Philippine News

Philippine News

Miss Universe tickets to cost P8,000 to P50,000

By Rosette Adel ( | 

In this photo, eleven Miss Universe bets poses with Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, Miss Universe 2016 Pia Wurtzbach, Paula Shugart of Miss Universe Organization and former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson. Toledo IV

MANILA, Philippines — Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said the official selling of tickets for the 65th international pageant will start on December 20. She said the prices of the VIP ticket would be more or less $1,000 each or roughly P50,000 but the cheapest or the general admission section ticket might costs around $160 or P8,000.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Miss Universe Organization also said Monday that the ongoing online sales of tickets costing P12,000 for the 65th Miss Universe pageant are not legitimate.

Teo said the tickets for the VIP section are already limited but there might be sections available in between general admission and the VIP sections.

“So far, ‘yung sa baba halos naubos na ng Miss Universe [organization] so 200 tickets na lang ‘yung available,” Teo told the reporters during a press briefing.

The Tourism chief said the tickets for the pageant would be sold at the official website of Miss Universe and at SM Tickets. She stressed that no reservations would be allowed.

“Book and buy na rin once you ano you have to pay right away hindi puwedeng book and reserve,” she said.

Entertainment ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

The Tourism department would also announce the details on the tour package with Miss Universe candidates next week. Teo said they are still readying the package which would include tours with the bets in the provinces of Davao, Cebu, Palawan, Legaspi, Vigan and Manila.

Eleven Miss Universe candidates who arrived in the country last Friday, said they enjoyed their visit to Siargao last Sunday. They are now touring Intramuros, Manila and will visit Cebu on Tuesday.

They were Miss Australia Caris Emily Tiivel, Miss China Lee Zhenying (Joyce), Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane, Miss Japan Sari Nakazawa, Miss Malaysia Kiranmeet Kaur Balijeet Singh, Miss New Zealand Tania Pauline Dawson, Miss USA Deshauna Barber, Miss Korea Jenny Kim, Miss Myanmar Htet Htet Tun, Miss Indonesia Kezia Roslin Cikita Warouw, Miss Vietnam Dang Thi Le Hang and Miss Philippines Maxine Medina.

"I'm proud that the girls had a great time. It's just a preview of what will happen next. Girls, enjoy, it's a once in a lifetime experience," reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach said.

Undersecretary for DOT public affairs, communications and special projects Kat De Castro earlier said the agency has been receiving massive inquiries on tickets’ availability and rates for the VIP and general admission. 

Duterte should retract 'threat' vs suspects' lawyers, HRW says

By Kristian Javier ( | 

A human rights activist holds a candle for the victims of extrajudicial killings around the country in the wake of the "War on Drugs" campaign by President Rodrigo Duterte Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 in suburban Quezon City, northeast of Manila, Philippines. The "war on drugs" campaign, which saw hundreds of mostly poor victims, has been condemned by human rights groups including the United Nations Chief Ban Ki-moon. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte should renounce a statement that has been perceived as a threat against lawyers of alleged drug dealers, a human rights group said.

In a statement early Tuesday, Human Rights Watch said that the president should reaffirm the rights of the suspects to due process and to access to legal counsel after President Duterte, in a speech on December 7, said that when he was a prosecutor, suspects were able to post bail because they had "good, high-profile lawyers."

He said that the suspects went back to crime when they were released on bail.

"Even their lawyers, I will include them," Duterte then said.

"Duterte’s threats against lawyers and human rights defenders constitute a dangerous extension of his abusive ‘war on drugs’ that has already resulted in more than 5,000 killings," HRW deputy Asia director Phelim Kine said.

The rights to due process and to legal counsel are in the 1987 Constitution.
Threats against rights advocates

In the past, Duterte has also threatened human rights advocates, saying they are a hindrance to the war on drugs.

"Sabi ng human rights, pinapatay ko raw, sabi ko ‘sige na maghinto tayo, paramihin natin.’ Para pag panahon ng harvest time mas marami na tuloy mamatay, isali ko na kayo kasi kayo ang nagpalaki eh," Duterte said in his statement.

Kine said that the threats made by Duterte show that he will extend his "abusive war on drugs" from targeting criminals to targeting those who object to it.

He added that unless Duterte takes those threats back, "his government will bury the rule of law along with the thousands of suspected criminals killed since he took office on June 30,"

Meanwhile, Presidential Secretary Martin Andanar said that the president's "threats" should not be taken seriously as they are just figures of speech.

READ: Palace: Duterte 'threat' vs rights advocates a figure of speech

"It was just out of frustration. The president did not really mean na gagawin niya talaga yun," Andanar said in an interview with radio dzMM.

He said that that is just how Duterte speaks. 

Lawmakers file criminal case vs De Lima

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Ronnie Dayan and Leila de Lima Photo file/composite

MANILA - A day after filing its third complaint before the Senate Ethics Committee against embattled Senator Leila De Lima, the House of Representatives (HOR), through its leaders, filed a similar complaint for violation of the Revised Penal Code against the lawmaker with the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The complaint filed by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, and Justice Committee chairman Reynaldo Umali is in connection with De Lima's advise to former lover and driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan to snub the HOR probe into the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) illegal drug trade, where De Lima supposedly directed high-profile inmates to sell huge volumes of methamphetamine hydrochloride ("shabu") to fund her senatorial campaign.
The four-page complaint charged De Lima with violation of Article 50 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), which pertains to "disobedience to summons issued by the National Assembly, its committees or subcommittees, by the Constitutional Commissions, its committees, subcommittees or divisions."

The same article also provides that "[t]he same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who shall restrain another from attending as a witness, or who shall induce disobedience to a summon or refusal to be sworn by any such body or official."
"As an incumbent Senator, former Secretary of Justice and a lawyer, advising and inducing Mr. Dayan to hide and not to attend and/or appear in the House Inquiry for which he was duly summoned is tantamount to inducing disobedience to summons issued by Congress, of which she is a sitting member," the complaint read.
The complaint cited the following exchange of text messages between De Lima and Dayan's daughter, Hannah Mae, revealed during the HOR hearing on November 24, 2016, when the Justice Committee reopened its inquiry following Dayan's arrest in Brgy. San Felipe, San Juan, La Union:

"Hannah Mae: Hi Tita. Good pm po. Mi pinapatanong po si pah. Mo baket daw po mi dumating na supwena sa kanya at ano daw po ggawin nia?
Respondent: Pakisabi sa kanya magtago lang muna siya… Kagagawan yan nila Speaker Alvarez at dikta ni Digong. Pagpipyestahan lang siya at kaming dalawa kapag mag-appear siya sa hearing na yan

Hannah Mae: Hindi naman po ba siya huhulihin kapag hindi siya pumunta?
Respondent: Di ba nagtatago naman siya?"

In a news conference following the filing of the complaint, Umali also scored De Lima for calling the House inquiry a sham proceeding and "kangaroo court."

On the part of the DOJ, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre gave the assurance that the complaint will be handled "without fear or favor."
Other complaints are pending with the department against De Lima, Dayan, and several others for violations of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165, also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, still in connection with the NBP illegal drug trade.
De Lima accused the partymates and allies of President Duterte of persecuting her for hitting hard on the President's war on drugs.  

Filipino mayor on Duterte's narco-list killed in prison shootout

espinosa110516The mayor was one of some 160 officials Duterte put on a so-called "narco-list" as a war on drugs that has claimed more than 3,000 lives accelerates. Another mayor was killed in an alleged shootout with police.
Filipino police shot dead a mayor and another man in jail in an apparent gun battle as they were searching for weapons and drugs,. It was the second narcotics-linked death of a local politician in a week.
Rolando Espinosa, mayor of Albuera town in Leyte, turned himself into authorities in August after President Rodrigo Duterte publically named him and his son Kerwin drug traffickers and gave "shoot on sight" orders to police if the two resisted arrest. The mayor was later released, only to be indicted and imprisoned last month.

Espinosa was one of some 160 officials Duterte put on a so-called "narco-list" as he accelerates a war on drugs that has claimed more than 3,000 lives.
Police said they recovered two pistols, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia from the prison raid. It remains unclear how the mayor and other man acquired the weapons and drugs in prison.
The president's office called Espinosa's death "unfortunate" and pledged to investigate.
Espinosa denied any links to drugs, but his son Kerwin is an alleged drug kingpin in the Eastern Visayas region. He was arrested by Abu Dhabi police last month and is expected to be extradited.
Last week, Samsudin Dimaukom, the mayor of another town, was killed in an alleged firefight with police that also left nine of his men dead in the southern Philippines. Duterte also named him on the "narco list."

During more than a quarter of a century as mayor of Davao, the country's second-largest city, Duterte built a reputation for being hard on crime, a policy that earned him criticism for rights abuses but also praise for turning Davao into a safe city with better services.
Duterte took over the presidency in June promising to go after the drug trade, which he says is a pandemic that has corrupted politics, the military and ruined lives.
The extent of the crackdown involving both police and vigilantes has led to warnings from the West and human rights organizations over the rule of law and extrajudicial killings.
Undeterred, Duterte has vowed to press on with the drug war and verbally assaulted his critics, including US President Barack Obama.
While a controversial figure abroad over the drug war and caustic rhetoric, Duterte remains popular at home. According to a poll last month, after three months in office his approval rating stood at 86 percent.

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