Without objections CA confirms Cayetano’s nomination

MANILA, Philippines – The congressional Commission on Appointments (CA) affirmed the nomination of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano as the nation’s top diplomat.

New DFA secretary Alan Peter Cayetano

The CA committees on foreign affairs nominate to the plenary the confirmation of Cayetano as the new secretary of foreign affairs.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chair of the CA committee on foreign affairs, said that Cayetano’s affirmation hearing was the quickest ever.

Cayetano was affirmed even before he conveyed his opening statement.

Related: Commission on Appointments rejects Yasay

The new foreign affairs secretary said that he would need to make adjustments taking after his conversion from a politician to a diplomat.

“I will continue to speak kung necessary but not in the political manner that was available to me in the Senate because as chief diplomat, kailangan ko rin isaalang-alang ‘yung departamento at yung relationships natin sa ibang bansa. So in other words, I will be using a different language, a more diplomatic language,” Cayetano said in an ambush interview.

Cayetano quoted his participation amid the Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland a week ago as a sample of his diplomatic approach.

The senator led the Philippine delegation amid the review, displaying the human rights situation in the nation before member states of the UN.

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“Nakita n’yo naman ‘yung pagpresent natin ng human rights record natin sa Geneva ‘di ba. We are able to say what the president wants to say but in a diplomatic setting and a diplomatic language,” Cayetano said.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared the appointment of Cayetano, his former running mate and close ally, instantly after the one-year ban on the appointment of losing bets in the May 9, 2016 elections was lifted.

The board earlier rejected the arrangement of Perfecto Yasay Jr. as secretary of foreign affairs after of lying about his citizenship status.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/17/1700842/ca-panel-oks-cayetanos-dfa-chief-nomination-without-objections


Earthquake hits Batangas not a prelude to “Big One”

MANILA, Philippines — There is no relation between the current earthquake swarm in Batangas and the feared movement of the West Valley Fault that can bring about extensive damage in Metro Manila, the top state seismologist said.

quake batangas
Earthquake hit the Netanya Resort in Mabini, Batangas

Renato Solidum Jr, director of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said that there is no known reason for the series of earthquakes in Batangas last week except for movement in a fault system in the region. The quakes jolted close-by areas including Metro Manila.

“The faults or the earthquakes that have been happening all over the Philippines are related to faults in the area but the fault in Batangas and other areas are not connected at all to the West Vallley Fault so there will be no basis for saying that these earthquakes are precursors to the big earthquake in Metro Manila,” Solidum told ANC on Monday.

Referring to quakes in the Visayas area on Monday morning, Solidum said they don’t originate from the Batangas quakes.

“It could just mean that faults are moving, it does not mean anything in a sense of a pattern,” he said.

Solidum and his office have been cautioning the public about a damaging 7.2 magnitude earthquake produced by a movement of the West Valley Fault seen to affect the capital area. Nicknamed the “Big One,” the Metro Manila quake—like all other earthquakes—cannot be anticipated or determined yet but based on historical data; it is expected to occur over within the century.

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An earthquake swarm which recently affected Batangas, meanwhile, may even extend to the following few days or week. Two earthquakes struck the area on April 4 and April 8, both followed by hundreds of aftershocks.

Solidum said that Phivolcs is closely observing the Batangas swarm for indications of tapering off.

“Essentially people are advised to just be prepared in case there are strong shocks to the precautionary measures that they are protected in case stronger earthquakes happen,” he said.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/04/10/1689550/batangas-quakes-not-prelude-big-one

Does broccoli can help prevent cancer?

Past research has proposed that sulforaphane – a compound present in broccoli and various cruciferous vegetables – can aid to prevent cancer or slow its growth. Another review may have found how.broccoli

Researchers from Oregon State College (OSU) found that sulforaphane lessened the expression of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in prostate cancer cells, which disturbed the cells’ capacity to form colonies – a sign of metastatic cancer.

Beforehand believed to be “junk DNA” with no important function, lncRNAs have increasingly appeared as key players in the development of various cancers, including prostate, breast, stomach, and lung diseases.

Studies have proposed that lncRNAs can control gene expression – the procedure by which genes are changed on or off in order to do their jobs. At the point when lncRNAs get to be dysregulated, it is believed that they can fuel disease development.

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Not only does the new study give additional proof of the role lncRNAs play in cancer, however it supports past research hailing the anticancer effects of sulforaphane.

“It’s obviously of interest that this dietary compound, found at some of its highest levels in broccoli, can affect lncRNAs,” says principal study investigator Emily Ho, of the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health at OSU.

“This could open the door to a whole range of new dietary strategies, foods, or drugs that might play a role in cancer suppression or therapeutic control,” she adds.

Ho and colleagues recently reported their results in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

Sulforaphane prompted a fourfold decrease in colony formation

To achieve their findings, the researchers administer whole-genome sequencing on normal human epithelial prostate cells and prostate cancer cells.

They found that the prostate cancer cells indicated high expression of lncRNAs, especially one called LINC01116.

But when the group conducted sulforaphane to the prostate cancer cells, LINC01116 levels were diminished, leading to a fourfold reduction in the cells’ capacity to form colonies.

As indicated by the researchers, their discoveries support the possibility of IncRNAs as a target for cancer prevention, and they recommend that dietary intake of sulforaphane might be a practical way to target these molecules.

Lead study author Laura Beaver, of the Linus Pauling Institute and College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU, says that their results may not only have suggestions for cancer prevention, but for cancer treatment.

“It would be of significant value if we could develop methods to greatly slow the progress of cancer, [and] help keep it from becoming invasive,” she notes.

While further studies are needed to better see how sulforaphane might prevent and slow cancer, the researchers believe that their findings help to shed some light.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316448.php

Meet Dr Gia Sison, Clinician and CMO of a non-stop telehealth facility in the Philippines #doctors20

How fortunate I am to meet such extraordinary  people, thanks to the intersection of the worlds of digital health and social media; digital health innovators tend to have an active social media life which makes it easier to reach out.

And now, you too can meet the amazing Gia Sison, MD.  Gia Sison will join us in Paris, May 26-27 at Doctors 2.0 & You, where she will speak about her very active experience in a busy telehealth center, in a country sorely lacking in access to care.


Q1. Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your daily life as a clinician and a digital specialist in the Philippines like?
I’m your ordinary doctor with an extraordinary mission as a patient too. I’m a certified workaholic and a passionate advocate of health and social media. My daily life moves around digital health, I head a group of doctors as their Chief Medical Officer running a 24/7 facility for Telehealth services in the Philippines. I see patients during weekends usually Saturdays and I find time to be a brand ambassador of a fitness facility who believes that Exercise is Medicine, so I walk the talk with a simple wearable my Fit Bit and my iWatch as a firm believer of digital health.

Q2. You have a second specificity, as a former cancer patient. Can you tell us how that impacted your professional life after that episode?
Here’s my sentimental take on my whole experience– As a physician I can only hope and pray for the best being aware of the statistics in medicine. As a warrior my faith does not allow any room for doubt, just complete belief that a Higher Power will complete my belief for complete healing and a miracle. As a patient I cannot help but empathize more than others.
Q3. I know as well that you practice « good health habits »…How is that working out?
So far I am putting the health is wealth up into practice walking the talk, literally making time for physical activity doing circuit training after work. Really dead serious about it. I eat moderately though and I am more conscious with what I buy too, no parabens for me.

Q4. We know that bandwidth is an issue in the Philippines, but, besides Facebook, can you tell us which apps you use personally and professionally?
I am a strong Twitter user and my cloud space is probably more than what it can contain. I rely heavily on One Note, my iWatch is overused. I believe Instagram should be used also to promote health but at the same time also contain happy candid moments. I like Figure 1, Doodle, Netflix, Periscope.

Q5. Finally, you’ve never been to Doctors 2.0 & You. But you have gotten a lot of exposure to it online. So, what do you value about this event? What made you want to participate?
The honor of being able to share my own experience in digital health from a Philippine perspective. I value the collaboration in Doctors 2.0 & You and the strong friendships developed just like you and me and the chance to also share a part of me with all of you.

Q6. And please give us a teaser about what you might discuss in Paris, during your talk?
It’s about telehealth in the Philippines being a shy typed culture in innovation, building on empathy-driven questions during phone consults and how we have overcome the hurdles when we first launched it.

You can meet Dr Gia Sison on May 26-27 in Paris at beautiful Cité Universitaire.

Doctors 2.0 & YOU, Together for Digital Health


Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/meet-dr-gia-sison-clinician-cmo-non-stop-telehealth-facility-silber

PH apologizes to South Korea for businessman kidnapped-slay

The Philippine government has issued an open statement apology to South Korea over the dubious kidnap-slay of a South Korean businessman inside the country’s police headquarters.


Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella extend the country’s deep regrets and assured the government will resolve it quickly and bring to justice the culprits behind the death of Jee Ick-Joo.

“We apologize to the South Korean government and people for this irreparable loss but we commit to the full force of the law to ensure that justice is served and not delayed,” Abella said in a Palace news conference.

“To the Korean people, please accept our sincerest and deepest regrets,” he added.

Abella additionally extended the President and the country’s condolence to the family of the killed Korean businessman.

“We wish to take this occasion to express condolences and sympathies of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Filipino people to Mrs. Choi Kyung-jin, the widow of Mr. Jee Ick-joo, the South Korean national who met untimely death while in police custody,” Abella said.

Jee was captured by policemen in his residence in guise of an anti-drug operation last October and was later murdered in Camp Crame. The culprits requested ransom payment from Jee’s family without informing them he was dead.

Malacañang recently vowed that there will be no whitewash or concealing in the examination concerning the kidnapping and murdered of the Korean national by suspected rogue policemen.

Abella said the government does not allow corrupt, abusive and errant policemen who deceive the Philippine National Police (PNP) organization and the people.

Earlier, the President rejected calls the resignation of PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa over the murder of the Korean businessman, proclaiming he continues to trust his top police.

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Duterte in like manner practically cleared Dela Rosa from liability over the incident, saying there was no criminal intention on the part of the PNP chief.

“There are two ways of committing crime under the revised penal code. What are they? Felony, malice or negligence,” he said. “Who would want that to happen inside your camp? No one,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Palace admits that the murdering of the South Korean demonstrates the “depth” of corruption inside government organizations including the PNP.

“Let’s go back to the President’s campaign theme to stop crime, corruption and illegal drugs. And apparently this is particular situation indicates there is truly a depth of corruption within the government system,” Abella said.

On concerns Dela Rosa seems to be untouchable, Abella insisted that the President totally trusts the PNP chief as part of the government group.

Source: http://news.mb.com.ph/2017/01/24/ph-apologizes-to-south-korea-for-businessmans-kidnap-slay/

Sinulog Festival 2017

Philippines – Cebu is celebrating the yearly Sinulog Festival, held each third Sunday of January.

Street dancing parade in Cebu

The city is the focus of the Sto. Niño Catholic celebrations around the country.

Foreign and local tourists congregate in Cebu City as it holds a rstreet dancing party and also a parade where devotees depict the centuries-old image of the Sto. Niño, an image of the beginning of Christianity in the Philippines, in their performances.

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Cebuanos traditionally shout “Viva Pit Señor!” to praise the child Jesus during the festival.

The event portrays Cebu’s rich culture and religiosity passed from generations to another.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/nation/2017/01/15/1662924/live-updates-sinulog-festival-2017

Baby Antonio Primo gets baptized, son of Iya Villania and Drew Arellano

Manila, Philippines – Antonio Primo the son of Iya Villania and Drew Arellano was baptized on Sunday last November 13.


On Instagram, Sid Maderazo a friend of Drew who is a commercial and TV director, shared photos from the happy occasion, held at the Christ The King Church in Quezon City. Sid is one of Primo’s godfathers.

Other celebrities present in the event include Jericho Rosales and wife Kim Jones, Ryan Agoncillo, and TV host Paolo Abrera, who came with wife Suzi.

Drew thanked everyone for being there for his son on this important day.

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“Thank you ninongs, ninangs, friends and family for spending the afternoon with us,” he wrote.

Iya also posted a thank you message.

“Thanks to yesterday’s event, sumobra ako sa asukal at chika at napaos tuloy ako! (had too much sugar, chatting and ended up with a hoarse voice) Thank you to all the ninongs, ninangs, friends and family that spent the afternoon with us .Our boy is lucky to be loved by all of you Thank you Lord for allowing this to all come together for these rookie parents!”

Iya and Drew welcomed Primo last August 30, the couple’s first child who got married last January 2014.

Source: http://www.rappler.com/entertainment/news/152366-iya-villania-drew-arellano-son-antonio-primo-baptism