Updates: Miss Universe 2016 in PH

Miss Universe 2015 titleholder Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach has been in the Philippines since last week to celebrate her 27th birthday with her friends and loved ones.


Aside from discussing her week-long celebration, the Filipina beauty queen additionally gave an update on the upcoming Miss Universe 2016 pageant through her latest Facebook Live video.

Last July, Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo affirmed that the prestigious international pageant will be organized in Pia’s “home court” on January 30, 2017.

When asked what her birthday wish was, Pia said, “I’m really hoping and praying that the pageant will be held here and we’re working very hard in making that happen. It’s always been a dream of mine to have the pageant here.”

According to Pia, even Miss Universe Organization’s president Paula Shugart wants the event to be staged in the country.

“It’s always been a dream of hers as well to have the pageant here. It’s kind of like everybody’s dream. We want the pageant to be in the Philippines. We’re waiting, working hard, and making sure everything’s okay. We’d get the approval of everyone so that it can finally happen,” Pia said.

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The Filipina beauty queen added, “I’m keeping my fingers crossed and if that happens, it’s gonna be historical. I may not have had my first walk but I will have my final walk here, at home.”

Before passing on the crown, Pia also plans to go back to her hometown.

“I will make sure, before I pass on my crown, I will go back to Cagayan de Oro and maybe do a quick pass by to Iligan City,” she said.

Starting July, the Department of Tourism has been looking at six possible locations for the pageant—including Cagayan de Oro.

According by Teo, “Kino-consider namin ang Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Boracay, Cebu, Palawan, and obviously, ang headliner would be in Manila.”

The Philippines is home to two different Miss Universe titlists — Gloria Diaz (1969) and Margarita Moran-Floirendo (1973) — and has hosted the coronation twice before, once in 1974 and again in 1994.


Source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/583702/lifestyle/artandculture/pia-wurtzbach-gives-update-on-miss-universe-2016


Actor Mark Anthony Fernandez arrested for marijuana possession

Actor Mark Anthony Fernandez was arrested for asserted possession of a kilo of marijuana in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Police recovered the illegal substance inside Fernandez’ yellow Ford Mustang after a car chase with authorities from Angeles City Police Station 6.


Chief Insp. Francisco Guevarra Jr. said Fernandez was signaled to stop at a checkpoint along Mc Arthur Hi-way route in Brgy. Virgen Delos Remedios because his car had no front license plate.

After inspection, police found a generally opened blue sack containing a torn plastic with suspected marijuana, but Fernandez sped away.

The actor was arrested in San Fernando City after a car chase with authorities who were forced to shoot at the tires to prevent Fernandez from getting away.

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He was brought to the Angeles City Police Station 6, where he is temporarily detained. Fernandez confessed to utilizing marijuana however said it’s for medical purposes only.

He went through a drug test at the Philippine National Police’s crime laboratory.

He is also scheduled to face inquest proceedings for violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Authorities said the actor stayed calm and helpful after the arrest.

Fernandez, son of late actor Rudy Fernandez and actress Alma Moreno, already entered a drug rehabilitation center in 2004.

“We continue to carry out our anti-drug campaign regardless of who will be arrested,” Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, Police Regional Office 3 director, said in a statement. “This only goes to show that, indeed, our all- out war against illegal drugs is not just lip service.”

Source: http://cnnphilippines.com/regional/2016/10/04/Actor-Mark-Anthony-Fernandez-nabbed-with-marijuana.html

Duterte’s reasons for allowing Marcos burial

President Rodrigo Duterte repeated his purposes behind permitting late president Ferdinand Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in the midst of opposition from a few groups.

While visiting the wake of soldiers killed in conflict with communist insurgents in Davao City, the President said the late president is qualified for burial at the heroes’ cemetery in Taguig City being a soldier and previous president.

Former first lady Imelda Marcos and her late husband president Ferdinand Marcos

“I will allow Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. He was a soldier. He was there to fight for his country,” he said, and that he will let the Marcos family choose when to bury their dead.

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A report from the Philippine Star said the family plans to bury Marcos on September 18 after he gave the go signal.

Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. explains that the burial of his dad is still in the “planning stage.”

Duterte said that he will fulfill his campaign promise of permitting Marcos’ burial at the Libingan.

The younger Marcos even met Duterte in Davao City around a month after winning the presidential elections.

The remains of Marcos have been lying in his hometown of Batac, Ilocos Norte since his death in 1989 which is open to the public to see.

Different groups demonstrate disapproval to Duterte’s proclamation and spoke to the president to rethink his position.

Source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/576648/news/nation/duterte-cites-reasons-for-allowing-libingan-burial-for-marcos

US Summons PH envoy over Duterte’s “Gay” remarks

WASHINGTON – The US State Division summoned Philippine embassy Charge d’Affaires Patrick Chuasoto to look for explanation of what it said were “inappropriate remarks” made by President Duterte against US Representative Philip Goldberg.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, greets U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg, left

The director of the State Department press office, Elizabeth Trudeau, said Chuasoto was brought in for a clarification of Duterte’s comments however declined to give further details.

Duterte has openly called Goldberg “gay” and “a son of a bitch.”

Duterte’s dislike for Goldberg goes back to the campaign period when the ambassador called him out for making a joke about the rape and murder of an Australian minister during a 1989 Davao City jail riot.

Trudeau said at a news conference, the State Department was worried about the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers urged the Duterte administration to guarantee law enforcement efforts do not violate human rights.

She said US authorities were in discussions with Filipino powers to stress the significance of the rule of law, a fundamental democratic principle.

“We strongly urge the Philippines to ensure its law enforcement efforts comply with its human rights obligations,” she said.

In answer to a question, she said a $32-million assistance package reported by Secretary of State John Kerry during a recent visit to Manila to help the Duterte administration’s strengthened law efforts was intended to promote human rights through training as well as promote professionalism, due process and rule of law. The cash should not be utilized in activities involving extrajudicial killings, she said.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/08/10/1611969/us-summons-philippine-envoy-over-dutertes-remarks

SC Acquits Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

The legal spokesman of former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, Ferdinand Topacio, on July 19, 2016 said they are thankful for the Supreme Court’s decision to absolve former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of plunder charges.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now Pampanga Representative

The acquittal only proves that the case of Macapagal-Arroyo is politically motivated, Topacio said.

“The Supreme Court has once again proven itself to be the final bastion of justice and the rule of law,” Topacio said in a statement.

“Its ruling today has validated what we have been saying for six years now: that the charges against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are nothing more than disingenuous attempts at political persecution by a corrupt and inept Aquino administration intent on covering up its gross lack of accomplishments by harassing its political opponents,” he added.

The former first gentleman reverberated Topacio’s announcement saying the past administration took away six years of his wife’s life by detaining her.

“Thank God. We’re very happy. They took away six years of her life. An innocent woman,” Arroyo said.

Topacio said Arroyo “would like to thank their family and friends who have shown unwavering loyalty to Macapagal-Arroyo and the Arroyo and Macapagal families in their hour of deepest darkness, through the trials brought about by unrelenting prosecution and defamation perpetrated by the previous regime”.

“Their continuous moral support and prayers have seen Atty. and Mrs. Arroyo, their children and grandchildren, through what have been the most trying of times for them,” Topacio said.

Topacio said in a televised phone interview, that they are expecting the former president to “be home, in time for dinner.”

GMA is happy with SC’s decision.

In the mean time, the Macapagal-Arroyo’s legal counsel Estelito Mendoza, affirmed that the previous president would go straight to her home at La Vista after her discharge. He also hailed the SC ruling.

He added that the former president is “very happy and feels vindicated.”

Mendoza also dismissed rumors that President Rodrigo Duterte played a part in the choice.

“Walang kinalaman si President Duterte sa kasong ito o sa proseso ng Supreme Court.”

Arroyo through Topacio, convey optimism that the Duterte administration would give positive changes and voiced their support for the president’s advocacies.

“The dawn of a new administration has brought about new hope for great positive change, which includes freedom from false and malicious accusations and unceasing lies and disinformation. We all join the new government in its fight against criminality, corruption and its economic and political reforms that will surely usher in a new golden age for our country and people,” Topacio said.

On Tuesday afternoon, the SC en banc rejected the plunder case against Macapagal-Arroyo over her alleged abuse of the intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office because of absence of proof.

Source: PhilStar

Duterte Names 5 Police Generals Allegedly Involved in Illegal Durgs

In his speech during the 69th commemoration of the Philippine Air Force, the President sprung a surprise on national TV when he named five police commanders, including three still in active duty, he said were involved in illegal drugs.

Duterte named the he officers who are still in active duty are former Region 6 Director Bernardo Diaz, former NCRPO Director Joel Pagdilao and former QCPD Director Edgardo Tinio. The two who have retired are Vicente Loot, who is currently mayor of Daan Bantayan, and former Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo.


“As of now, I order them to be relieved from their assignments and report to the director general. I might want to converse with them however I would expect that the police commission will do their thing,” Duterte said.

In an interview, Trinio told CNN Philippines he has never been involved in any illicit activity.

“I’m willing to subject myself to a lie detector test, and I’m willing to subject my cellphones to forensics,” Tinio said.

There was no prompt response from other officers Duterte named.

The President’s command to the National Police Commission was clear — “Imbestigahan niyo ito at wag niyo akong bigyan ng sarswela. Hanapin niyo ang totoo,” he said.

[Translation: Investigate this and don’t give me theatrics. Find out the truth.]

Duterte convey his distress, saying PNP authorities involved in the illicit drug trade in the country have committed treason.

“Masakit na pakinggan kasi ginastusan mo na, pinaaral mo na, binigyan mo ng uniporme, pati medyas,” he said.

[Translation: This torments one to hear this since you spent for them, you gave them education, you gave them uniform, you even gave them socks.]

More than being a politician, Duterte said he has an ethical commitment to tell the truth to the nation.

“It’s truly not my practice to shame individuals,” he said. “Pulitiko ako … pero dumating ako sa posisyon na ito, and I have obligation to tell the truth to the Filipino people.”

[Translation: I’m a politician … yet I was chosen to this position, and I have a obligation to tell the truth to the Filipino people.]

The President cautioned authorities not to get involved in the drug trade because of the lethal consequence.

“Marami ng namamatay, at marami pang mamamatay. At wag kayo sumali dyan maski opisyal kayo, since you will place yourself in the line of flame,” Duterte said.

[Translation: Numerous have died and more will die. Don’t get involved, regardless of the fact that you are authorities, because you will place yourself in the line of fire.]

“I’ve been cautioning everyone. Do not to destroy my nation because I will kill you. Do not to destroy the youth of my nation since I will kill you,” he included.

The President tapped the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the battle against illegal drugs and criminality.

He likewise expressed gratitude toward previous President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for paving the way for him, when she raised the issue of unlawful illegal drugs as a threat to national security during her administration.

“It will be a bloody battle, however I am not going to apologize for it. I expect full legal responsibility regarding it,” he told the military.

“Wag kayo matakot basta nasa tama kayo,” he said.

[Translation: Don’t be afraid of long as you are in the right.]

The President likewise said he will stake his honor, his life, and even the presidency just to ensure that he will win this fight.

Duterte conceded, it might be troublesome for him to totally stop the illegal drug trade in six months, which he promised during the election campaign, yet he said he will come close to it. “Six months and one day after, medyo tapos na (it will pretty much be done),” the President said.

Tinio, who was in his quarters when Duterte specified his name as among senior PNP officers allegedly involved in drugs, said he will promptly answer to PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa and will open himself to any investigation.

Tinio said he doesn’t know why Duterte had connected him to the illegal drug trade.

“I’m shocked that my name was dragged into this mess,” he said.

Tinio promised to clear his name and retire early.

Duterte said he believes the restoration of death penalty will impart fear among criminals. Death penalty is not primarily intended to deter criminals but to exact retribution for their crimes, he said.

Turning to the military, Duterte guaranteed to provide the air force with more gear to empower it to perform difficult operations.

“Ibibigay ang lahat ng kailangan n’yo (We will give all that you require), I will see to that,” the President said. “We will procure more helicopters and night vision ability.”

Source: CNN Philippines

Duterte: Says No Interviews Until End Of My Term

‘It’s better not to have interviews. There will be no criticism, no wrong statements, no nothing,’ says the Philippines’ incoming president

DAVAO, Philippines – He’s known for being changeable when making “final” declarations, however it appears President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is not kidding when he said he would stop giving press conferences and would “boycott” the media.


“Wala. Apologies, ha? Talagang ano ako, boycott talaga,” Duterte said in a video posted by TV5 reporter France Noguera early Monday morning, June 6. (No. I’m sorry. I’m going to boycott.)

At the point when asked until when the boycott would stand, Duterte said: “Until the end of my term.”

Prior, Duterte’s executive assistant Christopher Go had told media that there would be no more press briefings with the a incoming president so errors would be minimized (“para walang mali”).

Duterte reverberated that notion in the TV5 journalist’s meeting.

“’Pag interview, maraming mali, marami namang criticism, so better [if there’s] no interview, no criticism, no wrong statement, no nothing,” he said, when asked why he made a decision to stop engagements with the press.

(At the point when there’s a meeting, there are a great deal of oversights, a ton of feedback, so it’s better not to have interviews. There will be no feedback, no wrong proclamations, no nothing.)

Earlier Go said that announcements and releases would be made through state-possessed PTV.

Duterte, who has been mayor of Davao City for almost 3 decades, is known for his good rapport with Davao-based writers. Yet, recent press conferences with both medias from the Philippines and abroad, Duterte made announcement that bought controversy.

He was condemned by local and international media groups after he was questioned about the media killings in the Philippines, one of the most unsafe country for journalists.

“Most of those killed, to be frank, have done something. You won’t be killed if you don’t do anything wrong…. That can’t be just freedom of speech. The Constitution can no longer help you if you disrespect a person,” the mayor said.

Duterte later on clarified his statement, classifying media into “3 classifications”: the honest reporters who in some cases get killed in the line of profession, those with personal interest and the corrupt “vultures.”

In the same press conference – the first that was held after he was proclaimed president – Duterte was caught on camera whistling GMA journalist Mariz Umali. Duterte was additionally reprimanded for his demonstration yet he later defended himself, insisting that there was nothing “sexual” behind his whistle.

He later lashed out against media who called boycott of his press conferences. It was Paris-based journalists without boarders who put forth the statement.

Duterte, through Go once more, declared he would “boycott” media if journalists declined to boycott him.

The long-time Davao City chairman is set to take his vow as president on June 30.

Source: Rappler.com