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75% of Filipinos in favor of ABS-CBN franchise renewal — SWS survey
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MANILA, July 13 (Mabuhay) — A Social Weather Stations poll found that three out of four Filipinos or 75 percent of those polled were in favor of Congress renewing ABS-CBN’s franchise, and over half of those polled considered a non-renewal a major blow to press freedom.

The SWS’ National Mobile Phone Survey, taken from July 3-6 as the House of Representatives debated the renewal of the franchise but before the July 10 vote by the Committee on Legislative Franchises which denied the application, also found that 13 percent disagreed with a franchise renewal with 10 percent undecided.

Geographically, the proportion of those who called on Congress to renew the ABS-CBN franchise was highest in Mindanao at 80 percent, followed by the Visayas at 77 percent, Balance Luzon at 74 percent, and Metro Manila at 69 percent.

It was higher in rural areas at 81 percent than in urban areas at 70 percent.

Meanwhile, 56 percent of those polled said that a non-renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise would be a major blow to press freedom, while 27 percent said it had no effect on press freedom while 15 percent were undecided on the matter.

The proportion of those who considered Congress’ non-renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise as a major blow to press freedom was highest in the Visayas at 59 percent, followed by Mindanao at 57 percent, Balance Luzon at 55 percent, and Metro Manila 52 percent.

Majorities in both rural and urban areas, 57 percent and 55 percent respectively, considered a non-renewal a blow to press freedom.

The SWS July 3-6, 2020 National Mobile Phone Survey was a probability-based survey that used mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviews of 1,555 adult Filipinos nationwide. The survey had sampling error margins of ±2 percent for national percentages; ±6 percent for Metro Manila; and ±5 percent for Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.  (MNS)

ALSO READ: Move to kill ABS-CBN’s franchise bid damages trust in gov’t- Archbishop Soc Villegas

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South China Sea arbitration case win ‘non-negotiable’
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PHILIPPINE Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Sunday, July 12, reaffirmed that the arbitral ruling on the South China Sea case is “non-negotiable.” He made the statement on the 4th anniversary of the historic ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which invalidated China’s claim over the entire South China Sea…

The post South China Sea arbitration case win ‘non-negotiable’ appeared first on Asian Journal News.

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WHO reports another daily record for global coronavirus cases
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The World Health Organization on Sunday, July 12, reported another record increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 230,370 over a 24-hour period. The previous WHO record for new cases was 228,102 reported on Friday, July 10. Of the new figure, 66,281 were from the United States, topping WHO’s list among countries…

The post WHO reports another daily record for global coronavirus cases appeared first on Asian Journal News.

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Nothing to worry about, Palace says following bubonic plague case in China
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MANILA, (Mabuhay) — Malacañang assured the public on Thursday that the country’s borders remain closed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic after a case of bubonic plague was recorded in China this week.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippines is taking the matter seriously.

“Sineseryoso po natin ‘yan. Pero huwag po kayong mabahala kasi ang pagpasok po ng mga dayuhan sa Pilipinas ay hindi pa po pinapayagan ng malawakan, case-to-case basis lang po,” he said in a televised briefing.

“So sarado pa po ang ating borders at wala pong dapat ikabahala.”

Health authorities in China’s Inner Mongolia region said a farmer contracted the bubonic plague, a bacterial infection that causes fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes.

Bubonic plague can be lethal if not treated promptly with antibiotics.

Earlier this week, the Philippines came up with measures to prevent the spread of a new type of swine flu that is allegedly capable of triggering a pandemic.

Approved by the Philippines’ COVID-19 task force on Monday, the measures included setting up of inter-agency surveillance mechanisms for swine farms and workers especially those regularly exposed to pigs.

The Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, and the Bureau of Customs were also directed to strictly implement the Food Safety Act of 2013, particularly the provision on the handling of imported food at the port of entry.(MNS)

ALSO READ: Philippines warned vs. new wave of HIV infections amid COVID-19 crisis

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Move to kill ABS-CBN’s franchise bid damages trust in gov’t- Archbishop Soc Villegas
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MANILA, (Mabuhay) — The House franchise committee’s decision to deny ABS-CBN Corp’s bid for a new broadcast license has “damaged people’s trust in the workings of the government,” Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said on Saturday.

In a statement, the former chief of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said that members of the House of Representatives should have wielded their powers more responsibly.

“The President’s threats to close the station are a matter of public record. Now that the matter of the franchise has been dealt a final blow by the Lower House, can our people be blamed for the perception that Congress, supposedly a fiercely independent body of the people’s representatives, has bent over in subservience to the President?” he said.

“All power comes from God and therefore must be wielded responsibly. The exercise of power must always be ordered towards the common good.”

Members of the House franchise committee, after 12 lengthy joint hearings with the committee on good government, on Friday voted 70-11 to deny ABS-CBN’s fresh franchise application, shuttering the network’s broadcast business.

It was a fulfillment of President Rodrigo Duterte’s oft-repeated declaration that he would yank ABS-CBN off the air.

Palace claims neutrality as Congress fulfills Duterte threat against ABS-CBN franchise

Villegas said the House panel’s decision has deprived the public a source of information in this time of a pandemic aside from adding to the country’s unemployment woes.

He added that it also virtually killed the right to freedom of expression.

“Another channel of free expression is killed as if we have not killed enough of our countrymen,” he said.

Villegas said there will be a day of reckoning for the hurt done to the poor and needy.

“Whatever we do to the poor and to the needy, we do to Christ. And there will be a day of judgment for our crimes against the poor and the needy,” he said.

Villegas said Christians will need to stay awake and vigilant by offering their prayers.

“Nasa Diyos ang awa nasa tao ang gawa. Kailan pa tayo kikilos upang isagawa ang ipinagdarasal? Hindi natututulog ang Diyos. Hindi rin dapat matulog ang pagiging Kristiyano sa anumang panahon at sa lahat ng pagkakataon,” he said.

‘There’s always a day of judgement’

Meanwhile, Manila Cathedral Rector Fr. Reginald R. Malicdem expressed the faithfuls’ solidarity and sadness for those affected by the House panel’s decision.

“Do not be afraid. Naipasara kayo noon at bumalik kayong muli. Do not be afraid especially to those your rank and file employees who might lose their jobs, because Jesus said, ‘If God takes care of the sparrows in the sky, do not be afraid because you are worth more than many sparrows. Ang Diyos ang bahala… put the love of Jesus first and he will restore you, put the love of Jesus and he will be your strength,” Malicdem said in his homily on Saturday.

He also has a message to the members of the House.

“To our leaders in government especially to our representatives in Congress, we have nothing to say to you but the very words also of Jesus in our Gospel today. Jesus said, ‘Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed. Nothing that is kept secret that will not be made known.’ Jesus reminds us there is always a day of reckoning, there’s always a day of judgement.” (MNS)

ALSO READ: ABS-CBN franchise lies with Congress not with Duterte admin — DOF

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FDA approves a total of 204 COVID-19 test kits
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MANILA, (Mabuhay) — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday said it has approved a total of 204 COVID-19 test kits so far.

These include 71 polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based test kits, 77 rapid antibody test kits, 51 immunoassay test kits, and five others.

The number of COVID-19 cases reached 52,914 on Friday, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH reported 1,233 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, of which 848 are “fresh” or newly validated, and 385 are “late.”

It also announced that the number of patients who have recovered from the COVID-19 in the Philippines surpassed 13,000 with 286 new ones, bringing the total to 13,230.

Meanwhile, 42 more fatalities brought the death toll to 1,360.

The government’s move to ramp up its COVID-19 testing capacity is seen to ensure that the country will not regress to strictest lockdown measure or enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said Friday.

Socioeconomic Planning Acting Secretary and NEDA chief Karl Kendrick Chua said the government is on track to achieving 32,000 tests per day which will help bring down the positivity rate to below 5%. (MNS)

ALSO READ: DOH cautiously accepted forecast of 100k COVID-19 cases by end-August

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BI division recommends filing deportation case vs. Chinese who hurt cyclist, spat on guard
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MANILA, (Mabuhay) — An official of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Saturday said a recommendation has been made to file a deportation case against a Chinese national who recently hurt a cyclist and spat on a security guard.

BI National Operations Center spokesperson and chief Melvin Mabulac said the Chinese national identified as Dong Li has been found to be overstaying aside from showing undesirability.

“Nakita natin na itong Chinese na ito ay isang turista lamang. Hindi pa siya nakapag-comply ng pag-update na kanyang status,” Mabulac said during the Laging Handa press briefing.

“Basically, dalawa ang ating tinitingnan natin: Siya ay overstaying. At the same time, ‘yung undesirability. Klarong klaro po sa social media—naging viral pa nga ‘yan—ang disrespect to authority,” he said.

“Bawal na bawal ‘yan. Hindi ibig sabihin na kapag dayuhan, siya ay may espesyal siyang batas. Kung ano ang batas na ipinapatupad sa isang ordinaryong Pilipino, dapat sundin ng kahit sinong dayuhan na nandito sa ating bansa,” Mabulac said.

Dong was caught on video hurting a cyclist with an umbrella in Makati City. She also spat on a security guard at a restaurant.

Makati Police filed on Thursday a criminal complaint of assault to persons in authority, physical injuries and disobedience to authorities before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office.

Dong apologized and said she would obey Philippine laws.

“I’m sorry to Jefferson, I’m sorry to officers, I’m sorry to the Makati City government,” she said. “I promise to follow rules and laws of Philippines while I stay here.” (MNS)

ALSO READ: Actress gets job as waitress in Australia amid pandemic

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