Items filtered by date: Monday, 29 May 2017

Gallery: Enduro World Series Round 4 in Wicklow, Ireland


Women's Cycling Editor/Bike Radar.


The Enduro World Series has been nothing if not dramatic thus far, and it looks like Round 4 in Wicklow, Ireland is continuing the trend.

After several days of sunny weather, the promise of the first dry round of the year was broken on Saturday when the heavens opened. While the skies are dry for race day, the trails most definitely are not, so expect some loose moves and dramatic crashes.

Meanwhile, down in the pits, BikeRadar has been scoping out the shiny bikes and tech ridden by the world’s best enduro riders. Have a look and a drool, we certainly have been!

The battle for number one

Photo: Greg Callaghan starts the race number 1 in the overall rankings, but Sam Hill isn't far behind

Greg Callaghan comes into the fourth round of the EWS fresh from a win at Madeira and with two previous wins in Ireland, and it being the home race for him it's fair to say there's a wee bit of pressure.

It's something that Callaghan certainly seems to be taking in his stride, however. "Pressure makes diamonds," he commented on-stage before setting off to rapturous applause.

Photo: A closer look at that amazing green, white and gold paint job on Greg Callaghan's Cube

Lauded in Ireland, Callaghan has had plenty of mainstream media attention with segments on RTE news, the national news network, and articles in broadsheets such as the Irish Independent.

The country is clearly very proud of its mountain biking son, so can he pull another win out of the bag here or is he chasing the overall title? After all, he ranks number one overall going into round four.

E-mountain bikes galore!

Photo: Notice anything unusual about this e-MTB?

E-MTBs are a common sight at EWS rounds, as they're pretty darn useful for media and organisers for getting in and around the different stages.

This plush looking beast is owned by Claus Wachsmann, the Cube team manager. Take a closer look and you might notice a few unusual features... not least the different size wheels: 29 up front, 27.5 at the back.

Photo: While it's most certainly not being ridden by the racers, Lapierre was showing off it's new e-MTB

Cube wasn't the only brand showing off an e-bike. The new Lapierre Overvault AM600 was attracting a fair bit of attention too.

Photo: While the battery is currently supplied by Bosch, we wonder what that interesting shaped down tube has been designed to accommodate?

It's got a carbon frame, and while it's currently powered by a Bosch motor and battery, there's an interesting looking space on the down tube — what might be in store for filling that?

Plenty of new bikes too

Photo: Santa Cruz rider Mark Scott... and is there something different about that Hightower?

Mark Scott and the Santa Cruz team have some of the brightest bikes on the hill, but there seems to be something interesting going on with the Hightower.

Photo: Moto foam should help stop mud clogging up the works

Apart form the moto foam, which will hopefully keep the mud at bay, there seems to be no sign of the usual dual geometry options on the rocker link. New longer travel Hightower perhaps?

Photo: Anita Gehrig and Caroline Gehrig on shiny new Ibis HD4s

Also spotted was the the new Ibis HD4 enduro bike, ridden by Anita and Caroline Gehrig, and team.

Longer, slacker, more aggressive and with a lower bottom bracket and standover; it's clearly appreciated by the riders.

  • Published in Sports

Memorial Day: Popsicle tweet from Ivanka Trump's lifestyle brand gets icy reception

By Saba Hamedy, CNN

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump's daughter faced backlash after her lifestyle brand's Twitter account -- "IvankaTrumpHQ" -- gave what some considered an insensitive Memorial Day holiday tip. 

"Make champagne popsicles this #MemorialDay," the tweet read, linking to a section on which features a list of ideas for the holiday, described as the "Kickoff to Summer."
Trump, who also serves as one of her father's top White house advisers, posted a more typical Memorial Day message on her personal Twitter account.
"Today we honor the men & women in our armed forces who have lost their lives to protect our freedom," she wrote. "Thank you for your service #MemorialDay."
Still, many mocked Trump for the popsicle tweet.
One meme, which many circulated on Twitter, featured text that reads: "Remember our sacrifice by making champagne popsicles."
"You'd think that no one could be that utterly callous, right?" wrote one Twitter user. "But we're dealing with a Trump brat here."
"Who can't relate to 'champagne popsicles' on #MemorialDay ?" wrote another. "Except maybe all the people honoring those who served and sacrificed all."
Others shared photos of their family members who served the US.
"My dad was a gunner in Vietnam and had to clean the blood of his dead friends out of the chopper. #NoChampagnePopsicles," wrote one Twitter user.
The negative Twitter reactions come as Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, senior adviser to Trump, attempt to "keep their heads down," as CNN reported Monday, following news that the FBI is looking into the role Kushner held during the campaign and transition, including his contacts with Russian officials.
  • Published in Media

Filipino Olympian Ian Lariba diagnosed with leukemia


The De La Salle University table tennis star will undergo treatment this week, according to a statement from De La Salle University.

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Olympian Ian Lariba has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, according to an official statement from the De La Salle University Office of Sports Development on Tuesday morning, May 30.

The announcement, released via the office's official Twitter account, came just a couple of days after calls for blood donations for the UAAP table tennis star came pouring in on social media. Lariba is expected to undergo treatment this week, the statement added.

Anyone wishing to extend financial assistance to Lariba may do so by following instructions detailed on the above statement.

Blood donations may also be made by Type O positive donors through the St. Luke's Medical Center Quezon City blood bank. Full details below.

The 22-year-old Lariba competed for the Philippines in the 2016 Rio Olympics and has dominated the UAAP in table tennis, finishing her collegiate career undefeated. She was one of the 4 co-winners for the UAAP Season 78 Athlete of the Year award and was a 3-time UAAP Most Valuable Player as well.


Read Rappler's profile of Lariba prior to the Rio Games here–

  • Published in Sports

15 senators: ‘No compelling reason’ to revoke martial law declaration in Mindanao

By:  -


(Updated, 10:34 a.m.) Fifteen of 23 senators have filed a resolution supporting President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao, saying it was “constitutional” and in accordance with the law, and that there was “no compelling reason” to revoke it.

The 15 senators who filed Senate Resolution No. 388 Monday were Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Senators Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Gringo Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Manny Pacquiao, Joel Villanueva , Cynthia Villar and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

The signatories are all part of the Senate majority bloc. Only two members from the majority group — Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero — did not sign the resolution.

The resolution expresses “the sense of the Senate, supporting Proclamation No. 216 dated May 23, 2017 entitled ‘Declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao’ and finding no cause to revoke the same.”

It noted that on May 25, 2017, the Office of the President submitted to the Senate its report on the “factual and legal basis of the proclamation of martial law for Mindanao.”

“Part of the reason for the declaration was the series of violent acts committed by the Maute terrorist group, such as the attack on the military outpost in Butig, Lanao Del Sur in February 2016,” the resolution said.

“The said attack resulted in the killing and wounding of several soldiers and the mass jailbreak in Marawi City in August 2016 which freed and arrested comrades of the terrorist group and other detainees.”

The measure also cited Maute group’s takeover of a hospital in Marawi City, burning of certain government and private facilities and wounding of government troops last May 23.

“They started flying the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in several areas,’ it pointed out.

Citing Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code, the resolution said, the acts committed by the Maute group were an “open attempt to remove from the allegiance to the Philippine government the part of Mindanao and deprive the Chief Executive of its powers and prerogatives to enforce laws of the land and to maintain public order and safety in Mindanao, hence constitutes the crime of rebellion.”

“Now, therefore, be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved, by way of the sense of the Senate that the Senate finds the issuance of Proclamation No, 216 to be satisfactory, constitutional and in accordance with the law,” it said.

“The Senate hereby supports fully Proclamation No. 216 and finds no compelling reason to revoke the same,” it further said.

Also on Monday, the six-man minority group filed a separate resolution urging Congress to convene in a joint session and deliberate on the martial law declaration and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the entire Mindanao amid continuing fighting between government troops and the Maute group in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

The six minority members are Senators Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Leila de Lima, who has been detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City over drug charges. IDL/rga



Middle schoolers refuse to pose with Paul Ryan during photo op


The New York Post 


A group of New Jersey eighth-grade students schooled House Speaker Paul Ryan over his unwillingness to critique President Trump.

About half ​of the more than 200​ students from South Orange Middle School refused to pose for a photo with Ryan during a school trip to Washington, DC, last Thursday.

Matthew Malespina, 13, who waited ​across the street ​with other classmates​ declining to be in the picture with the Wisconsin Republican​, said the school informed them the night before of the photo op on the Capitol steps.

“I was like, ‘Oh God, I’m not taking a picture with this man.’ I first texted my mom because my mom hates Paul Ryan as well,” Matthew told The Post​ on Sunday.​ “And I was saying to her, ‘Oh ​G​od, I can’t do this. I can’t take a picture with him.’ She said that was completely fine, just be respectful.”

Being in the photo wasn’t mandatory, Matthew said, ​so he was surprised by the number of students who agreed to turn out because of the lack of support among ​the ​students for Trump.

“Our school is pretty liberal. I only know three Trump supporters in our grade and there’s a lot people in our grade. So it’s fairly liberal. [Teachers] knew that a lot of people didn’t like Paul Ryan,” he said. “But they gave us the option. I was shocked by the number of people who wanted to join me and my friends to not take a picture of him. It was like half the grade.”

His mom, Elissa Malespina, said she’s proud of her son for standing up for his ​principles.

“I am proud of him that he chose to not do that and I am proud he did so in a respectful manner​,” she told The Post. “​Yes, he [Ryan] is the third-most powerful person in the nation, technically, but I don’t agree with his stance on a lot of things and neither does my child.”

Paul Ryan's Instagram

Children that age “have the ability to make choices,” ​Elissa ​Malespina said of standing by her son’s decision, “and to make educated choices and they are not indoctrinated by their parents. And they have a good understanding of what’s going on in society. I respect children who chose to take a picture with him and also kids who don’t.”

​Asked about her disagreements with Ryan, she quipped, “I don’t think we have enough time.”

But she ticked off her main gripes: not enough support for public education and library funding, the GOP health care plan that could mean 23 million fewer Americans without insurance, and his stance on LGBTQ rights.

“I have pre-existing conditions. My son has pre​-​existing conditions. My husband has pre​-​existing conditions that under this new law if my husband or I lose our jobs we might not be able to get health care, and that’s scary​,​”​ she said.

Ryan, who helped shepherd Trump’s plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare through the House, recently shrugged ​off the​ burgeoning investigations into the White House’s possible ties to Russia and the idea that the president referring to ousted FBI Director James Comey as a “nut job”could harm the GOP majority in Congress.

“Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah is what I say about that stuff,” Ryan said during a recent radio interview.

Matthew sa​id​ Ryan “probably” didn’t understand that half the kids were across ​the ​street peacefully protesting​, and he was bothered that​ the speaker still posted a picture with the students on Instagram, titled “Got that #FridayFeeling.”

​​”I was disgusted. What he wrote was hilarious. He’s [with] a bunch of people who don’t really like him and says ‘I got that Friday​ F​eeling.’ And that’s what I was really annoyed about it. If he realized a lot of people didn’t take a picture of him and most people in that picture didn’t like him, which is kind of ironic​,​”​​ Matthew said.​

A spokesman for Ryan said the speaker “always appreciates the opportunity to welcome students to the Capitol.”

  • Published in U.S.

2 Muslim women defend Christians

By:  -



ILIGAN CITY—Two Maranao women put their lives on the line to defend Christians when terrorists from the Maute group attacked Marawi City on Tuesday, prompting President Duterte to declare martial law in all of Mindanao.

Cris, a Bisaya (as Muslims and “lumad” [indigenous people] call non-Muslims) who lived with his family in Marawi, recalled that when a group of terrorists barged into the gun store in Basak Malutlut where he worked, “Ma’am Farida confronted them.”

“The confrontation was really eye to eye, which indicated the seriousness of the message and the personal resolve that Ma’am Farida was showing [to the gunmen],” Cris said.

The group’s leader ordered the guns and ammunition in the store hauled off and questioned Farida about her employees.

Farida stepped back to stand between her 13 male employees who were huddled together and the group of about 10 terrorists.

“You have to kill me first before you can even touch them!” Cris quoted Farida, speaking in the Maranao language, as telling the terrorists, mostly boys in their late teens.

Cris is one of Farida’s 17 employees who man her family’s two gun stores in Marawi, one in Basak Malutlut and another in Banggolo district, which was also looted.

At the start of the siege, 13 of the employees were in the Basak Malutlut store while four where in the Banggolo store.

Most of the 17 have been employed by Farida for more than a decade. Many live with their families at a compound in Basak Malutlut.

Had the terrorists seized them, their families would have been taken, too, Cris said.

Although official statistics show that non-Muslims account for just 1 percent of Marawi’s population, the actual proportion could be higher, as many Bisaya work and live in the city, mostly in commercial establishments and in the homes of well-off families.

These Bisaya have learned to speak Maranao and have assimilated well into the community.

The bulk of the non-Muslim population lives on the campus of Mindanao State University (MSU), designed as a social laboratory for cross-cultural interaction among the peoples of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan.

Moro insurgency

Although without religious underpinnings, the Moro insurgency has created tensions between Muslims and Christians, especially in the conflict areas.

Decades of efforts at interfaith dialogue have contributed much to easing the situation. But the advent of Islamic radicalism has shaken anew these fragile relations.

The beheading of two sawmill workers by Maute terrorists in Butig town last year sent a chill through the Christian community in the city and caused unease even among Muslim employers.

Cris said he believed that because the gun store employees were not harmed, the terrorists might have been interested in their technical skills.

When the terrorists left, Farida ordered the employees to get their families and led them to a relative’s house in Bangon, 6 kilometers away, Cris said.

There they were fetched by Farida’s uncle and taken to the family home in Padian, near the lake, where they were joined by the four other employees from the Banggolo gun store.

The following day, they crossed the lake to Binidayan town and from there traveled to Iligan City.

Escape to Iligan

At about 5 p.m. on Tuesday, as the terrorists took control of Marawi’s main districts, Zaynab, a development and humanitarian relief worker, was counting Christians who had taken refuge in the center.

The following day, she gathered 20 of them, several staffers and a family member, and put them in vehicles that took them to Iligan, traveling the long southern route through Malabang to avoid the gridlock on the Iligan-Marawi road.

They traveled for 15 hours—thrice the normal time of the ride to Iligan—skipping meals, which was risky for a diabetic like Zaynab.

“I never minded the danger. I was prepared to die first before they (terrorists) could harm the Christians,” she said.



Dumoulin: I never expected to win the Giro d'Italia

Dutchman reclaims maglia rosa in Milan time trial

by By /Cycling News

Although Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) was not receiving time gaps in his earpiece, he must have had a fair idea that he was winning the Giro d'Italia. Turning a mammoth gear of 58x11 as he left the start gate in Monza, he composed crisp lines through the early bends of the concluding time trial with the concision of Piet Mondrian.

Dumoulin began the day in fourth place overall, 53 seconds off race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar), and he knew that he needed to peg back a shade more than 1.8 seconds per kilometre if he was to divest the Colombian of the maglia rosa. By the first time check, Dumoulin was gaining on Quintana at a rate of 3.5 seconds per kilometre. Come the second checkpoint after 17.4 kilometres, he was the virtual race leader. By then, he was already receiving orders not to take undue risks on the final run-in to the stage 21 finish in Milan.

On crossing the finish line in Piazza Duomo, Dumoulin was ushered swiftly to the podium area, which stood in the shadow of the mighty cathedral. The beaming faces of the Sunweb support staff that greeted him told him that the Giro was his, and Dumoulin broke into a broad smile as he freewheeled to a halt.

Dumoulin's blood ran cold, however, when he retired to a tent behind the rostrum to watch on television as his rivals finish their time trials. As Quintana rattled across tram lines on the entry to Milan, the on-screen graphics erroneously suggested his deficit in the virtual general classification was a mere three seconds. Dumoulin's features tightened into a picture of concern as he processed the information.

Only when Quintana entered the final kilometre could Dumoulin accept that all was true: He had indeed won the Giro d'Italia. Second place in the time trial gave Dumoulin overall victory, 31 seconds clear of Quintana and 40 ahead of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).

"I didn't know any time gaps, because I just wanted to focus on my own TT. Then I spoke to my sports director, and he told me not to take risks anymore in the corners. He said that already at halfway, and then in the last kilometres he told me to be really safe," Dumoulin said. "When I crossed the line, everybody told me, 'You've won, you've won.' But then I looked at the TV and the gap was only three seconds, and I was so angry with everyone. 'How can you say I've won it?' And I'd already celebrated too ... But eventually it all came good."

After the podium ceremonies had finally been completed, Dumoulin, now safely reacquainted with the maglia rosa, took a seat in the mixed zone and munched on a slice of pizza. "My mom just bought it in some shop here," he explained. "I'm having a little bit of a hunger flat." As a scrum of reporters formed around Dumoulin, Sunweb press officer Peter Reef stood at a discreet remove, holding the Trofeo Senza Fine for safekeeping.

Dumoulin's Giro will perhaps forever be remembered for his abrupt toilet stop at the base of the Umbrailpass on stage 16, but the Dutchman was able to make light of the incident even when it seemed as though it might cost him final overall victory. Through the final week, some tifosi took to waving rolls of toilet paper at Dumoulin as he rode past, a gesture he accepted with laughter.

"I've still made history by shitting in the wood but now in a positive way," Dumoulin said on Sunday. "I will go down in the history books for winning the Giro after pooping in the woods, it's quite amazing."

Levity aside, that day on the Stelvio was, despite the time conceded to Quintana and Nibali, the moment Dumoulin realised that he had the ability to win the Giro. Although he had won atop Oropa in the wake of his victory in the Montefalco time trial, his athletic performance on the Giro's tappone was perhaps the most startling of an already remarkable sequence.

"I lost only two minutes in the last 30k – well, actually only 40 seconds after my incident, so after that, I thought, 'Maybe I'm better than I thought,'" Dumoulin said. "It was still a long way, but I knew there was still the time trial too."

The third man

After coming within a mountain pass and a half of claiming the 2015 Vuelta a España, Dumoulin marked himself out as a potential Grand Tour winner, but he lined up for this Giro among the second tier of favourites, behind men like Nibali, Quintana and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ). As the race progressed, however, it soon became clear that Dumoulin was, at times, simply on another level.

Only in the succession of high mountain stages in the final week did he begin to show signs of weakness, conceding the pink jersey to Quintana at Piancavallo on Friday, but with the grand finale in Milan to come, Dumoulin remained poised to become only the third Dutchman to win a Grand Tour, after Jan Janssen and Joop Zoetemelk.

"No, I never expected to win the Giro," Dumoulin admitted softly. "Maybe somewhere in the future, maybe one time with a lot of luck or whatever, but not this year. I would have been very happy with a place in the top ten. If I had done that, then I would have been very happy with how I coped with it."

Janssen and Zoetemelk won two Grand Tours apiece, claiming the Vuelta a España in 1967 and 1979, respectively, with each proceeding to win the Tour de France the year after their Vuelta victories. This year, with Dumoulim, Bauke Mollema and Steven Kruijswijk all featuring in the Giro, the Netherlands press has decamped en masse to Italy. In 2018, one can expect the Dutch love affair with the Tour to blossom all over again.

Dumoulin, however, had other priorities on Sunday evening, as shadows began to lengthen over Piazza Duomo. "Next up is beer, barbecue. That's my future," Dumoulin said. "Beyond that, I'm not thinking."

Video link:



  • Published in Sports

“Wonder Woman” to have midnight previews June 1 at 12:01am


MANILA, May 29, 2017 – The countdown to the opening of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Wonder Woman cannot be any faster, but die-hard fans are in for a treat as the studio has announced midnight previews on June 1 at 12:01AM in selected cinemas in Metro Manila and regional cities.

Fans are advised to reserve and buy their tickets now to be among the first in the world to watch Wonder Woman.

In Metro Manila, midnight screenings are confirmed to be held in Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 3, Trinoma, S’ Maison, SM Aura, SM Bacoor, SM BF, SM Bicutan, SM Fairview, SM Light Mall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Marilao, SM Megamall, SM Molino, SM North EDSA, SM Southmall, Robinsons Magnolia, Powerplant, Century, CommerCenter, Eastwood, Evia, Fisher’s Mall, Gateway, Newport, Starmall Alabang, Starmall EDSA, Starmall Las Pinas, Starmall San Jose, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa, Vista Mall Taguig, Uptown and Venice Cineplex.

Moviegoers in the provinces may watch in SM Baguio, SM Clark, SM Naga, SM Pampanga, Vista Bataan, Vista Pampanga and SM Cebu.

For the updated list, fans may check with their favorite cinemas.

Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action adventure Wonder Woman from director Patty Jenkins.

Joining Gadot in the international cast are Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner, Lucy Davis, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Eugene Brave Rock and Saïd Taghmaoui.

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, raised on a sheltered island paradise and trained to be an unconquerable warrior. When an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.

Patty Jenkins directed the film from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, based on characters from DC. Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston.
“Diana is set apart from most comic book superheroes by her gender, but it’s her approach to justice that I believe really makes her unique,” Gal Gadot claims. “She not only wants to rid the world of evil by taking out the bad guys, she also wants to encourage men and women to be the best human beings they can be, and she does this through love, hope and grace.”

Patty Jenkins agrees, further stating, “If only we could all see the world the way Diana does. She sees the great darkness, but also looks beyond that to what mankind is capable of: great beauty. She also has the powers of a god, a heart filled with compassion, and we wanted to give her a rich and layered and fun story to tell that everyone can connect with. It’s just a great adventure that I hope fans—old and new—will love!”

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, June 01, “Wonder Woman” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


Cousins, both University of San Carlos graduates, share top one slot in the CPA licensure exam

Second degree cousins Vianca Pearl I. Amores and Marianito Jesus B. Del Rio (contributed photo)



By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag/

Vianca Pearl I. Amores and Marianito Jesus B. Del Rio are second degree cousins. They also graduated from the same school, University of San Carlos, taking up the same course, accountancy.

Their likeness did not stop there. They took the Certified Public Accountant ((CPA) Licensure Examination at the same time and, as luck would have it, both landed in the top ten, sharing the top spot.

Amores and Del Rio, who both ranked first place with a rating of 92.67 percent, are among the nine graduates from USC and University of San Jose Recoletos who made it to the top ten of the May 2017 CPA licensure exam.

“I have every reason to be happy with both us sharing the top one position. We share they same wishes and goals,” Amores told Cebu Daily News partly in Cebuano.

Amores, 20, a native of Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City, graduated Summa Cum Laude last April 2017.

Amores is the second of three children of Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Ricardo Amores.

Del Rio, on the other hand, graduated Magna Cum Laude during the same graduation rites in USC.

Four other graduates of USC also made it to the top ten successful examinees.

They are Jessa Bermudo, who ranked second with an average of 92.50 percent; Alyanna Kate Buenavista and Maaku Wamar Saito, who both ranked fourth with an average rating of 91.83 percent; and Cristiemay Vertudazo, who ranked tenth with an aversge rating of 90 percent.

Three graduates from USJR also landed in the top ten: Harold Pacaña, who ranked sixth with an average rating of 91 percent; Marie Claire Cortes and Jessele Ann Echavez, who shared the seventh spot with an average rating of 90.67 percent.

The achievements by USC and USJR graduates in the CPA licensure exams came in the heels of the victory of Karen Mar Calam, a graduate of the USC Law school, who landed number one in the Bar exams, considered as the toughest licensure examinations in the country.


House panel issues subpoena vs. Imee Marcos

The House of Representatives' good government committee on Monday issued a subpoena against Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos after failing to appear again in the panel’s probe on the allegedly irregular use of the province’s tobacco funds.

Marcos has so far missed two hearings of the committee, which is looking into the purchase of P66.45 million worth of motor vehicles using the province’s shares in excise tax from tobacco.

Monday’s hearing is the third day of the inquiry. Marcos has been invited to attend the proceedings twice.

The governor is on “medical sick leave,” officials have told the committee.

The motion, unanimously approved by the committee, was made after panel chair Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Johnny Pimentel noted that under House rules, they can move to issue the subpoena, given Marcos’ absence.

Vicente Lazo, a member of Ilocos Norte’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan, has manifested that he has with him a letter from the governor.

The committee did not allow Lazo, who is also appearing as a resource person, to read the letter, reiterating that such letter was not made under oath.

Pimentel noted that they may only allow such if there is an official letter from Marcos citing Lazo as her authorized representative.

Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, who filed the resolution seeking the inquiry, noted that the they “cannot have testimonies here which are not under oath.”

“It will pollute and contaminate our records because it’s not under oath and you know that,” said Fariñas, former governor of the province.

“Even if it were an affidavit and she cannot be cross-examined with that affidavit, it will still be hearsay. We cannot allow [that]. We have other witnesses … We will be giving the opportunity, we can wait for her in July and she can testify under oath,” he added.

Fariñas, who has been both an ally and rival to the Marcoses, had tagged the governor in the “highly irregular” use of funds.

In the letter—which Ilocos Norte officials read before members of the media after the hearing last May 16—Marcos said she wishes to seek “clarification on important matters of concern” about the inquiry.

The governor asked about technicalities in the inquiry, including whether it also covered other Virginia tobacco-producing provinces, and what the committee intends to amend in R.A. 7171, noting that the hearings were being done "in aid of legislation."

Moreover, she said calling the transactions "highly irregular" was "unfair and unwarranted," and defended the said purchase.

She said assertion made in Fariñas' resolution was "ironic and most unkind" to Ilocos Norte's tobacco farmers and the provincial government. —ALG, GMA News

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