Items filtered by date: Sunday, 20 August 2017

Reacting to Barcelona terror, Trump revives fake tale of Gen. Pershing and the Moros

In response to the most recent terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain, President Trump on August 17 once again recalled a story about what U.S. Army Gen. John J. Pershing allegedly did to stop Muslim rebels in the Philippines in 1906. He claimed Pershing lined up 50 Filipino Muslim prisoners and did something somewhat similar to the gruesome beheading executions of ISIS terrorists. “He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pig’s blood. And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said, ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem.”
In his latest August 17 tweet, Trump added another decade to his old story: “Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!”

The American news media, including the normally pro-Trump Fox News network, were quick to expose Trump’s Pershing story as fake news, a “dubious legend at best”, said one, “apocryphal” said another.
It has been a strange week for Trump. At his August 15 press conference at Trump Tower, Trump praised the “many good people” who gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia who had marched with neo-Nazis and Klansmen on Friday night of August 11 with their tiki torches screaming, “Jews will not replace us!” The next day, after a neo-Nazi used his car to ram into a crowd of anti-Klan protestors killing pedestrian Heather Heyer and injuring more than 100 others, Trump placed the blame for the violence on “many sides.” Even conservative former Speaker Newt Gingrich pointed out that “good people do not march with Nazis.” Only KKK leader David Duke praised Trump for his “honesty.”
Since Trump has chosen to revisit his Pershing tale, I would like to republish what I wrote about it on February 16, 2016 when the story first appeared in the news.

The Philippines was finally mentioned by Donald Trump, the likely Republican presidential candidate in the November elections, but the reference may prompt his Filipino supporters to beg him to please continue to ignore the Philippines.
In a rabble-rousing speech in North Charleston on the day before the Feb. 20 South Carolina Republican primary, Trump cited the story of how U.S. Army Gen. John Pershing executed Muslim rebels in the Philippines in the early 1900s as an example of how the US should deal with Islamic jihadists.

Gen. John J. Pershing
“I read a story, it’s a terrible story, but I’ll tell you,” Trump began. “Early in the century, last century, General Pershing — did you ever hear — rough guy, rough guy. And they had a terrorism problem. And there’s a whole thing with swine and animals and pigs — and you know the story. They don’t like that. They were having a tremendous problem with terrorism. Pershing caught 50 terrorists. He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pig’s blood. And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said, ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem.”
Trump handily won the South Carolina primary and all 56 of its state delegates.

Pershing urban legend
The problem with Trump’s story is not only that it exults war crimes and insults the culture and religion of 1.8 billion Muslims but it is also a complete fiction.
Dr. Frank E. Vandiver, professor of history at Texas A&M University and author of “Black Jack: The Life and Times of John J. Pershing” reported that his extensive research on Pershing and his Moro experience showed no evidence to back this tall tale. In fact, Prof. Vandiver said, “this kind of thing would have run completely against his character.”
David Emery, who investigated the urban legend “Black Jack Pershing vs. Muslim Terrorists” for Snopes.com, confirmed that it never happened. There was also nothing to corroborate the claim that Muslims believe that “eating or touching a pig, its meat, its blood, etc., is to be instantly barred from paradise and doomed to hell.”

Bud Dajo, after the massacre.
Emery continued: “It is true that Islamic dietary restrictions, like those of Judaism, forbid the eating or handling of pork because pigs are considered unclean. But according to Raeed Tayeh of the American Muslim Association in North America, the notion that a Muslim would be denied entrance to heaven for touching a pig is “ridiculous.” It is an “offensive caricature of Muslim beliefs,” he said.
But the cold-blooded execution of Moros by American soldiers in the early 1900s, as highlighted by Trump’s story, did occur. In fact, the bloodiest example happened 110 years ago next week on March 5-7, 1906 in a volcanic crater called Bud Dajo just 6 miles from Jolo City in Mindanao.
As a background to Bud Dajo, it should be remembered that Spain was never able to conquer Muslim Mindanao until 1876 when Spain occupied Jolo, the seat of the Sultan of Sulu. This led the Sultan of Sulu to sign a Treaty of Peace with Spain on July 22, 1878, a treaty which had two versions: the Spanish one had the Sultan accepting Spain’s complete sovereignty over the entire Sulu Archipelago while the Tausug version described a mere protectorate relationship between Spain and the Sultanate.
Two decades later, when Spain sold the Philippines for $20 million to the United States at the Treaty of Paris in December of 1898, Spain’s claim to the entire Sulu Archipelago was included in the bargain. On May 18, 1899, Spain officially handed control of Jolo to the US. But Muslim Mindanao was not Spain’s to give away and the Moros continued to resist US rule just as they had resisted Spain for three centuries.
Bud Dajo Massacre
The bloodiest engagement of the Moro Wars was the First Battle of Bud Dajo which occurred in a volcanic crater 6 miles from the city of Jolo, 2,100 feet above sea level.
The battle occurred in the final days of Gen. Leonard Wood’s term as governor of the Moro Province when Wood’s imposition of a cedula tax on the Moros created great resentment against American rule. The Moro rebels established their base in the volcanic crater of Bud Dajo where water was plentiful and the people could farm rice and potatoes.
On March 2, 1906, Gen. Wood dispatched an assault force of 272 men of the 6th Infantry, 211 men of the 4th Cavalry, 68 men of the 28th Artillery Battery, 51 Philippine Constabulary, 110 men of the 19th Infantry and 6 sailors from the gunboat Pampanga to lay siege on Bud Dajo. After climbing up to the top of the crater, on March 5, 1906, Wood’s soldiers fired their mountain guns, rifle grenades and directed the ship’scannon volleys into the crater where the Tausug Moros were holed up.
Out of the estimated 800 to 1,000 Moros at Bud Dajo, only 6 survived. Eyewitness reports that corpses were piled five deep, and many of the bodies were wounded multiple times. To this day, the US 4th Cavalry Regiment’s coat-of-arms features a reference to the Bud Dajo campaign: a green volcano is seen at the crest with an inverted kris symbolizing the Moros’ defeat. The unit’s victory is symbolized by a yellow saber at the charge.
US President Theodore Roosevelt congratulated Gen. Wood for his splendid victory. But the New York Times March 11, 1906 headline presented another account: “WOMEN AND CHILDREN KILLED IN MORO BATTLE; Mingled with Warriors and Fell in Hail of Shot. FOUR DAYS OF FIGHTING Nine Hundred Persons Killed or Wounded—President Wires Congratulations to the Troops.”

Contrary to Trump’s tale, Pershing was not involved in any massacre of Muslims as he was still in the US during the siege of Bud Dajo as he had just been promoted to Brigadier General. Pershing quickly rose up the ranks to become Governor of Moro Province in 1909. On September 8, 1911, he ordered the complete disarmament of all Moros. About 1500 Moros defied Pershing’s order and fled to Bud Dajo to set up their resistance there, ready to fight and die in their scared mountain.
But Pershing was not about to accommodate their death wish. As David Emery wrote, “Pershing’s strategy was to surround the Moros and wait them out while attempting to induce them to surrender, a strategy that worked effectively: the Bud Dajo campaign ended with only twelve Moro casualties. But in his report Pershing seemed keenly aware that the best approach was not to take any action that would encourage religious fanaticism.”
Trump’s call to ban all Muslims
Encouraging religious fanaticism is exactly what Donald Trump wrought when he called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” Trump added.
In his Snopes essay debunking the “pig’s blood” Pershing story, Emery also decried the generalization that all Muslims are terrorists. “Such notions reduce an extremely widespread and diverse religion, and the people who follow it, to a monolithic entity with a single set of beliefs and rules to which everyone adheres. Islam has a variety of sects and sub-sects just as Christianity has a multiplicity of denominations; assuming that all “Muslims” believe and behave identically is like assuming that all Catholics and Baptists believe and behave identically because both of the latter groups are “Christians.”
“In one sense, messages such as the ones quoted above could be considered as silly as Muslims’ proclaiming that a good way to throw the U.S. into disarray would be to “bomb” America with juicy steaks on Fridays, because “Americans are Christians,” and “everyone knows Christians who eat meat on Fridays go to Hell.” Never mind that not all Americans are Christians, that not all Christians are Catholics, that not all Catholics believe in exactly the same things, that not all Catholics are equally religious or faithful, and that even the “rules” of Catholicism have changed over time,” Emery wrote.
But that kind of enlightened thinking will not draw votes for Donald Trump.

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SPORTS / SEA GAMES PH triathletes dominate SEA Games tilt in impressive showing

Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES POOL


KUALA LUMPUR — The Philippines’ overwhelming, propulsive force toward triathlon glory came from a long, painstaking program.
Nikko Huelgas and Marion Kim Mangrobang copped the golds in Southeast Asian Games men’s and women’s event Monday while teammates John Leerams Chicano and Ma. Claire Adorna took the silver medals.
It was dominating performance by the Philippine team, surpassing its showing Singapore two years ago when Huelgas and Adorna won the gold and Mangrobang silver.


“We came here confident that we can win, because all of this is part of our long-term program that will culminate in the Tokyo 2020,” said Triathlon Association of the Philippines secretary general Tom Carrasco.
“If you look at the split times, you will see that they beat the third places by a big margin,” he added.
Huelgas, the 2015 edition champion, trailed for a few seconds Clement Cheng Ren of Singapore who was first out of water. Chicano was full minute behind them.
But by the cycling and running phase, the two Filipino male runners were all by themselves around Water Sports Center in Presint 6 in Putrajaya.

Huelgas finished in one hour, 59 minutes and two seconds, while Chicano turned in a time of 2:01:27. Ren checked in one full minute after Chicano did.
The same story in women’s when Mangrobang even overlapped the fourth placer in the running phase which went through four loops.

“I think in running I really pulled away,” said the 25-year-old Mangrobang, a former fashion design student who is now full-time triathlete.
She clocked 2:11:14, while Adorna, the 2015 champion, finished in 2:18:58. Adorna is reportedly nursing a injury but her time was enough to beat out Irene Chong of Malaysia who timed 2:25:44.

 

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Filipino Community helps Honor Korean War veterans

Chicago, IL. - On Saturday, July 22, 2017, an event to honor Korean War veterans, acknowledging the 64th year since the signing of the Armistice agreement of July 27, 1953 was about to convene. Of approximately 21 countries came to the direct support of the Republic of Korea, only 16 countries contributed combat troops.

The Republic of Korea Consulate Chicago, Consul General Jong-Kook Lee was presented a ceremonial gift of the Republic of Korea flag on behalf of the entire Filipino Community, this small token represented our ongoing support and unification not just in Chicago, but worldwide. Presenting was Deputy Consul Romulo V.M. Israel, Jr of the Philippine Consulate General Chicago and members of the Chicago Nightingales organization. The Republic of Korea flag was then hoisted up the flagstaff and flown to honor all foreign countries who had answered the call of the United Nations in 1950, during the three year conflict.

Keynote speaker was ROK ConGen Lee, who expressed his countries appreciation to all who had come to the aid of the ROK during the conflict that began June 25, 1950.

Deputy Consul Israel elaborated on some important facts during that era included the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr as being a very young teenage correspondent, reporting news on the Korean conflict to include covering our Philippine troops on the battlefield.

Also mentioned was of another young Filipino, Fidel Ramos, a recent graduate of the US Army’s West Point Academy, he was commissioned a rank of junior grade Lieutenant. After serving in the Korean War and retiring with the rank of General, then later elected President of the Philippines.

The Chicago Nightingales lead in the singing of the National Anthem and closed the event program with the singing of “God Bless America.” As members of the Filipino community and nurses’ organization, we felt privileged and honored to share our proud culture to the friendly smiles and many handshakes by the veterans, and by both the Korean and Vietnamese communities. 

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Babata: A FilAm couple’s soap story

NEW YORK CITY -- Percival Cunanan and his wife Myrna epitomize the industrious immigrant couple.
On top of their day jobs – Percy in IT and Myrna previously a manager in a bakeshop — they come home to Long Island to work some more. They make soap. As in bath soap. No rest for this earnest couple who have been stirring, molding, and packing handmade soaps in their basement on nights and weekends for more than two years.
Percy swears their soap is “100 percent all natural,” meaning it uses no chemicals, no preservatives, no artificial fragrances, and no dyes. Equally important, he added, they are handmade. No machines were powered in the making of their products.
Babata (“to look younger” in Tagalog) Handmade Soaps are available in specialty stores, such Amy’s Bread, The Pantry at Hell’s Kitchen in NYC; and Jana’s Favorite Finds in Everett, Washington, just to name a few outlets. They are pop-up vendors at Pottery Barn Chelsea and at Brooklyn Bazaar. They sell at Etsy and have showcased their brand at health fairs and corporate events at NASDAQ and Morgan Stanley.
However, it is the website – Babata.NYC – where bulk purchases happen. Customers have placed orders for hundreds of bars for weddings favors or corporate giveaways. Percy dropped some pop culture celebrity names, but asked they remain unpublished.

Recently, Babata has caught the eye of the office of Kevin Harrington, one of the pioneer sharks in the “Shark Tank” reality TV Show that promotes start-up businesses.
“Kinabahan ako,” said Percy laughing, when interviewed by The FilAm. “Parang too much too soon.” The couple declined an invitation to appear on the popular show.
Sam’s allergies
When she was 6 months old, their daughter Samantha suffered from eczema. It was her skin condition that prompted the couple to explore manufacturing all-natural soap.
“Using regular soap irritates her sensitive skin,” he said. “I told Myrna, can you look into making our own all-natural soaps?”
Myrna, a graduate of Hotel and Restaurant Management in the Philippines, decided to enroll in a soapmaking course, an ideal complement to her CNA license and certificate in New York Food Safety. She learned the rudiments and perfected the product through stubborn testing. Pleased with their “soap from nature,” which uses a meticulously measured combination of olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and shea butter, they began to use it and launched it to family and friends in 2015.
Today, an average of a thousand bars of Babata are produced each month. Not that large a volume yet to make a courageous appearance at Shark Tank. But enough to embolden Myrna to quit her bakeshop job and take on the task of manufacturing full time. Percy helps out too, as he is in charge of online marketing and product design. Tabling at events keeps the couple very busy.
Despite their enthusiasm, the venture cannot go full steam ahead because they have no full-time manpower and they are enjoying the stage of child rearing which they believe is one of the most important stages in a parent’s life. They value family time more than expanding the business to the fullest. Percy shared that Myrna is currently pregnant with their second child, and expects a bit of a slowdown in the months ahead. But he remains optimistic and steadfast. After our 7 p.m. interview, he was off to two more business meetings.
“We’re not out to make money,” he said.
Not copious amounts is probably what he meant because for his vision to grow, the business needs to be sustainable. His dream is for Babata to become a vehicle to provide jobs to families in the Philippines caring for special needs children. Percy was a special needs teacher before coming to the U.S. 10 years ago. If he can make enough bars of soap, outsource some sales, some packaging to the families back home, he would be happy.
“Helping lovely children with special needs and providing employment to people with disabilities,” he said, “that’s the essence of Babata.”

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Taguiwalo rejected as DSWD chief

MANILA – The Commission on Appointments (CA) has rejected the ad interim appointment of Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo on Wednesday, August 16.
The CA plenary made the decision after the CA committee on labor and social welfare held an executive session on Taguiwalo's appointment on Wednesday, at least 3 CA sources said.
At the confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Taguiwalo was grilled on the Conditional Cash Transfer program, her views the proposed national identification system, and her links with the National Democratic Front (NDF), which had nominated her for the post.
The committee presented its recommendation to the CA plenary, which voted on whether to adopt or reject it the same day.
If the CA adopts the recommendation of the panel, Taguiwalo will be the third Duterte Cabinet appointee to be rejected by the powerful body, after former foreign secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr and former environment chief Gina Lopez.
Under CA rules, President Rodrigo Duterte can no longer reappoint a rejected official. Duterte reappointed Taguiwalo each time the CA bypassed her appointment. An ad interim appointment is deemed bypassed when the CA fails to act on it before Congress goes on session break.
The CA adopted the "3 strikes, you're out" policy in March to limit the number of times an appointee can be bypassed and reappointed. Once the appointee is bypassed for the 3rd time, he or she will face rejection.
Since the adoption of the new rule, the Left's nominee to the post has been bypassed twice during the sine die adjournment on June 2, and the special joint session on July 22.
Congress convened in a special session on July 22 to decide on Duterte's request to extend the imposition of martial law in Mindanao.
At the time, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said that the Senate had agreed to consider the appointment of Taguiwalo and other Cabinet officials bypassed when it was not taken up then. The others are Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
Controversial appointment
Just before Wednesday's hearing, Taguiwalo told reporters that she was "hoping for the best but expecting the worst."
“Kung ang batayan ay integrity at competence, walang batayan para hindi ma-confirm ang appointment (If the basis is integrity and competence, there’s no basis not to confirm my appointment),” Taguiwalo told reporters as the CA panel held an executive session on her appointment.
Taguiwalo's relationship with Congress has been tense in her first year in office.
In August last year, she released an order seeking to end patronage in providing social aid. In that order, she reminded personnel evaluating aid requests that endorsement letters from public officials are "not integral" to the implementation of the DSWD's Protective Services Program.
Her appointment hearing had been deferred twice, the second time on May 17.
Taguiwalo's only CA hearing on May 3 turned controversial when Sotto quipped that single mothers like her are "na-ano lang" (just knocked up).
Her struggle to be officially appointed as social welfare chief has launched the#ConfirmJudy campaign on social media. Her supporters held banners outside the Senate building on Wednesday, seeking her confirmation. – Rappler.com

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BIR investigates Comelec chief, wife

MANILA – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has formed a team to investigate possible tax violations of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista, his estranged wife Patricia, and other parties involved in the exposé on the official's alleged unexplained wealth.
BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay signed on Monday, August 14, Order No 706-2017 creating a 5-man special team to probe the Bautista couple, lawyer Nilo Divina and his firm Divina Law, the Luzon Development Bank (LDB), and "other related parties."
Dulay designated Glen Geraldino of BIR Makati as the team's coordinator.
In a letter to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on August 15, Dulay asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) for copies of any and all affidavits, reports and documents which your office may deem pertinent to the tax investigation.
According to Patricia's affidavit, there are 35 LDB accounts amounting to P227 million.
The Comelec chief also allegedly has two undeclared properties – a condominium unit in Bonifacio High Street and one in California, USA. Bautista is also alleged to have investments in 3 foreign companies.
Bautista's close friend, Nilo Divina, is also implicated because according to Patricia's affidavit, her husband received commissions from the Divina Law Firm which supposedly has government clients.
Patricia accused Bautista and Divina of conspiring so that her husband could benefit from his Comelec position.
Full-blown probe
Earlier, Aguirre said the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) was tapped to look into Bautista and check for any red flags during his stint as Comelec chief.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), PCGG, and BIR are all looking into the claims of Patricia that her husband has bank and real property assets amounting to nearly P1 billion.
Bautista's declared net worth for 2016 in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) is only P173 million.
One of Patricia's claims is that in 2016 – an election year – there were "almost daily" deposits to bank accounts which were always below P500,000, possibly to avoid detention by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
The Anti-Money Laundering Act sets P500,000 as the threshold amount that merits the filing of a suspicious transaction report with the AMLC.
Aguirre is counting on the AMLC to jump in the investigation, citing an agreement between the body and the NBI.
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) is conducting an impeachment case buildup against Bautista. – Rappler.com

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DND may acquire medium tanks

MANILA -- Instead of heavily-armored and gunned main battle tanks, the Department of National Defense (DND) is looking at the possibility of acquiring some medium tanks for its armored units.
This was emphasized by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when asked by the PNA Wednesday, August 16, on whether the ongoing conflict in densely-packed Marawi City, where Maute Group terrorists converted concrete houses and buildings into fortified fighting positions, necessitates the acquisition of a main battle tank fleet.
"Not really. We do not expect a lot Marawi-type conflict in the future. Therefore a couple of medium tanks would do: for contingency in urban warfare and for training," he added.
Lorenzana also defines main battle tanks as vehicles weighing 40 tons or more and carrying a large-caliber gun while medium tanks are those weighing 20 tons or less and equipped with a medium-caliber but powerful cannon but capable of breaching reinforced concrete walls.
As this developed, Mechanized Infantry Division spokesperson Capt. Emman Adriano said they are now using with great effect the newly-acquired armored vehicles in their ongoing operations in Marawi City.
"Our current capability can surely sustain the operations in Marawi City," he added.
Adriano earlier said a large portion of the country's armored assets are now seeing action in the ongoing operations to clear Marawi City of the remaining Maute Group terrorists.
"(Armored assets deployed ) are four mechanized battalions, one cavalry squadron and one light armored troop. All of our newly acquired armored vehicles are now deployed in Marawi City," he said. These units consists of more than 120 armored vehicles of various types. -- PNA

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SunVar ordered to vacate Mile Long property

MANILA – The Makati City Regional Trial Court on Tuesday, August 15, ordered the Sunvar Realty Development Corporation, a real estate firm owned by the Rufino and Prieto families to vacate the 2.9-hectare Mile Long property in Makati City, Solicitor General Jose C. Calida said on Tuesday.
The Rufino and Prieto families control the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the country’s largest newspaper, which has been repeatedly accused by President Duterte of undermining his administration. The broadsheet is reportedly being purchased by business magnate Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corp.
Calida said the Court of Appeals Resolution dated Aug. 14, 2017 remanded the case back to Makati RTC Branch 141 and directed the sheriff to execute the June 10, 2015 decision of Makati MeTC Branch 61, which ordered Sunvar to vacate the Mile Long property.
Earlier on Tuesday, Makati RTC Branch 141 of Judge Maryann Corpus-Manalac issued a Notice to Vacate, implementing the CA Resolution dated August 14, 2017, ordering to surrender possession of the property within three days from receipt.
The notice covered not only Sunvar Realty but also other tenants in the property.
"You are hereby given a period of three days from receipt thereof to surrender the possession of the above-described property with all the improvements existing thereon or vacate the premises within such given time, after which the undersigned will place the petitioner in actual and physical possession thereof to duly satisfy the Writ of Execution," read the order.
Calida, along with the Branch Sheriff Robert Bautista, went Tuesday to the Mile Long property serving the notice to Sunvar Realty and all other tenants.
Mile Long property was leased by government to Sunvar on Feb. 28, 1982. The agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2002, but Sunvar continued to occupy the property despite the expiration of the lease.
Calida said that since 2003, or for the last 14 years and seven months, Sunvar has been squatting, illegally using and occupying the Mile Long property and despite notices, continued to remain in possession and collect millions of rentals from tenants.
"In truth, you guys are like the Kadamay squatters. You have been depriving the government of money that could have been used to fund projects for the poor," Calida said.
In 2009, the government filed a complaint for Unlawful Detainer against Sunvar Realty before the Metropolitan Trial Court for its illegal and unauthorized use and occupation of the Mile Long property.
According to Calida, an ejectment case is summary in nature as it intends to provide an expeditious means of protecting right to possession.
"From the get-go, Sunvar never questioned the factual issues of the case. They just delayed everything. They filed baseless motions reaching up to the Supreme Court. That's why it took almost six years before it was decided by the Metropolitan Trial Court,” Calida opined.
Earlier, the CA has affirmed its ruling issued last January which gave the government an upperhand to regain possession of over 2.9 hectare Mile Long property in Makati City from Sunvar Realty..
On June 10, 2015, the MeTC Makati City Branch 61 granted the complaint for ejectment filed by the government against Sunvar and ordered the latter to vacate the property located between De La Rosa and Arnaiz Streets and parallel to Amorsolo Street in Legazpi Village.
The MeTC also directed Sunvar to pay the government back rentals as of May 2015 amounting to P478.2 million with monthly rental of P3.2 million beginning June 2015 until it vacates the premises.
After a motion to consolidate was granted, Makati RTC Branch 59 took cognizance of both cases.
In upholding its January 2017 decision, the CA insisted that Makati RTC Branch 59 has no jurisdiction over the two cases.
It noted that Sunvar violated the Rules of Summary Procedure which provides for the remedy of appeal to the appropriate RTC.
In its complaint about ejectment, the government and the National Power Corporation accused Sunvar of refusing to vacate the subject property despite the lapse of the ultimatum given to the latter.
The said property is at present being leased out by Sunvar to the operators of Premier Cinema, Mile Long Arcade, Makati Creekside Building, The Gallery Building, and Sunvar Plaza.
Other portions of the property, however, remain as open spaces, profitably utilized as a parking area for customers and guests. -- PNA

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Drilon confronts Pernia for ‘political noise’ remark

MANILA -- Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday, August 16, took exception to the statement of Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia that “political noise” could put the projected economic growth at risk.
Pernia and other members of the Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) were at the Senate to brief senators on the proposed P3.767-trillion national budget for 2018.
During his presentation, Pernia said a possible “rising political noise” is one of the “risks and uncertainties” that could affect the country’s economic growth.
Drilon, a member of the former ruling Liberal Party (LP), asked Pernia what he meant by political noise.
“Political noise is really a general expression...It can be from any sector of the society...[like] labor...Protests, for example...Demonstrations,” Pernia said.
Pernia also answered in the affirmative when Drilon asked him if he considers criticisms to the Duterte administration as political noise.
“My goodness gracious, so you’re saying that this is a risk to growth?” Drilon asked Pernia. The Cabinet secretary answered: “It would lead to disunity.”
“So we cannot criticize because we will be considered as causing disunity to the nation?” Drilon said.
Pernia then replied: “Well, ideally, we should all be united, right? To achieve our common goal.” He added that political noise could also come from the international community.
Drilon said Pernia should be careful in the terms he uses as he represents the views of the Duterte administration.
“Just be careful with your language because you are a Cabinet secretary and your statement reflects the sentiment of this administration in so far as planning is concerned. And when you say that the risk includes political noise, that is very disturbing of the trend of your thinking,” Drilon told Pernia. — GMA News

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Poultry farmers surrender birds to stop spread of avian flu

MANILA -- Poultry farmers outside the 1-kilometer quarantine radius in San Luis, Pampanga surrendered their birds to the government for culling to cut losses and help stop the avian influenza outbreak from further spreading, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Wednesday, August 16.

"'Yung mga farmers outside the one kilometer have also offered na maisama na ang kanilang mga farms sa depopulation process," Piñol told reporters in a press briefing in Quezon City.
This development has raised the number of birds to be culled to 600,000 from an earlier estimate of 200,000 within the quarantine zone, the Cabinet official said.

The Department of Agriculture will need about P52.8 million to compensate the affected farmers.

"I will ask the President for the immediate release of calamity funds," Piñol said.

As of Tuesday, 36 farms volunteered to be part of the depopulation process, he noted.

"Kesa malugi ... they decided to surrender their farms to the government ... I also view this as a patriotic act of the poultry farmers," Piñol said. — GMA News

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