Former top PLDT executive joins Dennis Uy’s DITO CME Holdings, Inc.

PLDT’s former top 2 executive Ernesto “Eric” Alberto, who previously served the firm as its Chief Revenue Officer, joined Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s DITO CME Holdings, Inc.

With nearly 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry after his resignation from PLDT last year, Alberto now serves as the independent director of DITO CME. Alberto earlier said that Uy, whom he considers as a personal friend, had approached him about the position, according to a report by Inquirer.

DITO CME is linked to DITO Telecommunity, the country’s third major telco player partly owned by China. DITO has been experiencing delays which resulted in missing its technical audit last July 8. The company said that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has given them a six-month extension for the audit until January 2021.

Medical frontliners in PH grapple with demoralization as COVID-19 cases continue to surge

Filipino medical frontliners battle not only COVID-19 but also demoralization as the Philippines struggles to contain the viral disease. As of July 26, the country has recorded 35 deaths among health workers due to coronavirus.

While the Duterte administration has allotted P1 million for health workers who died because of COVID-19, Dr. Monica Pia Reyes Montecillo, an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist, said that no life is worth the said amount. Meanwhile, Dr. John Jefferson Besa, a senior resident of Internal Medicine-PGH, asked the Department of Health (DOH) to establish a clear referral system between hospitals to accept and manage non-COVID patients.

Montecillo and Besa were among the participants in the virtual forum hosted by the Philippine College of Physicians, Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Philippine College of Chest Physicians, Philippine Pediatric Society, and the Philippine General Hospital Physicians Association. The health groups asked the government to include expanded quarantine facilities for asymptomatic and mild cases; intensified contact tracing; increased PPEs, hospital supplies, drugs, and manpower; proper compensation; and better healthcare worker–patient ratio.

Locsin raises Sabah issue after Duterte wimped out over West Philippine Sea

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. raised the issue of Sabah in a tweet, saying “Sabah is not in Malaysia if you want to have anything to do with the Philippines.” The tweet came a few days after President Rodrigo Duterte declared his defeatist position over the issue of the West Philippine Sea in his fifth SONA.

In response, Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein announced that his office will summon Locsin over his tweet. “This is an irresponsible statement that affects bilateral ties. [The Malaysia Ministry of Foreign Affairs] will summon the Philippines Ambassador on Monday to explain. Sabah is, and will always be, part of Malaysia,” Hussein tweeted.

In a pre-SONA forum, Malaysia and the Philippines, along with Indonesia, entered into an agreement to safeguard their territorial rights in the West Philippine Sea. Malaysia, like the Philippines, is one of the countries that assert claims over the disputed waters. Locsin’s statement might affect the partnership between the two countries.

NCMH chief and his driver shot dead by riding-in-tandem in QC

On Monday, a tricycle driver has witnessed two motorcycle riders fire shots on the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) chief Dr. Roland Cortez, 61, and his driver, Ernesto Dela Cruz, 46, which ended their lives after sustaining a number of gunshots.

The Department of Health (DOH) said in a statement that it “is shocked and alarmed at the news of the ambush” of Cortez. The government agency regarded him as “a respected leader who sought to treat clients with utmost dignity.”

“The DOH family extends its deepest condolences to the families of Dr. Roland and Mr. Ernesto and vows to pursue justice for their untimely demise,” the DOH added.

The DOH is now working with the investigation unit of QCPD to assure that the assailants are properly sanctioned to the fullest extent of the law.

It has been found out that in 2019, Cortez has filed a complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman vs. another NCMH ranking official and 13 others over alleged graft and malversation.

The police are now looking at the motive behind the killing.