Traslacion ng Nazareno sa 2021, maaaring ipagpaliban dahil sa banta ng COVID-19

Nanawagan si Manila Mayor Isko Moreno sa mga deboto ng Itim na Nazareno na unawain ang magiging desisyon ng lokal na pamahalaan kung sakaling ipagpaliban muna sa mga susunod na taon ang tradisyon ng Traslacion hangga’t may pandemya.

Ayon sa alkalde, hangga’t walang bakuna ay baka itigil muna ang taunang prusisyon ng Itim na Nazareno kung saan milyun-milyong deboto ang lumalahok.

Dagdag niya, maaaring gumamit muna ng teknolohiya ang mga deboto upang masilayan ang Poong Nazareno.

Nauna nang sinabi ni Fr. Douglas Badong, vicar ng Minor Basilica ng Poong Nazareno sa Quiapo, na pinagpaplanuhan na ng kanilang komite kung ano ang maaaring gawing hakbang sa Traslacion sa darating na Enero 2021.

Sabi ni Fr. Badong, plano nilang idulog sa IATF-EID ang ilan sa kanilang mga proposal para sa prusisyon, kabilang ang pagtatanggal ng tradisyon na pahalik sa Luneta.

“Sana maging bukas ang mga deboto sa pagbabagong ito. Ngayon lang naman itong may pandemic,” sabi ng vicar.

Duterte’s high approval rating proves president not directly accountable for COVID-19 consequences — Pulse Asia

Following the flak from social media users on the high approval rating of President Rodrigo Duterte amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, Pulse Asia President Ronnie Holmes said that the survey only shows that most Filipinos don’t hold the Chief Executive “directly accountable” for the consequences of the viral disease in the Philippines.

Holmes said that for the particular survey, Pulse Asia used the same methodology and questionnaire it has been using for 20 years.

He noted that face-to-face interviews were conducted in some areas that are under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ). Questions in Tagalog were asked and show cards were utilized.

He added that the survey implies that Filipinos believe that “hindi niya (Duterte) kasalanan ‘yung pandemic in the first place, dahil global naman ‘yan.”

“Ang pananaw ng karamihan na nagsasabing aprubado at nagtitiwala sa Pangulo ay ginawa niya ang kanyang tungkulin, nagsagawa siya ng quarantine o tinatawag na lockdown, nagbigay siya ng social amelioration support,” Holmes said in an interview over news program ‘The Chiefs.’

“At the time that we conducted the survey, we should also notice that many of the places in the country were already in MGCQ and GCQ so kumbaga nakahinga na ang mga mamamayan sa mahigpit na lockdown,” he added.

CHR urges Malacañang to invest more in mental health amid COVID-19

The state of mental health in the country has been “deteriorating” even before COVID-19 struck the Philippines, all the more reason why the Duterte administration should invest more in improving mental health services for the public amid the pandemic, according to Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia.

de Guia added that mental health should be covered by the Universal Health Law, adding that if the government would invest properly in mental health, Filipinos, regardless of location and socio-economic situation, will be given access to important support and services.

The CHR noted that among those vulnerable to experience mental health problems amid the pandemic are those who are still trying to cope with strict quarantine measures, medical frontliners, the youth, and those who lost their job because of the pandemic.

The agency highlighted the significant increase in the depression-related calls received by the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) which from an average of 80 calls before the pandemic, now receives an average of 400 monthly.

More than half of the callers are from the National Capital Region where most COVID-19 cases are recorded, while more than 20% are from Region IV-A.

Palace ‘no reaction’ on ABS-CBN’s return to free TV

Three months after the Congress rejected the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN, the media giant is set to return to free TV on October 10 through a blocktime agreement on Zoe’s Channel 11, to which the Duterte administration has remained mum.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that Malacañang has no reaction over the recent development, adding that ABS-CBN has become “a content provider” and that it is Zoe channel which will be “subject to regulation because Zoe is the franchise holder.”

The blocktime agreement of ABS-CBN and Zoe TV resulted in the rebranding of the latter which is now called as “A2Z,” where ABS-CBN will air its well-loved and popular shows. The channel will also broadcast programs produced by the Christian Broadcasting Network and Knowledge Channel.

The rejection of ABS-CBN’s supposed new 25-year franchise by the House of Representatives which is dominated by allies of President Rodrigo Duterte sparked cry from the public about how his administration is allegedly oppressing press freedom in the Philippines.

Duterte has been repeatedly quoted threatening shutdown of the media giant after accusing it of deliberately failing to air his political advertisements during the 2016 elections.

ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak has then apologized to the president and insisted that the network has a political agenda.

The closure of ABS-CBN due to the decision of the Congress led to the loss of jobs of the network’s around 11,000 employees amid the pandemic.

CHINA EMPLOYS ‘RED MAFIA’ TACTICS IN PHL

People thought it’s only in the movies that gangsters could enjoy immense influence in the highest echelons of power, but again, in many instances did the public come to know that truth can be stranger than fiction.

“Your government has been deeply infiltrated by the Chinese mafia.”

This was what Kingly Choi, a Hong Kong national and founding president of Hero Pass Limited, a Covid-19 solutions firm based in the former British colony, stated in an interview over the phone. His statement came in the midst of an expose in the Philippine Senate about the overpriced government purchase of PPEs early this year.

The government’s reply to the accusation of corruption was that it was forced to buy the more expensive PPEs because local manufacturers only started making PPEs after the Department of Trade and Industry encouraged local businesses to start manufacturing PPEs for medical front-liners.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros disclosed however that the Department of Budget and Management purchased millions of PPEs at P2,000 each even when it was available among local traders at only P1,700 each.

Choi who owns a company that deals with Covid-19 solution products disclosed that through the local branch of Hero Pass Limited based in Manila, he himself made an offer in March and April to the DBM, the IATF, the DOH and the DTI to supply PPEs at only P1,500 each.

“They can never deny that they already knew at that time that there were other PPE brands approved by the food and drug administrations of source countries, at much lower cost, but your government officials bought the much pricey ones from Chinese distributors. With the mere volume of the PPEs they were purchasing they should have even gotten huge wholesale discounts, but you know, that’s how itvalso works in mainland China and Hong Kong, the Red Mafia works to maximize profits so they can give huge bribes to government officials of other countries,” Choi stated.

He said Sen. Hontiveros’s revelation that all the PPE suppliers tapped by the DBM were Chinese, only showed that the government was infiltrated by the Red Mafia. He explained that the Red Mafia are Chinese officers who enjoy important positions in Beijing and in the party whose racket is to protect the interest of Chinese businesses including crime syndicates in the mainland and overseas, especially in countries where China wields financial leverage.

The Red Mafia is the collective term for corrupt public officials in China. It is the preferred protection and enforcement mechanism of mainland businesses and gangsters. It makes use of guanxi (personal networks) to accumulate wealth and obtain promotion, where military positions may be sold, businesses established and extra-legal protection strengthened.

Getting higher positions in government for members of the Red Mafia, means better protection for the crime syndicates and their businesses.

As the Red Mafia protects the triad and even legitimate businesses often owned by the Chinese triad, the latter also protect the ill-gotten wealth of the former through both legal and illegal gambling businesses being operated by the Chinese underworld both in China and overseas.

Choi explained that the PPE fiasco is only the tip of the iceberg. The tentacles of the Red Mafia have far-reaching grasp in the Philippines as it muscle-flexed itself into the P500 billion Sangley airport upgrade project, a strategic location for the defence of Manila in case of a war and the third telco cell tower construction in military camps despite the inherent risks to national security.

These developments that encroach in Philippine sovereignty however is not new, the government allowed China to own and operate the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines that supplies power to NCR. According to experts, it is not remote that a single press of a cellphone key of someone in the know in Beijing can shut off power and render NCR without electricity.

Choi said that the tactics employed by Beijing in Manila are very well the same design being used by the Red Mafia and the triad in China. It is general knowledge in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan that the Red Mafia is in cahoots with the Chinese triad.

Earlier news revealed that some of the Chinese POGO workers were found out to be holders of China’s People Liberation Army identification cards.

Choi stated that the triad is very much present in the Philippines.

“They know the political, economic and social terrain in the Philippines, so it’s not remote that the Red Mafia tapped them to do some of its dirty works in your country,” Choi stated.

In the years leading towards the 2016 national elections, two mountaintops in Santa Cruz, Zambales were flattened beyond repair by seven Chinese companies to excavate rocks and soil that were used to build the nearly 3,000 hectare artificial island in Scarborough Shoal.

Asked if he believed the Red Mafia has got to do with the muscling of Beijing in the Philippine bureaucracy, he said it only takes one to look into “what’s happening in your country to determine whose hand is behind.”