps, which now benefits 4.4 million families.(MNS)

Mar 312016
Lawmaker seeks probe on the status of the legal assistance fund for OFWs

— Supporters of Mary Jane Veloso holding a vigil at the Indonesian embassy in Makati rejoice after hearing the reprieve given the death row inmate on Wednesday. Indonesia carried out the execution of 8 other drug convicts but spared Veloso at the last minute.(MNS photo) MANILA  (Mabuhay) – Rep. Sherwin T. Gatchalian (1st District, Valenzuela City) has called for a congressional inquiry into the current status of the legal assistance fund for distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Gatchalian filed House Resolution 2653 urging the House Committees on Overseas Workers Affairs and Foreign Affairs to summon the officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and furnish the House body an inventory of all the cases involving OFWs. In pushing for the probe, Gatchalian said the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act mandates the provision and overall coordination of all legal assistance services to OFWs through the Office of the Legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs under the DFA. “Many of our OFWs are currently embroiled in cases abroad that threaten not only their employment but their lives and the future of their families as well, hence, the need to provide legal services to these OFWs in distress,” Gatchalian said. Based on data from the DFA, Gatchalian said the number of OFWs facing legal problems abroad increased from 6,002 in 2014 to 7,182 in 2015. “Of this number, 807 are drug-related cases, while 79 of these cases involve Filipinos currently on death row,” he said. Gatchalian cited the pending case of Read More …

Mar 312016
Bonta, supporters call for accurate data collection to address health, education challenges for all API subgroups

(From left) Cirian Villavicencio, Chair, California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs; Assemblymember David Chiu; Linh Chuong, South East Asian Resource Action Center; Pakou Her, student, California State University, Sacramento; Assemblymember Das Williams (Chair of the API Caucus); Assemblymember Rob Bonta (author of the AHEAD Act); Assemblymember Evan Low; and Assemblymember Phil Ting. (Sacramento, CA) – Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), author of AB 1726, the Accounting for Health and Education in Asian Pacific Islander Demographics Act (the AHEAD Act), issued the following statement after holding press conferences in Oakland and Sacramento to call for accurate data collection for all API subgroups. “Good data drives good policy,” Bonta explained.  “One way to get good data is through disaggregation. Disaggregating data means breaking it down into smaller subgroups and assessing specific trends that were previously hidden. “Certain subgroups within the API community are falling behind on public health and education benchmarks, but these facts are hidden within the broader group statistics. That’s why I’ve introduced the AHEAD Act, to help meet the needs of California’s diverse communities.”  Bonta gave an example of how disaggregation drives good public policy decisions. “In 2011, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) in San Jose performed a county health assessment using disaggregated data. That data revealed that Chinese Americans have significantly higher rates of Hepatitis B, which allowed AACI to conduct targeted outreach to Chinese residents. If AB 1726 becomes law, we will have the opportunity to evaluate more accurate data on disease rates, health insurance coverage, and birth and death rates.” Quyen Dinh, Executive Director, South Read More …

Mar 312016
Marian flaunts sexy figure months after giving birth

Marian Rivera (MNS photo) Four months since she gave birth to baby Maria Letizia, Marian Rivera wowed her social media followers with her beach-ready body. In an Instagram post on Sunday, the actress flaunted her sexy figure while wearing a two-piece bikini. The photo was taken in Busuanga, Palawan where she and her husband, actor Dingdong Dantes, took their daughter on her first vacation. The celebrity family also spent their Lenten break in the beach paradise. Only hours after the photo was posted, Rivera’s picture immediately garnered more than 46,000 “likes” and more than 1,000 comments. Some netizens were sarcastically asking the actress if she actually gave birth, while others inquired about how she managed to get her sexy figure back so soon. Rivera gave birth to Maria Letizia in November 2015. (MNS)

Mar 312016
Sam Pinto admits relationship with Azkals player

Sam Pinto (MNS photo) After months of rumors, sexy actress Sam Pinto has finally admitted that she and Azkals player Misagh Bahadoran are more than just good friends. The 26-year-old Pinto revealed that she and Bahadoran, a Filipino-Persian football player, have been a couple for more than three months already. “Yup, we’re together. We’re good, we’re very happy,” she said. For the past months, Pinto and Bahadoran have been vocal about their feelings for each other on Instagram. However, prior to the Pinto’s admission, they have yet to clarify the real score between them. Last January 12, Pinto posted a birthday message for Bahadoran. She shared their “first decent photo together” and wrote as the caption: “Happy [that] I got to spend the whole day with ya. Hope you had an awesome one.” Bahadoran, for his part, revealed that he spent Valentine’s Day together with Pinto. He said: “Happy Valentine everyone. Enjoy [it] with your loved one.” Bahadoran first made his Azkals debut back in 2014. He has since scored two international goals for the country—one to lift the Azkals against Kuwait and another in a win over Yemen. Both matches were part of the qualification rounds for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. (MNS)

Mar 312016
Ejay Falcon wants to make rom-com

Ejay Falcon (MNS Photo) MANILA, Mar 31 (Mabuhay) — SOME good things never last and former Pinoy Big Brother grand winner Ejay Falcon know that as a fact since his top-rating teleserye Pasion de Amor blasted its final episode last Feb. 26. Falcon said the soap’s daily taping brought the entire cast closer. His closest friend among the cast members is Ellen Adarna, his love interest and whom he had an aborted courtship with. The talented actor believes that the end of their show signals a new project for him. When asked what type of role he wants to do next considering he has tried almost all characters, the 28-year-old bachelor said, “I want to do a romantic comedy (rom-com) because I already did projects like action, sexy and drama. Rom-com would be something new for me.” When asked who among today’s actresses Falcon would like to be paired with for his envisioned rom-com, he enumerated Sarah Geronimo, Maja Salvador, Liza Soberano and Kathryn Bernardo. But for drama, his dream partners are Angel Locsin and Bea Alonzo.(MNS)

Mar 312016
DOH to use new dengue vaccines even without WHO recommendation

Dengue infects some 390 million people each year in more than 120 countries of the world.© mrfiza/ MANILA, Mar 31 (Mabuhay) –  The government will push through with the giving of free and new dengue vaccines to public school students next week even without any recommendation yet from the World Health Organization (WHO). In a media conference on Thursday, Dr. Rose Capeding, head of the Department of Microbiology at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), assured that the new vaccines are safe. Capeding was the principal investigator from the Philippines who was part of the three phases of the vaccines’ clinical trials. First to receive the free vaccines on Monday will be select nine-year-old students from public schools in CALABARZON (Regions 4-A), Central Luzon (Region 3), and Metro Manila. The vaccination would come even if the WHO, through the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts, is still reviewing data on the new vaccines and has yet to come up with comprehensive recommendations on how to use the vaccines. WHO country representative Gundo Weiler said the WHO would need these recommendations before it comes up with any statement on the new dengue vaccines. Weiler said for now, the WHO has a “neutral position” on the vaccines, but clarified it does not mean they think the vaccines are unsafe. Weiler clarified that despite the absence of such recommendations, the Philippines could still push through with the vaccinations. Weiler assured the government that the WHO would be helping the Department of Health in Read More …