ABS-CBN continues its service to Filipino people via digital platforms

ABS-CBN is far from being killed, despite the House committee’s refusal to renew the franchise of its broadcasting business.

To recap, seventy members of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises voted ‘yes’ for the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal application on its final and 13th hearing last Friday (July 10).

“Labis po kaming nasasaktan sa desisyon ng committeee ng Legislative Franchises na tanggihan ang franchise ng ABS-CBN. Naniniwala kaming nakapagbigay kami ng serbisyong makabuluhan at mahalaga sa Filipino. Gayunpaman nagpapasalamat kami sa komite para sa pagkakataon na maipahayag ang aming panig sa mga issues laban sa amin,” said ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak.

With the paralysis of ABS-CBN’s business arm, members of its 11,000-people workforce are in danger of losing jobs by August, adding to the growing number of unemployment cases in the country amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Nevertheless, the network may still be able to continue its programs on digital platforms outside the franchise regulations of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

This opens an opportunity for ABS-CBN to reach a global audience much larger than the 69 million Filipinos who have access to free TV in the Philippines.

Ex-detained human rights lawyer files charges vs Chinese officials

Freed Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang has filed charges against two Chinese officials for tormenting him during his secret imprisonment, as per the archives seen by the Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Detained in 2015 as part of a general crackdown on many legal counselors and rights activists, Wang was discharged in April after four-and-a-half years in a correctional facility.

In the complaint filed before the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Tianjin People’s Procuratorate, Wang accused two Tianjin Public Security Bureau examiners, Guo Aiqiang and Fu Rui, of torment to extract an admission, slander, and embarrassment.

“On 3 August 2015, the complainant was secretly detained on charges of picking quarrels and stirring trouble, incitement to subvert state power, and subversion of state power,” the lawsuit read.

“The complainant was verbally insulted, spat on, slapped, denied toilet access for lengthy periods, prevented from turning over while sleeping, and subjected to various methods to coerce a confession for 15 hours a day for a total of almost a month by Guo Aiqiang and Fu Rui,” it added.

Where is PAO Chief Persida Acosta amid COVID-19 crisis?

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines just exceeded the 50,000th mark and amid the things happening around, one might ask: “Where is Persida Acosta?”

Last year, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Rueda-Acosta was outspoken in leading an intensive investigation into the alleged deaths caused by the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia and filed several complaints on the matter. She was at odds with Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III because of the Dengvaxia issue.

Duque even blamed the PAO chief’s allegations, saying that they resulted in the decline of vaccine confidence among Filipinos and a rise in cases of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

But even before Duque, Acosta had been in a bad light with former DOH Secretary Janette Garin (now Iloilo 1st District Representative), who was among the former cabinet officials facing charges for implementing the Dengvaxia drive during President Benigno Aquino III’s administration. Acosta and Garin already made peace last Christmas, by the way.

We’re not sure about her and Duque because she has been surprisingly mum about the allegations and controversies surrounding the current DOH secretary.

Maybe she’s just comfortable with her writing gigs in different news outlets or she’s just busy commanding the site of the new PAO central office building complex.

At least, President Rodrigo Duterte did not forget her as new vans were delivered to the PAO’s office from the Office of the President and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Chinese woman causes commotion, gets arrested in Makati City

A Chinese woman was handcuffed and brought to the Makati Police Station after causing a commotion in Makati in the afternoon of July 7.

Around 5:15 PM yesterday, the woman was having an altercation with traffic enforcers along Makati Avenue corner Jupiter Street in Barangay Bel Air, Makati City.

Complainant Jefferson Sosa, 27 years old, Filipino, was riding his bicycle when he saw the suspect Dong Li, a 27-year old Chinese national, having an altercation while badmouthing traffic enforcers.

The woman, without any apparent reason, approached the complainant and hit him with a white umbrella. She also punched Sosa’s face, resulting in minor scratches and injuries.

In that instance, MAPSA personnel Narciso Abrogar and Ronel Cancio immediately arrested the Chinese national.

Robredo urges Filipino LGBTQIA+ community to continue the fight for rights

In this year’s celebration of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and other orientation (LGBTQIA+) this June (Pride Month), Vice President Leni Robredo delivered a speech for the community in the Philippines.
“Alam ko, marami siguro sa inyo ang frustrated sa maraming bagay at ganap ngayon. Parang ang hirap pa ring kumbinsihin ang iba na it’s time to be progressive, to embrace diversity, na hindi na gagana ang lumang pag-iisip. Nauunawaan ko ito, pero huwag sana kayong panghinaan ng loob,” said Robredo.
“Darating din ang araw na babalikan natin ang lahat ng ito at sasabihing, everything was worth the effort. Everything was worth the sacrifice. Everything was worth the fight. Push lang nang push, mga besh!” she added.
Robredo said that the COVID-19 pandemic, which put the entire world to stand still, should not be a hindrance for the LGBTQIA+ community fight for equality and human rights, especially since Pride has always been associated with protest and activist movements.
“Puno ng alinlangan at kawalang kasiguruhan ang mundo ngayon. Sa isang iglap, nagbago ang takbo ng buhay. Many of the things we once cherished and held on to are now being questioned and challenged. Sa kabila nito, marami pa ring bagay ang di nagbabago at nagpapatuloy: tulad ng ating laban para sa patas na karapatan, dignidad, at kalayaan,” she continued.
“Sa ating pagbuo ng isang post-COVID 19 na mundo, huwag sana kayong panghinaan ng loob; makilahok, makiisa, at huwag magsawang rumampa. Magsimula sa mga maliit ngunit kongkretong hakbang. Tulungan ang kayang tulungan, mag-reach out sa mga kaibigan, bumuo ng support groups, paliwanagan ang mga tito, tita, at mga magulang,” Robredo urged.

Cops nab Pride March protesters rallying against anti-terror bill

Authorities arrested protesters who are against the proposed anti-terrorism bill along Morayta Street in Manila on June 26 (Friday).
“Yes. Papunta palang sila sa General Assignment Section ng MPD,” said Manila Police District Chief Brig. Gen. Rolly Miranda via a text message.  
In a separate message, MPD General Assignment Section Chief Capt. Arnold Echalar said that the protesters will face complaints of non-cooperation, illegal assembly, and resistance and disobedience to a person in authority.
Gabriela Youth, however, condemned the arrest, citing that the protest was part of the Pride March which the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) community celebrates every month of June.

Supreme Court dismisses SolGen’s quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBN

Supreme Court Public Information Chief Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka announced the dismissal of the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against ABS-CBN.
“I was able to confirm with Chief Justice (Diosdado) Peralta that the Supreme Court dismissed today during their en banc meeting the quo warranto petition filed by the Solicitor General against ABS-CBN Corporation on the ground of mootness,” said Hosaka.
Calida filed the petition on February 10 to stop ABS-CBN from operating, citing several violations of its franchise.

The Supreme Court branded the petition as moot because the television giant’s franchise is already expired.

Caloocan chairman shot dead by five gunmen

A barangay chairman in Caloocan City was shot dead after going home from a birthday party.
Barangay 151 Chairman Douglas Dilao was shot by five gunmen who were aboard three motorcycles, according to Caloocan City police.
Barangay tanods immediately brought Dilao to the Manila Central University Hospital but declared dead on arrival.
Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan mourned Dilao’s death in a Facebook post.
“Congressman pa lamang ako ay personal nang malapit sa akin si Kap. Dilao, kaya batid natin na siya ay mapagmahal sa pamilya, mabait na kaibigan at mapagbigay na lider sa kaniyang mga nasasakupan,” said Malapitan.
The mayor ordered Caloocan Police chief Col. Dario Menor to investigate the shooting incident that led to the death of Dilao.

Business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. passes away at 85

Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., a prominent figure in business, politics, and sports, passed away at 85 due to lung cancer. He was the chairman and CEO of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the biggest beverage company in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque expressed his grief over the death of the business tycoon. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco, Jr.,” he said.

Cojuangco was the 15th richest man in the country and ranked 2,048th in the world according to Forbes with a net worth of $1.1 billion or about ₱55 billion. He was also the chairman of Petron Corporation and other more enterprises.

Cojuangco’s influence extends to politics. He was the chairman of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) party and well-known as a “political kingmaker” in the province of Negros Occidental and other places in the country. He lost in the 1992 presidential election to Fidel Ramos.

A sports enthusiast, Cojuangco became a leader in various sports activities in the country.

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), in a tweet, paid tribute to the businessman for his countless contributions to the PBA and Philippine sports. He owned three teams in PBA: the San Miguel Beermen, Barangay Ginebra, and Magnolia Hotshots.

“Thank you for your countless contribution to the PBA and sports. Our prayers and condolences to his family and loved ones,” the PBA tweeted.

PH sport industry mourns death of Danding Cojuangco Jr.

Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., who made some enormous contributions to Philippine sports, passed away at 85 and the sporting community mourned his passing.

Known sports personalities paid respect to Cojuangco, a longtime sports patron.

Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone went to Twitter saying: “A tremendous friend to Philippine basketball. Our prayers for him and the Cojuangco family. The passing of an era.”

PBA legend Erik Menk also tweeted: “RIP Boss Danding. Thank you so much for everything.”

PBA had posted on their social media account: “Thank you for your countless contribution to the PBA and (Philippine) sports! Our prayers and condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Besides owning three of the most popular and successful PBA franchises, namely San Miguel Beer, Ginebra and Purefoods, Cojuangco also supported college basketball in the country.

He bankrolled De La Salle University’s (DLSU) basketball program. Meanwhile, University of Santo Tomas (UST) head coach Aldin Ayo expressed: “RIP Boss. Thank You for the opportunity. Forever Grateful for Your Kindness and Generosity.”

Cojuangco also established a Philippine men’s national basketball program and training pool in 1980 with the creation of the Northern Cement Coporation (NCC) team, which became the blueprint of the Gilas Pilipinas program decades after.

Former PBA commissioner Noli Eala said in a tweet: “Amb. Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. did so much for Phl sports. His NCC concept was my inspiration for the Gilas program. His devotion to DLSU as a patron and supporter was unparalleled. And his commitment to SMC teams and the PBA was legendary. RIP Boss Danding.”