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Duterte thanks Japan for continued support for PHL
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By Jelly F. Musico

President Rodrigo R. Duterte meets with Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa in Malacañang on Monday (Oct. 3, 2016). (MNS photo)

President Rodrigo R. Duterte meets with Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa in Malacañang on Monday (Oct. 3, 2016). (MNS photo)

MANILA  (PNA) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday thanked Japan for its continued assistance, including patrol ships, to the country.

President Duterte expressed his appreciation to the Japanese people during the 115th anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), which was attended by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa at the PCG headquarters in Port Area, Manila.

”Let me start by giving our gratitude to Japanese Ambassador Ishikawa, our heartfelt thanks for giving us the ships — some are here, others are coming — and your desire to help the Philippines,” President Duterte said in his speech.

The President recognized Japan as one of the biggest contributors to the Filipino people.

”In my city alone, JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) projects are abundant and it has redounded to the benefit of my countrymen over in Mindanao,” said the former Davao City mayor.

”And now that I’m the President, you continue to pour the aid that you feel you want to extend to us and again, we’d like to thank the Japanese people, your Emperor and your government,” he said.

President Duterte said the Philippines needs more ships to patrol the country’s more than 7,000 islands.

”We need the ships. If you count the number of islands of about 7,000 plus, that would count to so many great miles of coastlines. It is not enough but at least we have the ships to begin with. The old ones plus the new one that has been delivered to us, would greatly help us in this endeavor,” he said.

For his part, Ishikawa said that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during his meeting with President Duterte at the Laos ASEAN Summit last Sept. 6, announced Japan’s intention to provide a new loan for the construction of larger patrol ships for the Philippines.

President Duterte is set to meet again with the Japanese Prime Minister when he visits Japan on October 25-27.

”On this occasion, the two leaders will further discuss ways to enhance friendship ranging from peace and security, fight against terrorism and economic cooperation, such as infrastructure development and people-to-people exchanges,” Ishikawa said.

”We will work together with the government of the Philippines to further deepen our strong relationship,” he added.

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DPWH completes PHP44-M flood control project for Nueva Viscaya
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Difficult task: Using a shovel, a Department of Public Works and Highways-National Capital Region (DPWH-NCR) worker unclogs the drainage system along Pedro Gil Street corner Osmena Highway in Manila to ease the floodwater that accumulated in the area on Tuesday (Oct. 11, 2016). (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

Difficult task: Using a shovel, a Department of Public Works and Highways-National Capital Region (DPWH-NCR) worker unclogs the drainage system along Pedro Gil Street corner Osmena Highway in Manila to ease the floodwater that accumulated in the area on Tuesday (Oct. 11, 2016). (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

MANILA  (PNA) – A newly completed flood control project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is now benefiting residents of a rural municipality in Nueva Vizcaya.

The DPWH through the Nueva Vizcaya Second District Engineering Office (NVSDEO) has completed the construction of a revetment to support to the Mangayang Bridge located at Brgy. Banganan, Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya.

A 636.0 lineal meters revetment structure with a combination of gabion and granular fill embankment materials was built at a cost of PHP44 million to further strengthen the said bridge which links Aritao-Quirino Road.

“The construction of the flood control project will help prevent inland flooding and protecting lives and properties of residents during heavy rains.”, said NVSDEO District Engineer Ronald P. Reyes

“This project is critically important to small town communities near the rivers especially when water level in the river increases because of heavy rains,” added Reyes.

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DOTr rolls out new double decker P2P buses for passengers affected by ‘no window hours’ policy
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By Aerol B. Patena

P2P double deck bus in EDSA: A Point-to-Point (P2P) double deck bus travels along the stretch of the EDSA Santolan southbound lane on Thursday (October 13, 2016). The bus is one of the 14 P2P buses plying the Trinoma-Makati (Glorietta 5) route which were launched in a bid to reduce travel time of commuters. (PNA photo by Avito C.Dalan)

P2P double deck bus in EDSA: A Point-to-Point (P2P) double deck bus travels along the stretch of the EDSA Santolan southbound lane on Thursday (October 13, 2016). The bus is one of the 14 P2P buses plying the Trinoma-Makati (Glorietta 5) route which were launched in a bid to reduce travel time of commuters. (PNA photo by Avito C.Dalan)

MANILA  (PNA) – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has launched on Wednesday fourteen new double decker premium point to point (P2P) buses traversing the Trinoma-Glorietta route that will operate 24 hours from Monday to Sunday.

The buses will carry passengers that will be affected by the implementation of the “no window hours” policy on private vehicles traveling along EDSA, C5, Mandaluyong, Alabang-Zapote, and Roxas Boulevard starting Oct. 17.

“The P2P buses offer a convenient transportation option and designed to encourage private car owners to try public transportation,” DOTr said in a statement.

Two of the buses are customized VIP units which are equipped with 52 reclining sleeper seats with monitors for latest movies, games and other entertainment apps.

Its lower floor features a VIP cabin with CR, cooler, VIP sofas, conference table, and two units of 50” flatscreen TV monitors with KTV functions.

The VIP double decker buses are also equipped with CCTV cameras and have passed Euro 5 emission standards.

Apart from the VIP bus units, seven semi-VIP and five PWD double decker buses were also launched.

The fare for the buses costs PHP55 for single journey and PHP80 for roundtrip. Operator Froehlich Tours offers a 50 percent discount (PHP25) for an unlimited ride during weekend mall hop operations. Passengers can also avail the one-month unlimited ride promo for PHP1,300.

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PHIBLEX can change tactics to comply with ongoing war against illegal drugs
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SOUTH CHINA SEA (Oct. 6, 2016) Members of international media observe flight operations during a tour aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as part of Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise 33 (PHIBLEX). PHIBLEX 33 is an annual U.S.-Philippine military bilateral exercise that combines amphibious landing and live-fire training with humanitarian civic assistance efforts to strengthen interoperability and working relationships. Bonhomme Richard, flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, is operating in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region. The annual exercise could’ve seen its last holding in the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte wants to discontinue the event during the rest of his term. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeanette Mullinax/Released)

SOUTH CHINA SEA (Oct. 6, 2016) Members of international media observe flight operations during a tour aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as part of Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise 33 (PHIBLEX). PHIBLEX 33 is an annual U.S.-Philippine military bilateral exercise that combines amphibious landing and live-fire training with humanitarian civic assistance efforts to strengthen interoperability and working relationships. Bonhomme Richard, flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, is operating in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region. The annual exercise could’ve seen its last holding in the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte wants to discontinue the event during the rest of his term. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeanette Mullinax/Released)

MANILA  (PNA) – As the 33rd iteration of the Amphibious Philippine Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) formally ended Tuesday, a ranking Filipino military official said they can change their tactics and plans to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte’s ongoing campaign against illegal drugs.

“Taking off from our amphibious nature, we consistently change with the law of the situation to fullfill our duties. We stretch our scope of operations if need be, just like the current administration’s war on drugs. In ways possible, our initiatives may be reshifted to include narcotics operations while not undermining our internal security operations, territorial defense and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” PHIBLEX Philippine exercise director Brig. Gen. Maximo Ballesteros said.

He also expressed confidence that PHIBLEX could become a platform for military operations that cater to peace and security issues like drugs, human trafficking, and cyber-terrorism.

PHIBLEX started Oct. 4 and was originally scheduled to end on Wednesday but the annual exercises between the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) and US Marine Corps (USMC) concluded on Tuesday due to previous commitment of senior military leaders.

Around 1,400 US military personnel and 500 Filipino troops have participated in the event.

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De Lima’s plan to sue Duterte won’t prosper: DOJ chief
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By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

Senator Leila de Lima, chair of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, leads the inquiry on the extrajudicial killings, Monday morning.(MNS photo)

Senator Leila de Lima, chair of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, leads the inquiry on the extrajudicial killings, Monday morning.(MNS photo)

MANILA  (PNA) –Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday said that the plan of Senator Leila De Lima to file a case against President Rodrigo Duterte will not prosper.

“Nothing will happen on that. She will be going against a well-established doctrine. I don’t think the SC (Supreme Court) will allow that because otherwise everybody will file cases against the president that will waste his time,” Aguirre told reporters in a press conference.

The DOJ chief made the statement after De Lima bared her plan to file petitions before the SC seeking the issuance of a writ of habeas data and writ of amparo that will also, in effect, test the doctrine of presidential immunity from suits.

Aguirre said De Lima cannot be granted privileges under the writ of habeas data and writ of amparo.

“Her life, liberty or property is not in danger so these writs don’t apply to her case,” he explained.

Aguirre also shrugged off De Lima’s allegation that he is the “master of fakery”, saying the latter cannot even identify which piece of evidence against her was falsified.

He added that she should stop general denials and hurling accusations back and forth.

“Hindi ganyan ang pagdepensa. Isa kang magaling na abogado,” Aguirre said, adding that De Lima should explain why she should not be called the protector of drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison.

“You have been the Justice Secretary for six years, what did you do? You should tell us what did you do to stop the drug proliferation inside the New Bilibid Prision,” Aguirre said. (PNA)
BNB/CLTC

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OC Fil-Am Chamber of Commerce’s 22nd Awards Gala focuses on next gen
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rey_andresThe Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County focused this year’s signature event in celebrating  tomorrow’s leaders at the 22nd edition of the Annual Awards Gala last Oct. 7 at the Magic Kingdom Ballroom of Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

Indeed the magic of continuous leadership lies on the shoulders of future leaders on whose hands are entrusted the next generation of leadership who are better attuned to the intricacies of the changing business environment.

Some members of the current crop of student leaders had been invited to highlight the thrust of FACCOC’s future thrusts which currently rely significantly on the members’ spirit of volunteerism to achieve its mission in the community.

Focusing on the future leaders highlighted the importance roles they would play given today’s constantly changing circumstances, with market trends coming and coming and customers’ preferences changing.

Five student leaders from University of California, California State University, Cal State University and Cal Poly Pomona had the spotlights shared the center stage as nominees for “Fil-Am Scholars of the Year” and “Graduate of the Year”, the first time ever that campus figures had been given due recognition by the Chamber.

This year’s “Scholar of the Year”, Anthony Cantal of Cal Poly Pomona is a mechanical engineering graduate whose major study had emphasis in vibration, robotics, HVAC and alternative energy.

FACCOC Annual Awards Gala: The 22nd Annual Awards Gala of the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County focused on the upcoming generation of business entrepreneurs and acknowledging their future roles in the business community. Here, the Officers, the members of the Board of Directors, guests from the business and political fields and awardees take a brief timeout to record the signature event.

FACCOC Annual Awards Gala: The 22nd Annual Awards Gala of the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County focused on the upcoming generation of business entrepreneurs and acknowledging their future roles in the business community. Here, the Officers, the members of the Board of Directors, guests from the business and political fields and awardees take a brief timeout to record the signature event.

The other scholars included Anthony Garcia (with major in History), Heidi Carreon (Journalism), Jacqueline Mayuga (Applied Math) – all from University of California- and Celina Saludes (Communication Disorders) from Cal State Fullerton.

FACCOC has through the years built strong partnership with business players in the community in achieving its four-fold mission of serving the members’ businesses and the community. Some of them were also acknowledged and accorded the rightful recognition for the fruitful collaboration.

US Bank had been a faithful supporter of FACCOC’s programs for its members and the community and was awarded the FACCOC Corporate Advocate Award.  The bank has been “recognized as one of the safest, most respected and most trusted bank in the county” and which shares a strong tradition of joining forces to build great places “they call home”.

US Bank works business conscience has enabled it to “work with community partners who understands the needs of individuals, families and organizations”. Ms. Joanna Favis Pamaran, USBank vice president, received the award for her company.

First Choice Bank, represented by VP Natividado Maneja, was awarded the Corporate Advocate Award of the Year while Fullerton-based restaurant On-Season Meals, a meal service “for healthy style and catering” had been honored as the “Start-Up Company of the Year”.

The event also occasioned the installation in office of the Chambers newly elected Board of Directors and Officers officiated by the new Philippine Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz which included Edwin Baloloy (President) Neil Estrada (President-elect), James Valle (Treasurer) Cristina Espiritu (Secretary), Elena Lapid-Salonga, Gloria C. Rull, Edith Andres, Maria Dumatol (Past Presidents), Christine Consunji-Chen, Joseph L. Joseph, Diana Zuniga, Jay Ungos and Rico Bautista.

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Game show appearance turns Pinoy into instant celebrity
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By Abner Galino

Ernesto Paras Jr., a Filipino-American physical therapist, of Mississippi, rolls the giant wheel for the jackpot during his chance at “The Price is Right.”

Ernesto Paras Jr., a Filipino-American physical therapist, of Mississippi, rolls the giant wheel for the jackpot during his chance at “The Price is Right.”

A 39-year-old Filipino from Mississippi turned into an instant celebrity after appearing in a popular TV game show “The Price is Right” and winning about $8,600 worth of giveaways from the show.

Ernesto Paras Jr., a physical therapist, has been in the local newspapers, local TV and radio stations in Greenville, Mississippi.

“I am enjoying all the attention, I know this is going to fade away soon,” Paras jested during the phone interview.

But his delight, Paras said, isn’t all about the unexpected popularity but as well as to the chance to promote the Philippines.

“Doon mismo sa show, dalawang beses kong binanggit ang Philippines. I am really proud talaga to let everyone know that a Filipino made it to the show,” Paras recalled.

It was Paras fifth try to get into the game show.

The episode that included Paras was taped on July 20, 2016 and was aired on October 4, 2016.

Fortunately, Paras was chosen to be part of the nine persons who would compete on that day.

“It wasn’t easy. Kasi even if you’re holding a priority ticket, it doesn’t mean na maglalaro ka na. You have to fight for a slot to play. You have impress the interviewer while lined up,” Paras recalled.

According to him, after getting a slot to play, he had to keep his energy up to make sure that he would be called up the stage to play.

Paras was the last of the nine contestants to be called up the stage.

Ernesto Paras Jr., a Filipino-American physical therapist, of Mississippi, rolls the giant wheel for the jackpot during his chance at “The Price is Right.”

Ernesto Paras Jr., a Filipino-American physical therapist, of Mississippi, rolls the giant wheel for the jackpot during his chance at “The Price is Right.”

 “But I was really confident when I walked up the stage. Kasi nag-review talaga ako,” Paras said.

Interestingly, Paras did not actually hear “Come on down,” the show’s popular catchphrase, when his name was called. Only the studio audience heard show host Drew Carey yelled that catchphrase.

“Actually, hindi mo rin maririnig ‘yung pangalan mo. You’ll see your name from an idiot board,” Paras disclosed.

Paras had one chance to bid and got it right. Unfortunately, he didn’t get lucky when he spun the show’s large wheel and failed to qualify for the “Showcase Showdown,” the final segment of the game show.

“Pero OK lang. That was a once-in-lifetime experience. I am happy already,” Paras concluded.

Paras Jr. won a Zuo Mod cave coffee table with four matching stools, a billiards table, a Razer laptop and an Epson Wireless inkjet printer.

Paras has been a longtime fan of the show even when it was still being hosted by Bob Barker who retired in 2007. It turned out, Paras had also appeared in some TV game shows in the Philippines before he left the country 11 years ago.

In 2001, Paras twice appeared at “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and won a combined prize of P70,000. He won another P75,000 playing the Philippine version of “Wheel of Fortune.” He was at the “Game Ka Na Ba?” and successfully made it to the “face-off” portion. He won P10,000.

He competed for the “The Weakest Link” and also managed to get to the  “face-off” portion of the said game show. He didn’t win any money though.

The Price is Right is one of the longest-running American TV game shows. It revolves around contestants competing to “name” the accurate pricing of merchandise to win cash and prizes. The program premiered on September 4, 1972 on CBS. Bob Barker was its host from the show’s1972 debut until his retirement in June 2007.

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