Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast


MANILA, Philippines — Saying it was an “overkill”, environment watchdog EcoWaste Coalition on Saturday lamented the use single-use plastic banderitas to adorn streets of Manila for this year’s Sto. Nio de Tondo Feast. “We are deeply saddened by the lavish use of plastic banderitas in connection with the feast ofSanto Nio as if there was no tomorrow. It’s an overkill of wasteful [single-use plastics],” EcoWaste Coalition zero-waste campaigner Jove Benosa said in a statement. “Rarely reused or recycled, these banderitas consisting of semi-transparent plastic bags, plastic strips or plastic packaging scraps add to the residual plastic garbage that ends up in dumps or on the stre…

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Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’


Fil-Am comedian Jo Koy has been warmly received by thousands of Filipino fans who have attended his shows in Manila and Cebu. However, he has drawn criticism after being part of a convoy with sirens or “wang-wang” to zip through traffic in Cebu City yesterday, Jan. 17. His show in Cebu, which is part of his Just Kidding World Tour, was held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino. The standup comedian posted a video yesterday on Twitter that showed his ride counterflowing traffic with the help of police escorts on motorcycles so that he could make it to the venue. He wrote in his caption, “Cebu Police escort cuts a 2 hour drive to my hotel into 15 minutes. I love the …

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Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident


      MATANAO, Philippines —-A 38-year-old truck driver was killed after his vehicle collided with a passenger bus, fell off a bridge and crashed into a river bed in Barangay Camanchiles here Friday night, January 17. Corporal Niel Arvin Babaylo, Matanao traffic police investigator, said the accident happened around 10 p.m. along the Davao-Cotabato highway.   Babaylo said the forward truck driven by Edgardo Gascon Provido, a resident of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, crossed into the lane of a Cotabato City-bound passenger bus, leading to the collision.   Babaylo added that Provido lost control of the steering wheel after the collision, dro…

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Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has assembled a made-for-TV legal team for his Senate trial that includes household names like Ken Starr, the prosecutor whose investigation two decades ago resulted in the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz will deliver constitutional arguments meant to shield Trump from allegations that he abused his power. The additions on Friday bring experience in the politics of impeachment as well as constitutional law to the team, which faced a busy weekend of deadlines for legal briefs and other documents before opening arguments begin on Tuesday. The two new Trump attorneys are already nationally known both f…

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Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs


President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the imposition of a total deployment ban on Kuwait-bound Filipino workers amid findings that a slain Filipina domestic worker was also sexually abused. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President greenlighted Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s recommendation for a deployment ban on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to the Gulf state. “The President is for a total ban until the memorandum of agreement between the two countries is fully implemented and the terms contained therein are incorporated in every labor contract with our OFWs,” Panelo said. The Palace official was referring to a 2018 agreement between the Philippine…

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‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins


  WASHINGTON—The historic impeachment trial of Donald Trump opened Thursday in the US Senate, as lawmakers took a solemn oath to be “impartial” in deciding whether to force the 45th US president from office. In a hushed chamber, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, clad in a traditional black robe, raised his right hand as he was sworn in to preside over the trial. He then administered the oath to senators in turn, to convene the third court of impeachment in American history. Roberts asked if they swore to deliver “impartial justice” according to the US Constitution, and 99 lawmakers—one was absent—responded in unison: “I do.” Earlier in the day in a deep…

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Sales of Kia vehicles doubled in 2019


Kia Philippines more than doubled its vehicle sales last year from 2018 levels. The company last year sold 5,019 units of Kia vehicles, now distributed by the Ayala Group, up 124 percent from the 2,238 units sold in the previous year. It initially targeted to sell 10,000 units last year but later cut it by half given the stiff competition in the market. Nonetheless, the 2019 performance was still a big improvement from the previous year’s level. “We are pleased with the strong performance of Kia Philippines in 2019,” said company president Manny Aligada. “As we enter 2020, Kia Philippines looks forward to surpassing its record with new vehicle introductions, the opening of ne…

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‘Batang Mujahideen’ could be Malou Jacob’s most compelling work


  Malou Jacob, an alumna of the Philippine Educational Theater Association, is one of the country’s leading playwrights whose works grapple with sociopolitical issues such as “Juan Tamban,” “Macli-ing,” and “Anatomiya ng Korupsyon.” Now the Baguio-based dramatist has written what may well be her most compelling play, “Batang Mujahideen.” In an interview, Jacob said: “I experimented with and wrote a dance drama by unfolding the journey of an imaginary tribal child who has been chosen by the Abus to be perfect as a child warrior (a girl) after witnessing the torture and death of her father at the hands of Christian paramilitary.” She added: “I used four musical forms–…

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Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown


MANILA, Philippines–He’s done it so many times but winning still never gets old for Ginebra head coach Tim Cone. And 22 championships later, including a third PBA Governors’ Cup title for Gin Kings in four years, Cone is not yet done. The legendary coach and the crowd darlings are now shifting their focus on the elusive All-Filipino title, which they haven’t won since Cone took over. “We’re certainly going for it,” Cone said of the upcoming conference which opens the new season of the PBA in March. San Miguel has been the king of the Philippine Cup for the past years but Cone believes Ginebra has a good shot now the team has “the tools.” “There’s Stanley (Pringle), th…

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Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his coming appointment as PNP chief


MANILA, Philippines — Rid the Philippine National Police (PNP) of rogue officers. This was among the first orders of Interior Secretary Eduardo Ao to Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, who had just been mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte as the incoming 23rd chief of the national police. “He is very qualified for the job,” Ao said in a statement. “I expect that he will work harder now,” said the head of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), who exercises supervision over the PNP. Ao said he expected Gamboa to lead the “intensified fight against illegal drugs, criminality, communist terror groups and extremists.” “I also expect that he would continue to cle…

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