Items filtered by date: Monday, 04 December 2017

Apple Watch new feature can identify irregular heart rhythms

The Apple Watch is one of the most popular time pieces of this era due to its slick design and nifty features.
A new development has made it even more enticing to the public, as Apple launched a new app that will allow the company to gather irregular heart rhythm data from the watches’ heart rate sensors.

Dubbed as The Apple Heart Study app, the extremely helpful feature will be able to detect irregularities and send notifications to watch owners who may be unknowingly suffering from atrial fibrillation (AFib).


The medical initiative was first launched last September as part of the watchOS 4, The Verge reports.
In partnership with experts from Stanford University, Apple hopes to collect heart rate data, which could further aid patients, doctors and researchers to detect and cure heart irregularities.
“Working alongside the medical community, not only can we inform people of certain health conditions, we also hope to advance discoveries in heart science,” Apple’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, said in a statement.
Heart rate is measured by green LED lights flashing hundreds of times per second, as well as photodiodes, which monitor the amount of blood flowing through the wrists.
Moreover, Apple Watch users who took part in the survey will be notified through their devices if an irregular heartbeat is detected.
Those who will be flagged will also receive free consultation with a study doctor and an electrocardiogram (EKG) patch for further observation.
As of wiring, the app is available only in the US App store and accepts users 22 years or older. They must also possess an Apple Watch Series 1 or later model. Khristian Ibarrola /ra

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What’s Life Like Outside a Rape Schedule?

Saturday Night Live‘s recent sketch called “Welcome to Hell” could not be more accurate. If you’re surprised at just how common sexual predators are at home, in an actor’s studio, in the boardroom, at a party, then you either don’t exist or you’re a man.

Women have long adjusted their lives to the fact that rapists and sexual predators exist. Rather than living in an environment that lets these criminals think twice before doing what they want, women always have to second guess their safety.

It’s not even victim-shaming I am talking about here. It’s the rape schedule: “the ways in which women alter their daily lives in order to limit their chances of sexual assault.” It’s the very subtle ways women are equipped to protect themselves. I bet you don’t notice it even, it’s almost second nature. At night, I call my sister at least two minutes before the car gets to my house so she can open the gate. Why? I don’t want to ring the bell and wait for her to come. It’s the perfect time for someone to come and harm me.

Dark alleys are a no-no unless you’re walking in a group. I’ve delayed plans to make sure a male companion can be with me during nights out. We’ve even developed tracker apps to alert loved ones if we feel unsafe and even straws to detect date-rape drugs.

My mother always reminds me to bring a jacket especially when I wear something sleeveless. Sure, it’s because I might get cold but she also made it clear it’s for something else.

I received compliments on the extra steel legs found at the bottom of my bag because I can use it as a weapon. I’ve seen women walk around waving their big umbrellas in an exaggerated fashion. In the morning, I time my jogging so there’s some sunlight in my path. Sometimes, the first toys given to young girls are whistles to remind them to make noise if they feel threatened.

Of course, there is such a thing as being cautious and erring on the safe side. But for women, the way we observe safety is doubled, if not tripled. This is how our sole responsibility to make sure we don’t get raped is emphasized. There should be no flaw or fault that people can pin on us. The painful part? We will still be blamed whatever happens most of the time.

Still, we will continue to teach women to follow the schedule: carry some pepper spray, limit private interactions with males unless in a group or in a public area, giving our girl offspring a curfew while their brothers come home whenever they please. We make sure that we don’t give men any signals for him to claim as an invite. That’s why there are still a lot of women who walk with their eyes downward.

It’s hard to live outside the rape schedule. And some of you may think it’s not real. Just evaluate your day or ask the precautions a girl friend takes and compare it to one of your male pals. You’ll see the difference is terrifying.

Art by Lara Intong



18-year-old Filipino wins int'l science video contest

MANILA, Philippines – An 18-year-old Filipino won in this year's Breakthrough Junior Challenge, an annual global science video competition.

Hillary Andales, a student of Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas Campus, will receive $250,000 in educational prizes, while her teacher will get $50,000 and her school, a new laboratory worth $100,000.


Her entry was a 3-minute video explaining the concept of equivalence of reference frames, part of general relativity.

In her acknowledgement speech, Andales urged the Filipino youth to delve into the study of science and technology."May this inspire more young people, especially my dear Filipinos, to look up and become scientists themselves – the stars that we should all look up to," Andales said.


She bested more than 11,000 students, coming from 178 countries, in this year's competition. The organizers said a total of 3,200 videos were submitted this year.

“Truly you have imbibed in you the vision of the school, a passion for excellence, pursuit of truth, and service to the nation," PSHS - Easter Visayas Campus Director Reynaldo Garcia said in his speech for Andales.

Andales' entry made it to the finals after she won in the online "Popular Vote" contest. She was among 15 finalists, representing 6 countries.

Her win was announced during the Breakthrough Prizes ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley on Sunday, December 3 (Monday, December 4 in Manila).

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge, now on its 3rd year, is an "annual global competition for students to inspire creative thinking about science," according to the organizers.

Students are invited to create original videos that explain a scientific concept, and are judged on how the complex concept or idea is communicated.

It is organized by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, which is an annual award that "aims to celebrate the best scientific work and inspire the next generation of scientists."

Among the Breakthrough Prizes' founders are Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. – with reports from Raisa Serafica/


Court orders arrest of Piston's San Mateo over jeepney strike

CHARGED. Piston president George San Mateo leads a protest during a transport strike. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler 

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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A Quezon City court has ordered the arrest of public transport leader George San Mateo for organizing a jeepney strike in February, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced on Tuesday, December 5.

"The court finds the existence of a probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest against the above named-accused (San Mateo)," reads the court order, which LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada shared to reporters on Tuesday.


Presiding Judge Don Ace Alagar of Quezon City Metropolitan Court Branch 43 set bail at P4,000.San Mateo, president of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston), was charged with a violation of Commonwealth Act No. 146 or the Public Service Law. 

The arrest warrant stemmed from an LTFRB complaint against San Mateo for leading a transportation strike in February. The transport groups held another strike in October.

During both strikes, Piston asked the government to pull the brakes on the planned jeepney modernization program, and for a dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte. Both requests were thumbed down.

Lizada earlier reiterated that jeepney drivers are not allowed to hold strikes, or they will lose their permits to operate. (READ: LTFRB strikes back: To revoke franchises of protesting drivers)

The group had planned to go on strike on Monday and Tuesday, December 4 and 5, but scrapped the plan in response to the appeal of Senator Grace Poe, chair the Senate committee on public services.

Poe had asked the transport groups to call of the strike as she would call for a meeting of her committee on Thursday, December 7, to discuss the transport groups' concerns, along with government agencies and other stakeholders.

Poe, for her part, questioned the timing of the arrest order

“Although we respect the independence of the courts, the timing of the release of the arrest warrant is suspect and casts doubt on the intent of the complainant in filing such charges. The PUV modernization program should be borne from a democratic process and not from underhanded tactics,” the senator said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Everyone has the right to peaceably assemble. It is unclear based on the cited section of the Public Service Act what exactly San Mateo violated. If holding a strike is tantamount to a violation under any memorandum of the LTFRB, then the proper penalty should have been a fine or suspension or cancellation of their franchise, not threatening their leader with incarceration,” she added.

Poe also said the "confusion" over San Mateo's supposed violation "is a manifestation that the PSA has to be revisited and studied carefully to result in a more balanced interplay between public service, on the one hand, and the right to peaceably assemble, on the other hand." –


One month of Harry Roque as Presidential Spokesman

NEW JOB. President Rodrigo Duterte congratulates newly-appointed Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque following his oath-taking ceremony. Malacañang photo 

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MANILA, Philippines – Harry Roque has had a whirlwind of a first month as President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman.

Two international conferences, one foreign trip, and almost daily press conferences that have taken him from Malacañang to Marawi gave the public a telling glimpse of his performance so far in his new role.


Since he was first named to the post on October 28, he’s had to speak for the President on a number of controversial issues: Duterte’s threat to slap United Nations rapporteur Agnes Callamard, a Reuters report claiming abuse of power by Manila police, Duterte’s most recent remarks about Pope Francis, and calls for a revolutionary government.


Roque made a clear departure from his predecessor, the sedate ex-pastor Ernesto Abella, in his first Malacañang press conference. Energetic and verbose, Roque gave lengthy answers to questions. Radio commentators patted him on the back for being “good copy.”

His seemingly boundless energy found an outlet in his decision to hold press conferences outside Metro Manila. He held one in Marawi City, Cebu, and Davao. This culminated in a realized whim to take the glitch-ridden Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3), a move which drew flak for coming across as a public relations stunt.

He grabbed at opportunities to shine in the international spotlight. Roque appeared positively giddy about his first interview as spokesman with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. Like any typical Filipino with a smartphone, he lost no chance in taking selfies with world leaders while he attended international summits with the President.

Definitely, Roque has changed Malacañang communications in more ways than one.

Failed courtship

The first major controversy Roque faced as spokesman was not of the President’s doing, but his own.

Roque, unlike Abella who tried so hard to say safe in his statements, tried to court the “diehard” Duterte supporters early on.

This manifested itself in his “threat” to throw hollow blocks at the President’s critics, a threat which was applauded by perhaps the most “diehard” Duterte supporter of all, Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson.

COMMUNICATING DUTERTE. Secretary Harry Roque poses with President Duterte and Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson. Malacañang photo

COMMUNICATING DUTERTE. Secretary Harry Roque poses with President Duterte and Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson. Malacañang photo 

But to Roque’s chagrin, his remark took on a life of its own with vitriolic Duterte defenders using the threat themselves in typical no-holds-barred fashion. One pro-Duterte blogger, RJ Nieto, used the threat in a radio program against this reporter.

Roque ended up taking back the threat, but not without Duterte supporters, led by Nieto, slamming him for it and even demanding his resignation. Uson, meanwhile, warned Roque in a video, "Don't play with fire."

Now Roque has lost an ally among the most rabid of the President’s supporters. Is this boon or bane? Time alone will tell.

Despite this, Roque appears not to have lost the trust and confidence of one man: President Rodrigo Duterte.

Roque said he himself told Duterte about some bloggers’ demands that he be axed. Duterte has paid it no mind.

“I have relayed that information. He had no reaction. What I did was, I sent the news clippings that they want me fired. Wala naman siyang sinabi (He didn’t say anything),” Roque told Rappler.

Access to Duterte

If anything, Duterte has been eager to keep Roque by his side.

Roque has been attending many of Duterte’s events and has even been mentioned fondly by the President in his speeches, an indication he is in the Chief Executive’s good graces.

Nandito po si Secretary Roco – eh Roque, ‘yung ating spokesman na bago. Hindi ho siya nauubusan ng salita sa bunganga,”said Duterte during the send-off of Vietnamese fishermen in Pangasinan on November 29.

(Secretary Roco – Roque, our new spokesman, is here. He does not run out of words.)

Abella was rarely acknowledged in Duterte’s speeches.

Duterte has issued instructions that Roque be allowed to sit in closed-door meetings, including bilateral meetings with foreign heads of government. Abella, in comparison, did not typically enjoy such access.

Thus, especially during recent international summits, Roque said he was the “nightmare” of Malacañang protocol staff.

Because of Duterte’s orders that his new spokesman be allowed in bilateral meetings, protocol had to quickly insert him in the list of attending officials.

IN DUTERTE'S CIRCLE. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque joins Cabinet officials in making the clenched fist gesture with President Rodrigo Duterte on their way to Vietnam. Malacañang photo

IN DUTERTE'S CIRCLE. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque joins Cabinet officials in making the clenched fist gesture with President Rodrigo Duterte on their way to Vietnam. Malacañang photo 

Roque was named spokesman right before conferences like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit and Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in November, meaning protocol staff did not have the luxury of time to make such last-minute arrangements.

Still, they pulled it off, and Roque was able to attend Duterte’s meetings with leaders like US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“It appears he has more access because of the Cabinet rank position compared to Abella who was undersecretary,” said Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) president Reymund Tinaza, a radio reporter for Bombo Radyo.

More important to media, however, is Roque’s seeming ability to consult directly with Special Assistant to the President Bong Go or Duterte himself on the President's stance on pressing issues.

Roque has said he goes through a “procedure” to “verify statements” he makes as spokesman.

He has directly clarified with Duterte or Go the Chief Executive’s statements on the open-pit mining ban, allowing more telecommunication players, and the police’s return to the drug war.

Roque said he’s consistently gotten Duterte’s messaging right.

Hindi pa ako nagkakamali (I haven’t made a mistake) so far,” Roque told Rappler.

How does he keep on track? Roque claims to have a soft- and hard-copy “index” of all Duterte’s statements on various topics.

The index is updated by his staff every time the President makes a speech, he said.

It definitely helps that Roque is a lawyer like Duterte, giving him the ability to explain things from a legal perspective, as the President himself is wont to do.

Boon for media

But if there’s one group that’s happy about Roque’s access and his tendency to give detailed, wordy statements, it’s the Palace reporters.

Aside from issuing Palace statements that are more detailed and original than statements issued during Abella’s time, Roque appears to make a real effort to link media with the President.

This came to the fore during Duterte’s attendance of the APEC Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Roque was asked by media to keep them updated on Duterte’s bilateral meeting with China’s Xi Jinping.

The spokesman had no time to hold a lengthy press conference after. Upon consultation with reporters, he took out his smartphone and recorded himself reading out loud notes he had taken during the meeting.

He then sent the recording to reporters via a messaging app, allowing media to immediately report on what Duterte and Xi discussed.

This prompt information-sharing was a godsend for reporters who previously had to wait hours after or even the next day for a press release or press conference.

A week after, Roque again sent a recording of him reading his notes of Duterte’s bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Malacañang.

He had decided to record himself when reporters were stopped by Malacañang media relations staff from interviewing him because Duterte and Li were about to reenter the hall.

Because of Roque’s strategy, media got reportable information quickly without flouting Malacañang rules.

“Roque appears to have a good understanding of media dynamics, our hows and whys,” said Tinaza.

Learning the ropes

But Roque’s penchant for sharing information with media has raised some eyebrows.

One instance was during his press conference at the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, his second international press conference as spokesman.


A Department of Foreign Affairs insider observed that Roque departed from the usual practice of waiting for official documents first before giving details of closed-door meetings.

During the November 13 press briefing at the International Media Center, Roque gave details about how the controversial Rohingya refugee crisis was discussed at the closed-door plenary session. He almost revealed the “two or three” countries that had raised the issue, a sensitive topic for ASEAN member-state Myanmar.

But Roque said he has learned from the experience, saying he now “recognizes the limitations” in talking about ASEAN closed-door meetings and similar diplomacy-related meetings.

Another ASEAN summit insider said Roque may have had spoken too soon when he told media that Duterte and Trump did not discuss human rights in their bilateral meeting in Manila.

The White House had given a conflicting account, saying human rights was “discussed briefly.”

However, this might have merely been a difference in understanding of what it means to “discuss human rights.”

Roque, a former human rights lawyer, was consistent in saying human rights was not raised by Trump and that Trump did not take a strong stance against Duterte’s drug war, a stance usually taken by human rights groups.

Some, however, equate a discussion about Duterte’s drug war (which Roque agreed did transpire) with a discussion about the country’s human rights situation. The government, however, because of its position that there are no human rights abuses in the drug war, sees these two things as separate.

Roque also admitted he got nervous during his first international press conference because of the presence of foreign media.

“I really felt intimated by the international press corps. I never expected I would have stage fright. I did have stage fright in Vietnam,” he said about his APEC Summit presser.

But perhaps Roque’s biggest misstep with the press was inviting them to cover his MRT3 train ride.

COMMUTERS' EXPERIENCE. President Spokesperson Harry Roque takes the MRT3. Photo by Darren Langit

COMMUTERS' EXPERIENCE. President Spokesperson Harry Roque takes the MRT3. Photo by Darren Langit 

The presence of reporters and crew lugging around cameras and tripods made his immersion experience come across as a PR stunt and added to the inconvenience of regular commuters.

It also constricted him from riding the train during rush hour, which would have greatly improved public reception of his move.

His reason for not taking the train at peak hours was that the public would have crucified him if he brought along media at that time.

A better decision, according to some, would have been to prohibit or limit media coverage to allow him to have the “true” MRT experience with minimal disruption to other passengers.

One month may be a short time, but for someone as zealous as Roque, that one month has been filled with all kinds of experiences to learn from.

More challenges await Roque who long stood outside Duterte’s circle but has been pulled to the President’s side for reasons he himself cannot adequately explain. –


Light clouds with scattered rain in Luzon — Pagasa

The northeast monsoon will continue to affect Northern and Central Luzon on Tuesday, the state weather bureau said.

Affected are the regions of Cordillera and the provinces of Batanes, Babuyan, Cagayan and Isabela, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.


The same weather system will also bring cloudy to cloudy skies with light rain over Metro Manila, the Ilocos region and the rest of Central Luzon and of Cagayan Valley region.

The tail-end of cold front will bring cloudy skies with scattered rain and isolated thunderstorms in Eastern and Central Visayas, the Bicol region and the provinces of Aurora and Quezon.

The rest of the country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain or thunderstorms. /cbb


CDO offers P1-M bounty vs. university president's killers

The city government of Cagayan de Oro is offering a P1-million reward for information that will lead to the arrest of the killers of University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) president Dr. Ricardo Rotoras.

Rotoras was killed by two unidentified assailants in front his home at Gold Glow North in Barangay Upper Carmen at past 1 a.m. on Saturday.

The city government offered the reward on Monday.

Also on Monday, the university's faculty, staff and students offered a Mass for the slain school official.

Authorities have yet to identify the school official's killers.

Police believe that Rotoras' killing was related to his work. —ALG, GMA News


49 Caloocan cops fail boot camp after missing drug test

BE RIGHT BACK. Caloocan cops rest after their 'graduation' ceremony in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler 


MANILA, Philippines – Out of 1,076 Caloocan City police who had undergone retraining and reorientation, 49 failed after missing their drug test, Metro Manila police chief Director Oscar Albayalde announced on Monday, December 4.

"972 pumasa. Bumagsak is 104... 49 [of those who failed] did not undergo [a] drug test...Hindi sila nag-positive ha, hindi sila nag-report for drug test," Albayalde told reporters after the cops' graduation ceremony at the Camp Crame grandstand in Quezon City.


(972 passed, 104 failed. 49 of those who failed did not undergo a drug test. They did not test positive, rather they did not report for the drug test.)This comes after the Caloocan City police underwent a months-long suspension prompted by controversies that tainted their reputation. They went from being the best in Metro Manila to one of the most controversial in the country. (READ: Caloocan police awarded best in Metro Manila same week Kian, Carl killed)

Pressed on why some cops were no-shows during the drug test, Albayalde said they have yet to start their "investigation" into the matter. Some may have just been unable to attend accidentally, he said, as the test was not announced.

The rest of the 104 failed because of their disappointing performance during the month-long training in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

Albayalde said that at the end of the training, they found 32 to be "unfit to continue" in the police force, and that 29 were advised to be reassigned outside Metro Manila.

Two cops did not show up at all for the boot camp, and will be considered relieved from their ranks, he said.

As for the 972 who passed the training, they still need to wait a little longer for them to go back.

They are not assured of a post back in Caloocan City, Albayalde said, as they have yet to undergo a "vetting process" based on their performance during the training.

He said he hopes to have all the passers reassigned by Friday, December 8. –


Transport group holds protest caravan

Jeepney drivers and operators opposed to the jeepney modernization program staged a caravan protest in Manila on Monday instead of a transport strike but warned that they will mount a transport strike if the government will not delay the modernization program set to start in January 2018.

The protesters were joined by members of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) and No to Jeepney Coalition. The protesters converged at Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City before proceeding to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila. They then marched to Mendiola.

The protesters were stopped and confronted by police authorities and members of Land Transportation Office (LTO) when they arrived in UST.

“They were out of line, these jeepneys’ route is to Mandaluyong and they are here along España, “ LTO Task Force Team Leader Jose Manuel Buenaviz said.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) officials were also deployed to observe and monitor the protest activities. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) prepared over 20 tow trucks to pull away the jeepneys in the caravan.

Piston on Sunday announced the cancellation of the two-day transport strike planned for Monday and Tuesday. The group’s officials said they expect to have a good dialogue with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade in the Senate hearing on December 11.


3 more SC justices, retired justice to testify in House

Three more Supreme Court justices will appear in the impeachment hearings at the House of Representatives to testify against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali, head of the House justice committee, said on Monday.

Besides Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, who first appeared on Nov. 29, Associate Justices Francis Jardeleza and Noel Tijam will also attend the proceedings tentatively set for next Monday.

Retired Associate Justice Arturo Brion will also appear, Umali told reporters.

Umali said the justices could not appear before his committee right away because of the “inability of [the Supreme Court] to promulgate” the final text of the tribunal’s Nov. 28 full-court decision permitting them to testify on “administrative matters.”
“Some of the resource persons requested that they be allowed to testify only after the decision is promulgated. I urge the Supreme Court to immediately promulgate it to make things clear,” he said.
JBC nomination process
One of the allegations in lawyer Lorenzo Gadon’s impeachment complaint concerned Sereno’s alleged manipulation of the Judicial and Bar Council’s nomination process to block Jardeleza’s appointment to the Supreme Court.
Sereno allegedly deprived Jardeleza of due process when she questioned his integrity over a matter involving his position in the arbitration of the Philippines’ maritime dispute with China.
This triggered the unanimity rule, which requires the vote of all JBC members for the short-listing of a nominee in case of doubt about his integrity, and nearly cost Jardeleza the Supreme Court position.
The Supreme Court ended up reinstating Jardeleza on the short list and allowing then President Benigno Aquino III to appoint him.
In that case, Brion wrote a concurring opinion that minced no words: “CJ Sereno manipulated the JBC process to exclude Jardeleza as a nominee.”

But Sereno claimed in her Sept. 25 counteraffidavit that she was “entitled to her own opinion” and did not furnish Jardeleza a written statement to keep the process confidential.
Maute cases
Another charge concerned Sereno’s alleged interference in the Department of Justice’s request to transfer the cases against the Maute terror group outside Mindanao. Gadon claimed Tijam was the member in charge of the administrative matter.
Before the justices’ scheduled appearance, five Supreme Court officials sought by Gadon are attending the resumption of the hearing on Tuesday.
Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez is among the resource persons who will speak about the allegedly delayed action on the numerous petitions for judges’ retirement benefits or spouses’ survivorship benefits.
The other officials are Deputy Clerk of Court En Banc Anna-Li R. Papa-Gombio, chair of the Special Committee on Retirement and Civil Service Benefits; Jocelyn Fabian, chair of the technical working group of the benefits committee, and Chief Judicial Staff Officer Charlotte Labayani of the Employee’s Welfare and Benefits Division of the Office of Administrative Services.
JBC Executive Officer Annaliza Ty-Capacite, meanwhile, will be asked about Sereno’s alleged failure to truthfully disclose her wealth.
Bribe offer to senators?
Gadon, meanwhile, has raised hackles in the Senate by claiming that a businessman is out to bribe senators P200 million each in exchange for acquitting Sereno in the event the case goes to the Senate for trial.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson told reporters on Monday that he had not heard about anyone talking to the senators.
“Maybe it’s his tack to put the senators on the spot if and when the articles of impeachment will be transmitted to us. It’s like he’s already putting us on the spot so that we would convict rather than acquit (Sereno),” Lacson said.
He said he would ask Gadon about it when the case reached the Senate.
“For now I do not want to believe him,” Lacson said.
So far, he said, Gadon has made only “hearsay” statements at the impeachment hearings in the House.
Senators Grace Poe, JV Ejercito and Win Gatchalian said Gadon should identify the businessman who was offering the bribe.
All three told reporters that no one had approached them with a bribe offer.
“[Gadon] should identify his sources. In the first place he has so many inconsistencies and then he would come out with such a story,” Poe said.
Ejercito said Gadon should prove his claim.
Gatchalian said Gadon should focus on his testimony in the House, as the complainant had been making hearsay statements. —With a report from Christine O. Avendaño

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