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Pacquiao to train future China world champions
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Philippines sports legend Manny Pacquiao

Philippines sports legend Manny Pacquiao

MANILA (AFP) – Philippines sports legend Manny Pacquiao said Wednesday he is to open a Chinese government-backed chain of boxing academies across China to train potential future world champions.

The Chinese government will embark on the first “Manny Pacquiao Boxing Education Institute” in Beijing, with others to be built elsewhere in China later, Pacquiao announced on Manila’s ABS-CBN television in a telephone call from Shanghai.

“The plan is to share with them my boxing knowledge,” said the 35-year-old World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion, who has held world titles in eight weight divisions.

“With a population of 1.4 billion, they have so many boxers. So I think they would be able to produce good fighters, like world champions,” he added.

“The important thing is to teach them the basics.”

Pacquiao was in China this week as part of a global promotional tour ahead of his November 23 WBO welterweight title defence in Macau against unbeaten American challenger Chris Algieri.

He said he had held talks with the Chinese authorities in the past two days for the “inauguration” of a company to undertake the project.

“They (Chinese government) will put up the facilities, and if I have the time, I will visit them like once a month or once in three months to supervise them,” Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao did not reveal the project’s timetable or costs but added he believed the partnership could help thaw frosty ties between the Philippines and China, who are engaged in a tense territorial maritime dispute in the South China Sea.

Pacquiao defended his decision to open boxing academies in China instead of his own country, and laughed off suggestions his project would deprive the Philippines of more world champions.

“In the Philippines we don’t have a problem (with producing good boxers). What our boxers need is more support,” he said.

“I am already helping a few of them,” he added.

Pacquiao, an elected member of congress who enjoys iconic status in the Philippines, is also an actor and a Christian preacher.

On Sunday Pacquiao was drafted as player-coach by an expansion team in the professional Philippine Basketball Association.

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Vice President Jojo Binay. Sinner or saint?
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Chito ParazoThe ongoing Senate investigation on Vice President Jejomar Binay and his mayor son, “JunJun,” for allegedly “benefitting” from the  supposedly overpriced P2.3 billion car-park building in Makati is “worth keeping an eye on.”

It would also be interesting to find out if the current senate probe would dig deeper into how the Binays, particularly the vice president, acquired so much wealth during his stint as mayor of Makati for 19 years with a gross salary of only P36,000 a month.

Binay’s eldest daughter, Senator Nancy Binay, was also was implicated in another controversy for allegedly selling overpriced birthday cakes given by Makati city hall to its senior citizens before she was elected senator.

The current Senate probe conducted by the Blue Ribbon subcommittee headed by Senator Aquilino Pimentel is being carried out to determine the culpabilities of the Binays.

The alleged overpriced car park building was brought into light following the filing of a plunder case against the Vice President and his Mayor son by the Binay’s political opponents in Makati.
So far, VP Binay has not gone to the Senate to shed light on the controversy despite being assured by Senator Pimentel of a fair treatment should he appear. Pimentel even gave assurances to the elder Binay that he would stop the inquiry  should the hearing turns out to be baseless.

Despite these assurances, Binay seemed hesitant to subject himself to an inquiry. Maybe for fear of being embarrassed by questions to be raised by senators in the course of the hearing. If I am the VP and I have nothing to hide, I will face my accusers. If Binay continues to procrastinate his decision to appear before senator probers, there will be a growing perception in the minds of the voting public that he is hiding something and guilty of receiving “kickbacks.”

Vice President Binay branded the on-going senate inquiry in the Makati car park building as a demolition job designed to malign him and his family. Binay vehemently denied that he or any member of his family, benefitted financially from the construction of the car park building.

In the case of Nancy Binay, she is accused of selling overpriced birthday cakes to Makati senior citizens. The cost of the  birthday cakes are funded by the Makati city hall. A Makati-based lawyer named Renato Bondal, testified at the recent blue ribbon committee hearing that the cases came from the bake shop owned by The lady senator. Aside  from his senator daughter and his mayor son, Binay also has another daughter who is the current congresswoman in the second district of Makati.

As for Mayor Jun Jun Binay, he recently appeared before the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee where he claimed that the Commissioned On Audit (Coa) has already cleared  him and his father of any wrongdoings on the construction of the P2 billion car park building, although, top COA officials claimed otherwise during the hearing. They added their findings on the alleged overpriced building have not being finalized.

Political observers are saying that the current political imbroglio the vice president is facing will diminish his current political “stardom,” particularly in the coming opinion poll surveys for 2016 presidential candidates slated next week.

As of now, Binay is way ahead of his closest political foe for the 2016 presidential election based on latest opinion polls surveys. Of all the 2016 presidential wannabes, many are saying that only Binay and real estate magnate Manny Villar have the financial capability to run an effective campaign. Political observers are saying it will cost a candidate at least P6 billion to mount a  successful presidential campaign.

People are saying that most of the wealth of Villar came from his successful real estate business. However, Binay’ s vast financial resources has remained unexplained. Where he got it and how he got it remains a  mystery.

Binay has been subjected to numerous accusations of acquiring so much wealth in the past. However, up to this time, no one could come up with concrete evidence that Binay has allowed himself to be corrupted while serving as chief executive of Makati for a long time.

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80,000 more cops needed to safeguard 100 million Pinoys – Mar
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Police Deputy Director General Ager P Ontog Jr, Deputy Chief PNP for Operation/ Commander National Task Force SAFE 2013 gives out guidance regarding the deployment of PNP personnel in the field especially in areas vulnerable to attacks of lawless elements in response to the call for Secure and Fair Election (SAFE 2013).

Police Deputy Director General Ager P Ontog Jr, Deputy Chief PNP for Operation/ Commander National Task Force SAFE 2013 gives out guidance regarding the deployment of PNP personnel in the field especially in areas vulnerable to attacks of lawless elements in response to the call for Secure and Fair Election (SAFE 2013).

MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Philippine National Police needs 80,000 more personnel to meet the ideal police-to-citizen ratio of 1:500 for a country whose population is now 100 million, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II said Wednesday.

“1:500 is the rule of thumb …and to arrive at this, we need an additional 80,000.  We need this to improve police presence and visibility,” Roxas told the hearing for the Department of Interior and Local Government’s proposed 2015 budget at the House of Representatives.

The PNP’s current strength of 153,000 personnel makes for a police-to-citizen ratio of 1:700.  It could actually be worse since 30,000 personnel are engaged in administrative work, Roxas pointed out.

“We really need more people,” he said, adding that there are 900 local government units without police stations and 300 municipalities without fire stations or fire trucks.

Next year, the DILG will get a budget to hire 10,000 more police personnel, the same number it was supposed to hire this year.

Director General Alan Purisima and National Police Commission executive director Eduardo Escueta, for their part, said the PNP is having difficulty recruiting new personnel because of the stringent process.

Applicants to the police force need to be college graduates, and must pass neuropsychiatric and medical examinations as well as an interview.

“We are also faced with the usual problem of attrition and other reasons like (the) attractiveness of other options (offered by) employment (in) the private sector,” Escueta said.

Purisima said they are also looking at the possibility of changing the recruitment period from July to January each year to attract more applicants.

Roxas said new police personnel should be deployed to the streets to help fight crime and maintain peace and order.

Asked what the PNP was doing to address the growing incidence of crimes committed by motorcycle riders in tandem, Roxas said the police have intensified Operation Lambat to accost all motorcycles without license plates and registration papers.

The PNP has also tripled the number of roving and checkpoint teams in Metro Manila from 38 to 104, he added.(MNS)

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CBCP chief raises bioethical concerns on Ice Bucket Challenge
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President Benigno S. Aquino III greets His Eminence Orlando Cardinal Quevedo following the Thanksgiving Mass in celebration of his elevation to the College of Cardinals at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Quezon Avenue, Cotabato City on Tuesday (March 11). Cardinal Quevedo received his red hat and ring from Pope Francis during a solemn consistory at the St. Peter’s Basilica on February 22, 2014. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III greets His Eminence Orlando Cardinal Quevedo following the Thanksgiving Mass in celebration of his elevation to the College of Cardinals at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Quezon Avenue, Cotabato City on Tuesday (March 11). Cardinal Quevedo received his red hat and ring from Pope Francis during a solemn consistory at the St. Peter’s Basilica on February 22, 2014. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – The wildly viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge may be for a good cause, but it may have some bioethical issues, the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines warned.

In a statement, CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas also reminded Filipinos taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is an act of compassion and not a fad.

“As a pastoral guideline, we therefore urge those participating in the ice-bucket challenge and making donations to ALS research to make a clear and unequivocal declaration that their donation is made on condition that none of it is to be applied to research that involves the use of embryonic stem cells, in vivo or in vitro,” he said.

He said Catholics who participate in the challenge and who make donations to this research must also demand from organizers an assurance that none of the donations made will be applied to researches that are “ethically reproved.”

But he maintained the Church will push support for such research so long as they “keep within the confines of the ethical demands of human dignity.”

“As long as research on ALS as well as other debilitating conditions such as Parkinson’s Diseases and Alzheimer’s keep within the confines of the ethical demands of human dignity, they will be encouraged by the Church, and our Catholic faithful will be urged to support them with generosity and with charity for all who suffer,” he said.

The ice bucket challenge seeks to boost awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and to raise funds for research to address it.

As of Aug. 27, the ALS Association said the challenge has raised $94.3 million since July 29.

Bioethical concern

Villegas cited “disturbing reports” that ALS research involves the use of stem-cells, which may promise to reverse the death and degeneration of brain cells.

But he said stem-cells are most readily harvested from embryos, “and it is in this regard that this type of research is ethically problematic.”

Villegas cited the “Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation” issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on February 22, 1987.

“It is therefore even more condemnable when embryos are destroyed so that their pluripotent stem cells may be harvested for research for even therapeutic purposes,” he said.

He added it is “no better when embryos are the result of ‘in vitro’ fertilization, developed purposely as a source of stem cells.”

Villegas cited the same Instruction in pointing out human embryos obtained in vitro “are human beings and subjects with rights.”

“Their dignity and right to life must be respected from the first moment of their existence. It is immoral to produce human embryos destined to be exploited as disposable ‘biological material,’” he added.

Villegas also cited a statement from the ALS Association that includes a declaration on stem cell research.

He said the statement indicated most stem-cell research in ALS is currently focused on iPS cells, which are not burdened with ethical issues.

“What is troubling, however, is that the very same ALS statement, in admitting that iPS cells are used in ‘most stem-cell research’ leaves open the possibility that stem cells from objectionable sources are still used!” he said.

Yet, he said the CBCP cannot say at this time that the ALS Association and all those involved in ALS research are engaged in the unethical practice of using embryonic cells.

“The importance of ALS research cannot be overstated. Research must proceed, for so many suffer. Human intelligence and skill must conquer this dreadful malady, because it is for this purpose that we have been given dominion over the earth as its stewards,” he said. (MNS)

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KC Concepcion on mom Sharon: We’re all behind her
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KC Concepcion and Sharon Cuneta (MNS photo)

KC Concepcion and Sharon Cuneta (MNS photo)

ACTRESS KC Concepcion is certain that her mother, Megastar Sharon Cuneta, will surpass difficulties with her weight gain and disappointments in her showbiz career.

KC said that her mother did not mention the issue to her during their last conversation.

Nag-usap kami ni Mom and wala naman siyang na-mention sa akin na problem. Masaya nga yung talk nami sa phone nun,” she said.

Concepcion believes that the Facebook post of Sharon is intended for her loyal supporters.

“I feel na that open letter is Mom’s way of letting her fans know that she is still here, and she still cares for them. Sa lahat ng ginagawa ng mom ko, she always remembers her fans and wants them to be happy. It’s her way of saying she has not forgotten them,” she said.

As for Cuneta’s weight gain issue, Concepcion said it will take time but she is positive that her mom will get the hang of things.

“Her struggle to get back in shape is a long process, hindi naman ganun kadaling magpapayat to be honest,” she said.

The 29-year-old actress also thanked close friend, Judy Ann Santos, for the continuous love and support not just to her mom, but to their whole family.

“I am very thankful that Ate Juday has always been there for my mom, sincere siya sa friendship nya and she’s part of our family. Like Ate Juday, me, our family, friends and her loyal fans are all behind her 100 percent. Kaya niya yan!” she ended.

Earlier, Cuneta opened up on her Facebook account about being fat and admitted that she is going through mid-life crisis.

She wrote that she “let myself go and allowed myself to get fat and stay fat”. She became complacent and lost faith on herself.

“I was going through a mid-life crisis, the effects of which I could never have foreseen. My reaction to it was awful; I became rebellious because I hated myself for the way I looked and the time I continued to waste by not focusing and working on bettering my own person.”

“It was I who let myself become affected by the fact that I had turned 40, not my public.” (MNS)

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Oliver Tolentino dresses Bing Bang Theory star Emmy nominee
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Mayim Bialik (Photo by Sthanlee B. Mirador)

Mayim Bialik (Photo by Sthanlee B. Mirador)

Hollywood fashion designer Oliver Tolentino made a “big bang” at last Monday’s 2014 EMMY AWARDS when he dressed nominee Mayim Bialik for her work on The Big Bang Theory.  This is the third straight year the actress has been nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category.  Her show also was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series.  (Allison Janney and Modern Family won this year.)

This is the second year that Bialik has tapped the Filipino designer to dress her for the Emmys.  This year the actress opted for an electric royal blue embroidered ball gown that featured a sweetheart neckline, pockets, and embroidered see-through sleeves.  The actress specifically requested the silhouette because she’s always wanted to wear a ball gown.  Last year, Bialik wore an emerald green Tolentino mermaid gown.  In conformity with her religious modesty, Bialik only wears sleeves and dresses below the knee.

Tolentino has had a successful year dressing both an Emmy nominee and an Oscar winner at the last Academy Awards when director Jennifer Lee won her trophy for Frozen.

Tolentino will be working out of his Makati boutique in Manila beginning mid-September for a month.  For more information, please visit www.OliverTolentino.com.

 

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Juan Karlos admits family struggling with debt
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 Juan Karlos Labajo (MNS Photo)

Juan Karlos Labajo (MNS Photo)

He may not look the part but “The Voice Kids” finalist Juan Karlos Labajo revealed that he also used to scavenge junk for a living – much like the eventual grand champion Lyca Gairanod.

The 13-year-old young artist admitted that his family is still struggling with debt, despite finishing third in the singing competition.

“Parang may pagkakapareho po ‘yong kwento ng buhay namin ni Lyca kasi po noon nagangalakal din po kami. Marami pong nag-aakala na, ‘uy mayaman yan!’ Dahil nga daw po sa mukha ko,” he said.

Pero ‘di po nila alam, sa Cebu ang dami po naming utang, nangungupahan lang kami, palipat-lipat ng bahay,” he added.

The Cebu-native also mentioned in jest the lack of a consolation prize, but quickly added: “Pero kahit wala, ang laki naman po ng nabago sa buhay namin.”

For one, Labajo said he is now staying in Manila with his uncle “for good” to further pursue a career in music.

He also added that he will be continuing his education through home-schooling, expressing his desire to finish his studies before anything else.

Talagang wala pong makakatapat sa education po. ‘Yun po ‘yung one thing na maimamana ng magulang po, mahirap po o mayaman,” he said.

Labajo, who was part of the team of rockstar Bamboo Mañalac, also addressed questions on whether he regrets snubbing the eventual winning coach, Sarah Geronimo.

During the final round of the competition, Geronimo was very vocal in rallying her online fan base, dubbed “Popsters,” behind her two bets, Gairanod and first runner-up Darren Espanto.

Gusto ko rin po si Coach Sarah kaya lang po hindi ko mahanap ‘yong genre ng music ko sa kanya. Kasi si Coach Sarah po ay nasa ballad at pop. Parang hindi po bagay sa akin,” he explained.

Labajo further said it is better to live life without regrets.

Ano man mangyari kasi kahit ano pong mangyari, tanggapin mo kasi binigay ‘yan ng Panginoon. If there’s a problem, there’s a solution, parang math lang po,” he said. (MNS)

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