Investigators from the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (IAS) found that a “secret cell” inside a Manila police station was not secret after all and the officers responsible for it did not violate human rights or police regulations, IAS Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo said on Wednesday.
South Korea's Communication, Ocean and Meteorological Satellite (COMS) Cheollian-1 continuously hovers some 36,000 km above the equator, sending out weather data every 15 minutes.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) is now able to take full advantage of the satellite's capabilities through a new system inaugurated this Wednesday, May 17.
Dubbed the COMS Data Analysis System, the initiative is a joint project with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
24/7 imaging every 15 minutes
The COMS Cheollian-1's geosynchronous orbit above the equator means that it is in almost always in sight of the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries.
According to PAGASA administrator Dr. Vicente Malano, the agency's new COMS Data Analysis System enables practically constant weather monitoring via receiving stations in Metro Manila and Cebu.
"Mas frequent ang data na naibabato (ng COMS satellite) sa atin. Dati-dati, ang nakukuha nating data (sa ibang satellite) is every 30 minutes. Ngayon, every 15 minutes na lang," he said.
The system is particularly useful for the live monitoring of rainfall, fog, clouds, and large fires in the country, Malano said.
Complement to Project NOAH, Diwata-1
Malano also said that the COMS system complements and augments PAGASA's other tools, including Project NOAH and Diwata-1.
Project NOAH, for example, utilizes a network of sensors across the country whose range does not extend far offshore. Malano explained that the COMS satellite can augment this data by tracking weather disturbances long before they make landfall in the Philippines.
"Ang mga (ground-based) radar natin ay may capability of monitoring not more than 400 km away from the station. But itong satellite na ito, kahit nasa karagatan pa ang (weather disturbance) ay makukuha ng satellite ang hindi kaya ng radar," he said.
On the other hand, Diwata-1 and its upcoming sister satellite Diwata-2 utilize a different set of sensors and serve different functions to the COMS satellite.
"Ang Diwata is sun synchronous, okay yung resolution for research. But (the COMS satellite) is for monitoring," explained Dr. Vicente Palcon, COMS project proponent and PAGASA's counterpart focal person to KOICA.
Priority aid from South Korea
The COMS Data Analysis System is fully funded by KOICA and involves access to the COMS satellite as well as basic training for Filipino personnel.
"Wala tayong binabayarang subscription. Ang binibigay ng KOICA ay libre, kasama ang receiving facilities, computing system, at training," Malano said.
Shin Myung Seop, country director of KOICA's Philippine office, said that the COMS Analysis System was a priority aid initiative.
"(The Philippines) is one of the most advanced countries in implementing the shift from a reactive emergency response to a proactive risk reduction approach," he explained.
"The KOICA Philippine Office is making efforts towards the prioritization of the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Sector in our cooperation areas this year," he added. — GMA News
Countries at high risk of sea-level rise, drought and storms caused by global warming urged world leaders Wednesday to stay the course despite America's threatened exit from a UN climate pact.
The Paris Agreement struck in 2015 to limit warming by capping emissions from burning coal, oil and gas, is "our lifeline", pleaded the Climate Vulnerable Forum.
The grouping represents the interests at UN climate negotiations of over a billion people in nearly 50 countries on five continents.
"As long there is a chance to stop global warming at a level that lets humanity survive and thrive, we should seize it," CVF representative Emmanuel De Guzman, a climate commissioner from the Philippines, said on the sidelines of UN talks under way in Bonn.
"This is why we continue to advance the call for world leaders to keep to the 1.5 goal and to recalibrate climate finance" for poorer countries to build less polluting infrastructure and raise their defences against climate impacts.
The Paris Agreement set a limit of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) limit for average global warming over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.
Also underwritten is an aspirational lower target of 1.5 C, which the CVF considers says is key to the survival of millions of its people.
Trump has yet to announce whether or not he intends to execute his threats to withdraw America from the pact which his predecessor, Barack Obama, was instrumental in pushing through.
"We really believe that right now without increased climate action no country can ever be great again," said De Guzman, referring to Trump's campaign slogan: "Make America great again."
The American president may also opt to abandon the US' pledge to reduce emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
The new administration has already said it intends to cut funding for the Green Climate Fund and related fora, including the UN climate secretariat under whose auspices the 196-nation Paris Agreement was negotiated.
"There should be no backsliding on existing commitments," said a CVF statement, which warned that "inaction is a serious threat to global cooperation."
Trump is only expected to make his announcement after returning from a meeting of the G7 rich nations in Sicily on May 26 and 27, where many are hoping America's peers will put pressure on Trump to stay in the deal.
The other six, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, "must make a strong case for action," argued climate activist Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid, which advocates for poor country causes at the UN forum.
"Like witnesses to a violent assault, they will be complicit in the suffering of the world’s poor if they refuse to try and steer America back towards the right path."
The Paris Agreement's signatories, including a delegation from the United States, are gathered in Bonn until Thursday to work on a nuts-and-bolts "rulebook" for achieving the agreement's goals. —Agence France-Presse
LUCENA CITY – At least 12 persons were injured in a vehicular accident along the Maharlika Highway in Calauag town in Quezon province early Wednesday, police said. Senior Supt. Rhoderick Armamento, Quezon police provincial director, said a Manila-bound Bicol Isarog bus being driven by Rufino Hernandez accidentally collided with an incoming Toyota Avanza van being driven by Eusebio Landicho in Barangay (village) Doña Aurora around 4:50 a.m. An initial investigation report said the passenger bus was negotiating a curved section of the highway when the incoming van occupied the other lane and collided with the bus. The impact caused the bus to fall and consequently turn turtle on the side of the road. Ten bus passengers and two occupants of the van sustained injuries and were brought to the Saint Peter hospital in the town center for treatment. SFM By: Delfin T. Mallari Jr. Southern Luzon
Filipino optimism declined in the first quarter of 2017, based on the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The SWS said 43 percent of those surveyed said they expect their personal quality of life to improve in the next 12 months and six percent expect it to get worse.
The result yielded a net personal optimism score of +36, classified as "very high" but nine points lower compared to the December 2016 survey's +45 score.
The December 2016 survey showed that 48 percent expect their personal quality of life to improve and only three percent expect it to get worse.
The latest survey, with 1,200 adult respondents, was conducted from March 25 to 28. It has sampling error margins of ±3% for quarterly national percentages, ±4% for Balance Luzon, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao.
The survey firm said the latest result is the lowest in the last five quarters, with net personal optimism scores of +40 and above.
The lowest net optimism score recorded by SWS was in September 2015 at +33.
The SWS said that in Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte's bailiwick, the net optimism score also saw a huge decline at +32, which is 22 points lower from December 2016's +54.
Optimism, meanwhile, plunged by 17 points in Class E or "high" +29 compared to December 2016's "very high" +46. Net personal optimism in other socioeconomic classes stayed "very high," the survey showed.
The survey also showed that fewer Filipinos or 47 percent believe the general Philippine economy will get better next year and more Filipinos, at nine percent, felt it would deteriorate. In the previous quarters, 51 percent were optimistic and only eight percent were pessimistic that the country's economy will grow.
The latest survey garnered a net optimism of "very high" +38, five points lower than the December 2016 survey.
The SWS, meanwhile, noted that optimism of Filipinos, based on its past surveys, "have been highly negative."
The March survey also showed that net optimism of the economy stayed "very high" across geographical areas and socioeconomic classes.
Meanwhile, 35 percent of the respondents said their quality of life improved while 19 percent they it worsened, yielding a net gainers score of "very high" +16, which was the same result in the December 2016 survey.
The SWS said the net gainers scores since April 1983 "had been positive" and above +10 since September 2016.
It said the latest survey saw a decline in gainers in Mindanao, but the overall score was pulled up by the increases in Visayas and Metro Manila. —ALG, GMA News
MANILA – Overseas Filipinos account for 60 percent of property demand in the Visayas and Mindanao, Cebu Landmasters chairman Jose Soberano III said Wednesday.
Eighty percent of demand in the high-growth regions are for residential spaces, Soberano said, ahead of Cebu Landmasters’ listing in the stock exchange.
Cebu Landmasters hopes to raise P2.9 billion from the sale of 505 million shares with an overallotment option of 75 million shares. The offer period was set on May 19 to 26.
Soberano said he was hopeful President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to build P8 trillion in new infrastructure would help boost the property sector.
POLICE are considering a public school teacher’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade as the motive behind his murder outside his home in Barangay Guinsay, Danao City past 10 p.m. last Sunday. Investigators have yet to identify the two masked men on a motorcycle who shot Jerry Durano Puno several times. Danao City Police Chief Gerard Ace Pelare said the victim was on their list of suspected drug pushers. The incident happened while the 43-year-old was walking to the toilet outside his house. Puno was rushed to the Cebu Provincial Hospital in the city, but he was declared dead on arrival. The victim taught at the Carmen National High School. Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 welcomed the plan of the Department of Education (DepEd) to conduct a mandatory drug testing for all elementary and high school teachers in public schools. PRO 7 Director Noli Taliño said teachers will be a bad influence on their students if they use drugs. “It’s also a big possibility that their students will be their clients as well as couriers,” Taliño said. Taliño said that they will also monitor teachers as part of their anti-illegal drugs campaign. “We fully support their plan because any efforts to get rid of drugs in society, especially in schools, are very needed. If they need police personnel during their program then we will provide them,” he said. Education Secretary Leonor Briones made the announcement about the drug testing during the kickoff of the Brigada Eskwela 2017 at the Ramon National High School in Cebu City last Monday.
By KEVIN A. LAGUNDAJOHANNA O. BAJENTING
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper
Beijing — President Duterte is amenable to the entry of Mongolia and Turkey into the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) despite the concerns raised by Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on their geographical location.
The President said the two nations expressed interest in joining the regional bloc during his separate meetings with Mongolia Prime Minister Jargaltulgyn Erdenebat and Turkey President Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of a trade forum in Beijing early this week.
“By the way, I had a talk with the President Erdoğan and the Prime Minister of si Erdenebat sa Mongolia. They also want to… Gusto nila na mag-sali sa ASEAN,” Duterte said upon arrival in Davao City early Tuesday morning.
“And since I am now the chair, ang Pilipinas ngayon, they wanted me to sponsor their entry and I said, ‘Yes, why not?’” he said.
Another ASEAN leader has some misgivings about the entry of the Mongolia and Turkey but Duterte stood his ground.
“Si Aung San Suu Kyi, ang sabi niya, ‘Have you considered the physical – the geography whether they are part of the ASEAN or not?” Duterte said, quoting the Myanmar leader.
Duterte responded to Suu Kyi: “They are. I would say that they are.”
He said there has been an “ambivalent view” on whether Turkey is actually part of Asia or just a bridge between Asia and Europe. “Wala silang klaro diyan. There has always been an ambivalent view. Sometimes they say that they are part of Asia, sometimes they say that they are the bridge of Asia to Europe,” he said.
Mongolia is located in East Asia while Turkey has been known as a transcontinental country that lies both in Asia and Europe.
ASEAN, founded in 1967, is composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The group seeks to accelerate economic growth and social progress, promote regional peace and stability, provide assistance to each other in training, research, among others.
Timor Leste applied to join ASEAN in 2011 but has yet to officially join the regional group.
Among the ASEAN dialogue partners are China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, the United States, European Union, Australia, and Canada.
There are no newspapers in her mother’s house and the TV is turned on to ‘safer’ channels
“She doesn’t know I’m in jail,” says Sen. Leila de Lima, referring to her mother Norma being unaware of her whereabouts these past three months.
It’s a well-guarded secret, says De Lima, adding that her siblings tell the 83-year-old matriarch that the senator is “schooling” abroad.That’s why, De Lima explains, there are no newspapers in her mother’s house, and people make sure the television is turned off, or its channels switched to “safer” programs, during the evening news.But though De Lima herself is almost totally cut off from the outside world—no TV, radio, computer, or phone—she has access to newspapers that her Senate staff delivers to her cell in Camp Crame every day.
She’s also kept abreast of developments by friends, strangers and colleagues in the Senate, and the legal profession who regularly visit her.She admits being totally surprised of her inclusion in the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people. Her visitors bring copies of the magazine for her to autograph.Her children and grandchildren go to see her every Sunday, she says. She’s expecting them today, which happens to be Mother’s Day.
Just like a typical mother, De Lima wishes she’d always be there when her two sons need her around. These days, that would be difficult, given her situation.The consolation is, they’re grown up and can fend for themselves—eldest son Israel is 33, and Vincent, 30, is married with two kids. (De Lima’s marriage to lawyer Plaridel Bohol had been annulled.)She says that Israel, who was born with nonverbal autism, is fully aware of her incarceration.
Does she ever get depressed? There are nights, she says, when a tear would roll down her face. “Pero paminsan-minsan lang, hindi madalas (but only occasionally),” she points out. Busy She usually wakes up at 5:30 a.m., prays, and proceeds to read books, the latest being “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” She smiles knowingly when reminded of certain parallelisms between the Nazi regime and the dangerous direction being pursued by her nemesis.
Her staff arrives to bring her food because she refuses to eat the meals that jail management provides.Throughout the day, she keeps herself busy reading the papers, writing statements related to the news of the day, and watering the plants that were recently allowed to be brought in and placed at the sides of her cell. Visitors start arriving until visiting hours end at 5 p.m. And then it gets quiet, the long silence, night after night, enough to break one’s spirit—except that she’s one tough cookie, a trait she says her late father, former Comelec Commissioner Vicente de Lima, had passed on to her.
“My father taught me to be brave,” she says, “(and) never to be afraid to fight for what is right.” As she waves goodbye and nods, as if to say, “Hey, it’s fine, I’m hanging in here,” the surrounding walls that keep this woman locked up stand as mute witnesses to her fighting spirit. By: Pocholo Concepcion, Philippine Daily Inquirer