Items filtered by date: Monday, 24 April 2017

Mark Jimenez, ex-Manila congressman, passes away at 70

By ROSE-AN JESSICA DIOQUINO, GMA News
Businessman and former Manila representative Mark Jimenez has passed away, his family confirmed on Tuesday.

In a statement, the ex-lawmaker’s family said their patriarch passed away at 6 a.m. He was 70 years old.

His remains will lie in state at Funeraria Rey in Pandacan, Manila on Thursday and Friday, with Masses at 7 p.m.

His body will then be moved to the Heritage Park in Taguig City. A final Mass will be held there on Sunday, 8 p.m.

Jimenez, Mario Batacan Crespo in real life, left behind 13 children.

“He embodied a story for all of us, one of starting humbly, rising above all his circumstances and eventually choosing a life of service. This is the story we choose to remember him by, as his children, all 13 of us, and his chosen children, in District 6 in Manila,” the family’s statement read.

Jimenez was a classmate turned close ally of former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who once dubbed him a “corporate genius.”

He made a fortune in the United States in the 1980s, via a computer distribution company based in Miami, Florida, with extensive reach in Latin America.

He returned to the Philippines months before the 1998 presidential elections, and Estrada eventually named him adviser on Latin American affairs.

Jimenez ran and won as congressman for the sixth district of Manila in May 2001, after Estrada was ousted via “EDSA Dos.”

However, the House Electoral Tribunal unseated Jimenez in 2002 for alleged vote-buying.

The following year, he was convicted in Miami, Florida after pleading guilty to charges of election conspiracy and tax evasion, while working as a businessman in the US.

He served his two-year sentence in a US federal prison before he was extradited to the Philippines.

In 2009, he filed his certificate of candidacy for president, saying he was doing it to show everyone that he was a victim of human rights violations. —NB, GMA News

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Abu Sayyaf threat in Bohol 'contained'- AFP

MANILA – The military on Tuesday said it has contained the terror threat in Bohol as government forces are pursuing just two more members of bandit group Abu Sayyaf following recent clashes at the popular tourist destination.
In a Palace briefing, AFP Spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said it was only a matter of time before government troops neutralize two of the remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits who recently attacked Bohol.
Padilla said one of the three Abu Sayyaf men at large has reportedly died due to hunger and “exposure to elements”. He said the remaining two are now “encircled” by government troops and “fighting for their survival.”
“We know where they are, generally in what area, and effort is still being done to pursue them,” Padilla told reporters.
“The assessment…is that these two are fighting for their survival. They don’t pose any serious threat anymore.”
The Abu Sayyaf, notorious for its kidnap-for-ransom activities, recently attacked the popular tourist spot in what authorities believe was an attempt to carry out another abduction.
But a gunfight with the military and the police foiled the supposed plan which, if successful, could have embarrassed the government while in the thick of preparations for the country’s hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings.
The initial gun battle resulted in the death of Abu Sayyaf leader Muamar Askali and three other members. Joselito Melloria, also a bandit leader who allegedly guided the group in the Visayan province, was also killed over the weekend with three other bandits.
ABU SAYYAF MEMBERS DOWN TO 300
Padilla said, the death of Abu Sayyaf leaders and members in Bohol was a serious blow to the terror group, which he said is now down to 300 members, from a high of 500.
“We were able to foil their plans, and these plans are no joke. The group we confronted, led by Abu Rami, is an elite group of the Abu Sayyaf,” Padilla said.
“This group has been the one behind the long-distance abductions. When I say long distance, they are part of those who may have hatched and may have been involved in Sipadan, Samal, and Dos Palmas.”
With the Abu Sayyaf suffering setbacks in recent weeks, the military has set the end of July as its new self-imposed deadline to “degrade” the group’s capabilities, Padilla said.
“By degrading the capabilities, it means to us [that] they will not be able to launch significant activities that will bring harm to our population and create chaos in our communities,” he said.
“We believe we are on our way to degrading them significantly. If we will go by statistics, they have not been able to launch significant disturbances,” he added.
Padilla added that the military’s “comprehensive approach” in tackling terrorism was bearing fruit, citing the surrender of 11 Abu Sayyaf bandits in Tawi-Tawi.
The Armed Forces is also hopeful that aging Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron, who has reportedly been sending surrender feelers to the government, would soon lay down arms, Padilla said.
Meanwhile, Padilla also dismissed as untrue reports that several alleged Abu Sayyaf bandits have been spotted in other parts of the Visayas.
“All these information that came our way and came to the police’s attention were duly checked and verified and found to be untrue. This is part of disinformation to put a lot of worry on people’s minds so that it will affect our key industries,” Padilla said.
“We make this announcement to assuage fears of our citizens as well as those wishing to come to our country,” he added.

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SC junks Jinggoy bid to exclude Benhur testimony in PDAF case

MANILA - The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied with finality the plea of former Senator Jinggoy Estrada to exclude the testimony of “pork barrel” scam primary whistleblower Benhur Luy in his plunder trial before the Sandiganbayan for the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Sitting en banc, the high court junked Estrada’s motion for reconsideration of its Jan. 24 resolution “for not having raised any new and substantive arguments to merit a reconsideration.”
The high court also denied Estrada’s bid for the suppression and exclusion as evidence of the cash/check disbursement reports presented by the prosecution.
In its assailed resolution, the high court had ruled that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the anti-graft court in allowing prosecution witness Luy’s testimony and admitting disbursement reports as part of the case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman.
In his petition, Estrada claimed that such evidence were obtained in violation of his constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure, and were thus inadmissible as evidence.
He specifically questioned JLN (Janet Lim Napoles) Corporation files Luy had encoded, copied, and surrendered to the Ombudsman.
The high court ruled that since Luy is a private individual, Estrada cannot invoke the above-stated right, as the Constitution's bar on unlawful searches and seizures covers only government agents and law enforcers.
The SC also said that state witnesses, such as Luy, are granted immunity under Republic Act (RA) No. 6981, also known as the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act, so they may freely testify.
The immunity granted Luy was intended "to embolden him to testify despite the threats of criminal suit, and to enable him to help the government with his knowledge of the matters relevant to the PDAF issues,” the SC said in the January resolution.
Estrada is accused of allegedly pocketing P183.79-million in kickbacks from the alleged scam mastermind, the now jailed Janet Lim Napoles, for allocating portions of his PDAF to bogus foundations and/or non-government organizations linked to the businesswoman.
Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

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Mindanao State U grad tops electrical engineer exams

ABS-CBN News
MANILA - A total of 994 passed the Electrical Engineering Licensure Examination conducted in several cities this past month.
A total of 2,213 took the examination given by the Professional Regulation Commission's Board of Electrical Engineering in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Lucena and Tacloban this April 2017.
Kent Meyler Malones Samaranos of Mindanao State University - General Santos City topped the exam with a rating of 90.90.
Tied for second place were David Dela Cruz Flores from FEU-Institute of Technology, and Jenny Rose Vergara Repollo from the University of the Philippines Los Baños. Both got 90.50 percent.
Brian Baltazar Balmores from the University of the Philippines Los Baños came in third at 89.90.
1
KENT MEYLER MALONES SAMARANOS
MINDANAO STATE UNIVERSITY-GEN. SANTOS CITY
90.90
2
DAVID DELA CRUZ FLORES
FEU-INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY(FOR. FEU-EAST ASIA COLL)
90.50

JENNY ROSE VERGARA REPOLLO
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-LOS BAÑOS
90.50
3
BRIAN BALTAZAR BALMORES
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-LOS BAÑOS
89.90
4
VINCENT HABIG DIMAYACYAC
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-DILIMAN
89.75

CHRIS LLOYD RAYNOZA LAJARA
TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-TAGUIG
89.75
5
JOHN RAYMOND BOCTUANON LUMAWAG
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-LOS BAÑOS
88.90
6
HAROLD GIL SINGSON NAVARRETE
MAPUA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY-MANILA
88.85

JADE MARK JAO TALABOC
MINDANAO STATE UNIVERSITY-GEN. SANTOS CITY
88.85
7
KYLE UY VOSOTROS
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-LOS BAÑOS
88.80
8
RAMON ECLEO EDNALAGA
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-LOS BAÑOS
88.75
9
FRANCIS GEORGE TAGANAHAN LOMAAD
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-LOS BAÑOS
88.70
10
RONALD IAN TRIVIÑO BORJA
TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-TAGUIG
88.65

EARL OLINSKI BALMADRES FLORES
MINDANAO STATE UNIVERSITY-GEN. SANTOS CITY
88.65
Meanwhile, 1,817 out of 3,130 registered Master Electricians also passed the licensure exam.

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