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FRIDAY, January 07, 2010
DOLLAR to PESO,          Today's Rate According Bangko Sentral : $1.00   - PhP 43,92
1 USD = 0,768604 EUR / 1 USD = 0,646283 GBP (UK) / 1 EUR = 0,840872 GBP (UK) / 1 EUR = 57,1440 PhP
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Jessica Alfaro stands by story                                    was prepared, “was never established” in                of the kitchen for them. She looked at Webb
(Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)                               court. It was in the second affidavit, narrated         for a moment and together, they headed to
By Cathy C. Yamsuan                                               in the presence of NBI agent Jun Nombres, a             the dining area. Alfaro decided to go out.
Guingona insists star witness is credible                         childhood friend of her father, that Alfaro             When Lejano asked her where she was
MANILA, Philippines—Star witness Jessica                          revealed seeing Webb in the act of “pumping”            going, she said she was going for a smoke.
Alfaro stands by her story that Hubert Webb                       Carmela who was gagged, moaning and in                  While smoking in the garden, she heard a
and his friends were the perpetrators of the                      tears as she was violated in the master                 woman’s voice ask “Sino ’yan?” prompting
Vizconde massacre. She also denied being                          bedroom. Sacaguing testified that Alfaro was            her to rush quickly back to her car. After
an asset or agent of the National Bureau of                       an NBI informer and the Supreme Court                   about 10 minutes, Alfaro returned inside the
Investigation in an e-mail sent to the                            concluded that she was produced by the                  house through the same route. In the kitchen,
Philippine Daily Inquirer Thursday through                        agency in 1995—four years after the                     she saw Ventura searching a woman’s bag
the victims’ relatives.                                           murders—to implicate Webb and his group                 on the dining table. He told her to look for the
Alfaro, 46, said tagging her as such in an                        as “a badge of excellent investigative work.”           keys to the main door and the car. They did
effort to discredit her was “all crap,” even                      High on drugs                                           not find the keys. Unable to open the main
asking how come she had never received                            Other highlights of Alfaro’s testimony in court:        door, Alfaro returned to the kitchen. She
any compensation from the NBI if it were                          Alfaro drove with boyfriend Peter Estrada to            stood on a spot leading to the dining area,
true. “I stand by my story,” Alfaro’s e-mail                      the Alabang Town Center (ATC) parking lot               heard a noise coming from the master
read. “Am I dismayed by the decision of the                       to      buy      shabu      (methamphetamine            bedroom and decided to follow it.
(Supreme Court)? Yes, but what can I do (?)”                      hydrochloride) from Artemio “Dong” Ventura               (full story: www.
“I am not an NBI agent nor an NBI asset.                          on June 29, 1991. Alfaro said it was there
Thats all crap (sic)! Eh di sana may sweldo                       where Estrada introduced her to his friends             2 cops in hot water for alleged
ako. Di naman ako puwede magtrabaho                               Webb, Antonio “Tonyboy” Lejano, Miguel
                                                                  Rodriguez, Hospicio “Pyke” Fernandez,
                                                                                                                          human trafficking
don,” she added using slang text in Filipino in                                                                           (Source: GMA NEWS)
her message. (I should have had a salary.                         Michael Gatchalian and Joey Filart. Alfaro
                                                                  was already high on shabu when Webb                     Two policemen assigned to the Aviation
But I could not work there) Alfaro has said                                                                               Security Group are now in hot water for
she is no longer interested in testifying after                   asked her to relay a message to Carmela in
                                                                  BF Homes Pitong Daan enclave in                         alleged involvement in human trafficking
learning of the high tribunal’s decision last                                                                             activities. Immigration acting Commissioner
Dec. 14, acquitting Webb et al. because the                       Parañaque City. Carmela had just arrived
                                                                  home when Alfaro came so the girl asked her             Ronaldo Ledesma said the two, whom he did
prosecution had failed to establish their guilt                                                                           not name, are under investigation for
beyond reasonable doubt. She also shrugged                        to return after 20 minutes. Alfaro and the
                                                                  others went back to ATC for another shabu               possible links to human trafficking syndicates
off questions by the Inquirer about the                                                                                   operating at the Ninoy Aquino International
circumstances related to the rape and murder                      session. The group went back to BF Pitong
                                                                  Daan. Alfaro proceeded to the Vizconde                  Airport (NAIA).
of Carmela Vizconde, 18, in the massacre on                                                                               The activities of the group were discovered
June 30, 1991, in which her mother Estrellita,                    house and saw Carmela in the garden.
                                                                  Carmela said she had to leave the house for             after Immigration officers intercepted on
47, and sister Jennifer, 7, were also                                                                                     Monday nine Lebanon-bound Filipino women
repeatedly stabbed to death.                                      a while and asked Alfaro to return before
                                                                  midnight. Carmela said she would leave the              attempting to leave the Philippines by using
All documented                                                                                                            fake Immigration departure stamps on their
“It’s all documented, she can refer to that,”                     pedestrian gate, the iron grills that led to the
                                                                  kitchen and the kitchen door unlocked.                  passports. Ledesma said the two policemen
Alfaro told Vizconde’s nephew Rodel in                                                                                    were allegedly responsible for the fake
reference to this reporter’s queries sent                         Gang rape planned
                                                                  Alfaro trailed Carmela as she drove out of BF           stamps on the passports of prospective
through e-mail. “That’s all I can say. I hope                                                                             overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Ledesma
this will help.” Webb, 41, son of former Sen.                     Pitong Daan. Somewhere along Aguirre
                                                                  Avenue, Alfaro saw Carmela drop off a man               said the women, who planned to work as
Freddie Webb, was freed last month, along                                                                                 domestic helpers in Beirut, were about to
with six others accused. President Benigno                        whom she believed to be the girl’s boyfriend.
                                                                  Alfaro returned to ATC and briefed Webb                 board a Philippine Airlines flight to Singapore
Aquino III has ordered a reinvestigation of the                                                                           when they were stopped. He said the would-
case to establish the truth about one of the                      about Carmela’s instructions. But when she
                                                                  also told Webb of Carmela’s male                        be OFWs planned to take a connecting flight
most heinous crimes in the country. The                                                                                   to Lebanon.
Constitution proscribes a retrial of Webb and                     companion, his mood changed (“bad trip”).
                                                                  The group had another session, this time                Deployment ban
the others acquitted—all scions of wealthy                                                                                The Philippine government has a long
families—under the principle of double                            mixing cocaine with shabu. After 45 minutes,
                                                                  Webb said it was time to leave. Alfaro                  standing deployment ban to the Middle
jeopardy.                                                                                                                 Eastern country. Ledesma said the
Motion for reconsideration                                        recalled hearing Webb say in Filipino: “We
                                                                  will line up for Carmela and I will be first            passengers were hurriedly walking past the
In clearing Webb et al., the Supreme Court                                                                                immigration counters when they were spotted
cast doubt on Alfaro’s credibility by                             (“Pipilahan natin. Ako ang mauuna.”) Lejano
                                                                  answered that he would be next. The group               and accosted by members of the Bureau of
describing her as “an NBI asset” with a past                                                                              Immigration’s Travel Control Enforcement
marred by drug use. The tribunal also noted                       arrived in front of the Vizconde residence in a
                                                                  three-vehicle convoy shortly before midnight.           unit (TCEU). The women reportedly ignored
that Alfaro submitted two affidavits with                                                                                 the queuing policy of the bureau and went
“significant discrepancies” on April 28 and                       Alfaro passed through the gate first, followed
                                                                  by Webb, Lejano and Ventura.                            straight to the boarding gate, he said. “They
May 22, 1995. Last Dec. 29, widower Lauro                                                                                 evaded inspection by our immigration officers
Vizconde filed a motion for reconsideration                       Eyewitness to rape
                                                                  Ventura mounted the hood of the Vizcondes’              because it turned out that their passports
with the Supreme Court. Vizconde, 72, who                                                                                 already had fake immigration departure
was working in a restaurant in the United                         Nissan Sentra parked in the garage and
                                                                  loosened the light bulb over it. The smaller            stamps," Ledesma said. “It is obvious that the
States when his wife and daughters were                                                                                   human trafficking syndicates are feeling the
slaughtered, defended Alfaro. He said the                         group then went through the iron grill gate
                                                                  and passed the dirty kitchen. Alfaro said               pinch of our intensified campaign that they
credibility of NBI agent Artemio Sacaguing, in                                                                            are resorting to all means to bring their
whose presence the sketchier first affidavit                      Carmela opened the aluminum screen door
victims out of the country," he added.             offense. As a result, Garcia was released           During a brief telephone call with Agence
Offloaded workers                                  from prison on December 16, 2010, after             France-Presse also on Thursday, Yap
BI-airport operations division chief Maria         posting bail for the offense of direct bribery      confirmed the quotes. Filipino film star and
Antonette Bucasas did not divulge the names        and violation of the anti-money laundering          talk show television host Ruffa Gutierrez,
of the offloaded workers in deference to their     law. Officials said that the time Garcia served     who said that she was vacationing with her
plight as human trafficking victims. She said      while awaiting trial will likely cover any          two young children in Boracay over the New
the women admitted during questioning that         sentence. Garcia, as the gatekeeper of the          Year, expressed disgust at the holiday
they were hired to work as domestic helpers        military's funds, handled the military budget       makers’ over-exuberance. “I don’t want my
in Lebanon. “One of them even presented            and procurement, as well as funds from the          children to be doing those things [public sex
her Lebanon visa which was concealed               United Nations for Filipino troops serving as       acts] one day,” she told ABS-CBN. “For me,
inside a chocolate bar wrapper," Bucasas           peacekeepers in troubled areas and money            it’s just not right,” she added.
said. She said the case of the offloaded           for joint exercises with US troops.                 (full story:
passengers was referred to the Inter-Agency        (full
Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for                                                                MPD reroutes traffic on Black
further investigation. The BI and IACAT’s          84 mutineers            avail     of    PNoy
intensified      campaign    against   human
                                                                                                       Nazarene day
trafficking     is   part   of   the   Aquino
                                                   amnesty                                             (Source: THE MANILA TIMES)
administration’s efforts to remove the             (Source: ABS-CBN NEWS)                              THE Manila Police District (MPD) will
Philippines from the US State Department’s         MANILA, Philippines - At least 84 military          implement a traffic-rerouting scheme in
Tier 2 watch list of countries with severe         officers and men who participated in 3              Quiapo, Manila for the Feast of the Black
trafficking situations.                            military uprisings during the Arroyo                Nazarene on Sunday.
(full story:                       administration have filed their applications for    The      Manila     Police    District    Traffic
                                                   amnesty, the Department of National                 Enforcement Unit said that the following
                                                   Defense (DND) said on Thursday. DND                 routes would be closed for vehicles on the
Government mulls High Court                        spokesman Eduardo Batac said about 300              404th celebration of the Feast of the Black
option on Garcia case                              officers and men of the Armed Forces of the         Nazarene: Quirino Grandstand going to
(Source: Sun Star)                                 Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National           Katigbak Drive, P. Burgos Street, MacArthur
MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III is          Police (PNP) are qualified to avail of the          Bridge; right Palanca Street through under
not discounting the possibility of filing to the   amnesty that was proclaimed by President            Quezon Bridge; left Quezon Boulevard;
High Court a motion to nullify the plea            Aquino for the rebels who took part in the          Arlegui Street; right Fraternal Street; right
bargain deal between a former military             three attempts to overthrow the Arroyo              Vergara Street; left Duque de Alba Street; left
comptroller and the Ombudsman. Aquino              government.                                         Castillejos Street; left Farnecio Street; right
said he might consider it if the                   “We got 90 days and we now have 84 of               Arlegui Street; left Nepomuceno Street; left
Sandiganbayan issue an adverse ruling on           possible 300 [applicants], we’re almost hitting     Aguila Street; right Carcer Street; right
the motion to intervene filed by the Office of     one third with only 3 days. I think it's a          Hidalgo Street through Plaza del Carmen; left
the Solicitor General (OSG).                       positive response," he said. Batac said 4           Bilibid Viejo Street thru Puyat Street; left
"The executive could still go to the Supreme       officers and 15 enlisted men filed their            Guzman Street; right Hidalgo Street; left
Court (SC) to review their arguments," said        applications last Tuesday. A total of 19            Barbosa Street; right Globo de Oro Street
the President in an ambush interview at            officers and 20 enlisted personnel filed            through Quezon Bridge; right Palanca Street;
Hanjin Shipyard in Subic Thursday. The OSG         applications on Wednesday including two             right Villalobos Street through Plaza Miranda
filed the urgent motion Wednesday with the         Oakwood mutiny leaders – former Navy Lt.            going to Quiapo Church. Roxas Boulevard,
Sandigabayan, asking it to void the plea           Senior Grade Antonio Trillanes IV and Marine        Bonifacio Drive, Anda Circle, T.M. Kalaw
bargain agreement between the prosecutors          Capt. Gary Alejano. On Thursday, another 26         Street, Quezon Boulevard, Recto Avenue,
and former major general Carlos Garcia, who        filed their applications, including First           Palanca, Taft Avenue westbound lane,
was accused of amassing P303 million. It           Lieutenant Nathaniel Rabonza, a nephew of           Lagusnilad, P. Burgos Street, Villegas Street,
said in its motion that the deal was "irregular"   former Office of Civil Defense administrator        N.A. Lopez Street and 25th Street at the Port
and "not right." Solicitor General Joel Cadiz,     Glenn Rabonza – a retired Army major                Area are also closed. The police district said
however, admitted Thursday that the                general.                                            that closure of the said roads would take
chances for the anti-graft court to reverse its     (full                   effect prior to the approach of the procession
decision approving the deal are very slim.                                                             to the areas. It added that from 5 a.m.
"The chances are not very, very great," Cadiz                                                          onward, the southbound of Quezon
said in a television interview. But Aquino said
                                                   Boracay sex video causes stir                       Boulevard from Andalucia Street, Fugoso
he is still confident the anti-graft court will    (Source: THE MANILA TIMES)                          Street to Plaza Miranda and Lerma Street
approve the appeal, citing he was satisfied        AUTHORITIES may ban sex on the world-               from P. Campa Street to Quezon Boulevard
with the arguments presented by the OSG in         famous beaches of Boracay island after a            would be closed to all vehicles. All vehicles
its motion. He stressed that the plea              television crew filmed two naked couples            from Quezon City are advised to use España
bargaining agreement was approved despite          making out in public on New Year’s Day, a           Boulevard then turn right to P. Campa Street,
non-compliance with Section 2, Rule 116 of         local mayor said on Thursday. The clip              left to Andalucia Street, right to Fugoso
the Rules of Court, which requires the             showed one pair apparently having sex on            Street and left to Tomas Mapua Street. All
consent of the offended party - the Armed          the beach and the other locked in a                 public utility jeepneys and other light vehicles
Forces of the Philippines. The SC earlier told     passionate kiss in the water, with the              coming from España Boulevard bound for the
Malacañang that it could go to the court for       woman’s bare breasts clearly shown above            Port Area are advice to turn left at Nicanor
review on the anomalies behind Garcia's plea       the waterline.                                      Reyes Street, right to Recto Avenue, straight
bargain deal. It also said it has the power to     The ABS-CBN television network said that it         to Jose Abad Santos Avenue, left to Reina
summon members of the Office of the                filmed the apparently Western couples at 2          Regente Street, take Jones Bridge, and right
Ombudsman, which heard the case, if the            a.m. on New Year’s Day after a large                to Magallanes Drive. The vehicles coming
complaint is found to have merits. Cadiz said      beachside party on the island to usher in           from north of Manila planning to use the
invalidating the agreement would rectify the       2011. “We’re thinking of a ‘no sex on the           southbound of Bonifacio Drive shall turn right
Sandiganbayan's mistake in approving the           beach’ [rule] so the other tourists would not       to Roberto Oca Street, left to Delgado Street,
controversial deal. Under the deal, Garcia,        be scandalized,” John Yap, the mayor of             left to Bonifacio Drive or turn right to A.
while serving as Armed Forces comptroller,         Malay town that has jurisdiction over               Soriano Street, to Magallanes Drive then
pleaded guilty to a lesser offense instead of      Boracay, told ABS-CBN during an interview           right to P. Burgos Street, straight to
plunder. Plunder is punishable by up to 40         posted on its website this week. Yap said that      Lagusnilad and to Taft Avenue, And all
years’ imprisonment, while the lesser offense      authorities were aware of the sensitivities of      vehicles coming from south of Manila
has a minimum sentence of six years. The           devoutly Roman Catholic Philippines. “It’s an       planning to use the northbound of Roxas
agreement then allowed Garcia to return to         isolated case and quite difficult to control but,   Boulevard from P. Ocampo Street to P.
the government some P150 million in                if police had seen them, they would have            Burgos Street are advice to turn right at T.M.
exchange for pleading guilty to a lesser           been arrested for public scandal,” he added.        Kalaw Street and left to Taft Avenue.
Meanwhile,      the    Metropolitan    Manila     services is still cheaper and more efficient
Development Authority (MMDA) on Thursday          compared to that of buses plying congested
said that they would deploy 300 traffic           roads. The government will soon reduce its         Miami coach back in Manila?
enforcers in Quiapo area starting at 4 a.m. to    subsidy for the light rail transit systems and     (Source: The Philippine Star)
assists motorists during the celebration.         would divert the funds for projects outside        MANILA, Philippines – There’s a strong
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the          Metro Manila. The Department of Transport          possibility that Miami Heat coach Erik
contingent would augment the existing             and Communications (DOTC) said raising the         Spoelstra will be back in Manila this year
number of enforcers frsom the Philippine          fare in MRT and LRT will improve operations        after visiting as a sports envoy with the US
National Police and the local government of       and increase the capacity of the train lines.      Department of State in 2009 and an endorser
Manila to ensure a peaceful and orderly           The DOTC said that while the standard fare         of the NBA Fit program last August.
celebration of the event.                         from end to end of the MRT is P15, the real        Spoelstra’s first cousin Hannah Celino, who
(full story:                 cost per head is P60. The balance is               lives in Santa Monica, California, and is in
                                                  shouldered by taxpayers, even those living         town for the holidays, told The Star the other
Cavite steps            up      battle     vs     outside Metro Manila. Aquino had said              day the NBA’s first Fil-Am coach is
                                                  taxpayers have been forced to shoulder the         considering another trip to his mother’s home
HIV/AIDS                                          cost of running the trains because the             country. Celino’s father Tony is the brother of
(Source: The Manila Bulletin)                     previous administration refused to increase        Spoelstra’s mother Elisa, a Filipina.
By ANTHONY GIRON                                  fares. He assured the public, however, that        “Erik and I met up in Los Angeles when the
CAVITE, Philippines – Officials in Cavite are     the government is looking for ways to              Heat played the Lakers on Christmas Day,”
strengthening their battle against HIV-AIDS       mitigate the effects of the recent toll and fare   said Celino, a University of Wisconsin
by boosting the protection and awareness          hikes, especially in the South Luzon               graduate and the oldest of four children, all
program following a report from the               Expressway. Aquino said there were                 born in the Philippines. “We hung out before
Department of Health (DoH) that the               contractual obligations left by the past           and after the game. Erik hardly talked about
prevalence of the disease is high in the          administration that must be fulfilled, like all    basketball. When we get together, he just
province. Dr. Ma. Vilma V. Diez, Provincial       government contracts, to keep investor             wants to chill out and relax. He asked me
Health Office (PHO) director, and other           confidence in the country. Dante Velasco,          about my plans of visiting Manila in the
concerned department heads are set to meet        DOTC Undersecretary for Public Information         summer. That’s an indication he may come
Governor Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla to       and Management Information Systems, said           for another trip. I’m sure he’d like to continue
discuss and address the HIV-AIDS problem          Palace economic managers had already               the work he started in Manila and besides, he
in the area.                                      approved the proposed fare hike. The board         enjoyed his trips over.” Celino, however, said
PHO officials, citing a report of the DoH, said   of directors of the Light Rail Transit Authority   Spoelstra’s off-season schedule is tight. “Erik
that Cavite ranked second, after National         chaired by DOTC Secretary Jose de Jesus            doesn’t really have much time to take a break
Capitol Region (NCR), with the most number        will make the final decision on the fare           even during the offseason,” she said.
of “people living with HIV” (PLHIV) in the        increase that will be implemented on LRT           “There’s just a little window where he can
country. PHO Medical Officer III Doctor           lines 1 and 2, and MRT during its meeting on       take off. He’s very focused on his job. After
Gerardo S. Alcantara said that Cavite has an      Jan. 11. (full story:            the season, he gets busy with the draft, the
accumulated 185 HIV-AID cases, based on
                                                                                                     summer league and training camp.”
1984-2010 records obtained from DoH.
“There are 185 cases of HIV-AIDS in Cavite        9 Mindoro animals join nature                      Spoelstra, 40, is in his third year as Heat
                                                  red list                                           head coach. He made NBA history by posting
through the years. We don’t call them victims
                                                                                                     the biggest one-season turnaround ever for a
(those afflicted) but PLHIV (people living with   (Source: The Philippine Star)
                                                                                                     rookie coach in leading the Heat from 15 to
HIV),” said Alcantara in an interview.            By Juancho Mahusay
                                                                                                     43 wins in 2008-09. Spoelstra now ranks
Alcantara, who is also the chairman of Cavite     CALAPAN CITY, Philippines – Nine species
                                                                                                     third among Heat coaches with 118 career
HIV Task Force, said that the number of           of animals endemic to Mindoro island,
                                                                                                     wins. This season, Miami brought in LeBron
PLHIV in Cavite has reached alarming state,       including the tamaraw, are now on the
                                                                                                     James and Chris Bosh to team with Dwayne
which should be given concern and                 endangered list of the International Union for
                                                                                                     Wade in a serious bid for the championship.
addressed by all concerned. HIV (Human            Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Placed on
                                                                                                     After a shaky 9-8 start, the Heat rattled off 12
Immunodeficiency Virus)-AIDS (Acquired            the endangered list posted on the IUCN
                                                                                                     straight wins and has now won 19 of its last
Immuno Syndrome) is dreaded as there is no        website      are   the     tamaraw    (Bubalus
                                                                                                     20. Miami hasn’t lost since dropping a 98-96
cure for the disease. Many people afflicted by    Mindorensis), four bird species, three species
                                                                                                     decision to Dallas last Dec. 13. Spoelstra
the disease have already died. Health             of rats, and a crustacean.
                                                                                                     piloted the Heat to a 15-1 record during the
officials are doing everything to address the     From its endangered status in 1986, the
                                                                                                     period as Miami became the first team ever
problem in Cavite with the HIV-AIDS               tamaraw has been listed as “critically
                                                                                                     to win 10 consecutive road games in a single
prevention, control and awareness program         endangered.” It is now only found in Mount
                                                                                                     month. He also set a franchise record for
despite the meager budget that they get from      Iglit-Baco National Park, Mount Aruyan in
                                                                                                     most wins in a month. For Spoelstra, it wasn’t
the provincial government.                        Sablayan town, and Mount Calavite Tamaraw
                                                                                                     easy jumping out of the hot seat. There was
 (full story:                      Preserve. Listed as endangered birds are the
                                                                                                     talk early this season he would be fired
                                                  Mindoro        imperial      pigeon     (Ducula
                                                                                                     particularly after James appeared to show
P-Noy wants             limit     on     fare     Mindorensis),      Mindoro       Bleeding-heart
                                                                                                     disrespect by bumping his shoulder while
                                                  (Gallicolumba Platenae), Mindoro Scops owl
increase                                          (Otus Mindorensis), and Mindoro Hornbill
                                                                                                     walking from the court to the bench for a
(Source: The Philippine Star)                                                                        timeout in a losing game against Dallas last
                                                  (Penelopides Mindorensis). The rat species
By Aurea Calica                                                                                      Nov. 27. James did the same thing to his
                                                  included in the list are the Mindoro Soft-
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines – If                                                                 former Cleveland coach Mike Brown in 2007.
                                                  furred Rat (Rattus Mindorensis), Mindoro
President Aquino would have his way, fares                                                           Spoelstra didn’t seem to mind the contact.
                                                  Climbing Rat (Anonymomys Mindorensis),
in the Metro Railway Transit (MRT) and the                                                           But it reportedly prompted a 30-minute
                                                  and the Large Mindoro Forest Mouse
Light Railway Transit (LRT) would be at par                                                          meeting between Spoelstra and James. As if
                                                  (Apomys Gracilirostris). The crustacean
with fares in air-conditioned buses. “Sa MRT,                                                        on cue, the Heat went on to win 12 in a row
                                                  Parathelphusa Mindoro is listed as “data
papasukan natin dyan, papantay lang natin                                                            and is now firmly on top of the Southeast
                                                  deficient” because of lack of information on
sa singil ng bus. Palagay ko mas maayos                                                              Division. Only four NBA teams show less
                                                  its population, ecological requirement, and
ang serbisyo sa MRT (If we are to make the                                                           than 10 losses so far – San Antonio (29-6),
                                                  long-term threats.
fare in the MRT the same as the charge in                                                            Boston (27-7), Dallas (26-8) and Miami (28-
                                                  (full story:
buses, I think the service will be better),”                                                         9). “I don’t think Erik’s thinking championship
Aquino said in an interview after the blessing                                                       at the moment,” said Celino. “He’s got to deal
of two bulk carriers of Korean shipbuilder                                                           with the East first and that means getting by
Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction                                                             Boston. Erik’s very focused on what he’s
Co.- Philippines.                                                                                    doing. I’m just happy and proud things are
He noted that the cost of LRT and MRT                                                                working out with the Heat.” Celino said she
and only a handful of Miami fans braved            football team. Palami, who is currently in
hostile territory by wearing Heat shirts during    Frankfurt, Germany told the Manila Times via       Phl Cup Final Four too close to
the Christmas Day game at the Staples              e-mail that at least four such players
Center. “It was very quiet after Miami won,”       expressed their intentions to join the Azkals.
she recalled. “The fans weren’t booing and         The Azkals and the sport of football in            (Source: The Philippine Star)
they weren’t happy.” Despite the Heat’s            general were catapulted to new heights of          MANILA, Philippines – The PBA Philippine
awesome firepower, it’s been more defense          popularity in the Philippines after the Filipino   Cup Final Four is fast turning out to be a pair
than offense fueling Miami’s surge. During         booters reached the 2010 Suzuki Cup                of matches made in heaven as could be seen
the recent 12-game winning streak, Miami           semifinal last year. “We have several talented     from two cliffhangers last Wednesday. Alex
won six by holding opponents to less than 90       players ready and seriously raring to be an        Cabagnot scored on an awkward drive in the
points. The Heat was merciless in crushing         Azkal,” Palami said, adding, “Some flew in         dying seconds, lifting the Beermen to a
the Lakers, 96-80, last Dec. 25. Miami has         from Denmark, others drove several                 pulsating 86-84 victory and breaking the
lost to Boston twice, 88-80, at Boston last        hundreds of kilometers and the rest took           hearts of a throng of Ginebra fans in the
Oct. 26 and 112-107 at Miami last Nov. 11.         more than an hour of train ride just to meet       opener of their series at the Araneta
The Heat plays the Celtics twice more – on         with me and express their intention to play. I     Coliseum the other night.
Feb. 13 at Boston and April 10 at Miami.           told most of them to go to Manila and be           James Yap, on the other hand, made a
Other big games in Miami’s schedule are            tested if they indeed have the Azkal bite.” He     crucial steal, also at endgame, as the B-MEG
Orlando on March 3, the Lakers on March 10         revealed Filipino-Germans Mark Drinkuth,           Derby Ace Llamados pulled off an 88-87
and San Antonio on March 14. Focus is              Manny Ott and Dennis Cagara, who also              squeaker over the Talk n Text side to even
critical in Miami’s ascent to the top. “I          represented Filipino-Danish booter Jerry           their own series at one game apiece. With
understand       the    magnitude     of    this   Lucena, are all willing to play for the            the four teams expected to have settled down
opportunity,” said Spoelstra, quoted by Tim        Philippines in the coming Asian Football           after a long respite, the same finish could be
Povtak in The Sporting News Pro Basketball         Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup on               in the offing tonight as the Beermen go for a
Yearbook. “We all do. But again, some of the       February 9 and 16 in Bacolod, Philippines or       2-0 lead over the Gin Kings at 5 p.m. and the
things that I’ve always stressed that what’s       Mongolia. Palami said he is set to meet two        Texters and the Llamados break their tie in
going to be key – not only for myself but each     more candidates Friday as he discuss with          the 7:30 p.m. main game before another
individual and the team this season – is we’re     officials of the German Football Association       expected sellout crowd at the Big Dome.
going to have to focus on the process.” Wade       on how to best prime up the Azkals. He said        “The long break obviously took its toll on all
agreed that it’s all about focus. “We’re not       that he’s even considering German coach            four teams. We took a while to get a good
here to sell jerseys, to pump our ratings,” he     Karsten Neitzel as a potential additional          rhythm. Having shaken off the holiday rust, I
said. “Our goal is to win championships and I      mentor for the Azkals. Meanwhile, deposed          expect a higher level of battle Friday (today),”
think we’re up for the challenge. We’re going      Philippine     Football    Federation    (PFF)     said San Miguel coach Ato Agustin. The
to have a bull’s eye on our backs. And that’s      President Jose Mari Martinez has finally           battle could only get fiercer as the
how we like it. We’ll be getting the best from     given up the fight to regain his post. A           protagonists      press     their    respective
everyone we face and we look forward to it.”       reliable source from the PFF who requested         championship bids.“Ginebra is such a tough
(full story:                     anonymity told The Manila Times Thursday           team to put away. We led by 14 but they’re
                                                   that Martinez declared he would now respect        right back in the game in the last two
                                                   the decision of the Federation Internationale      minutes. Good thing, Alex was there to save
Filipino-Germans want to join                                                                         us,” said San Miguel ace forward Jay
                                                   De Football Association or FIFA and the
‘Azkals’ – Palami                                  Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to              Washington. “I hope that we can close it out
(Source: THE MANILA TIMES)                         recognize Mariano Araneta Jr. as the new           in five or six games but it’s going to be very
BY JOSEF T. RAMOS                                  president of the PFF. Araneta, who is in           tough every game. It’s going to be a stressful
“AZKALS” team manager Dan Stephen                  Doha, Qatar, representing the country in the       series,” Washington added.
Palami said that many German football              AFC Congress and election, welcomed                (full story:
players with Filipino parentage are interested     Martinez’s decision.
to become members of the Philippine men’s          (full story:

The Daily Bread
2010 December 07 FRI
Today's Gospel
Lk 5:12-16                                                                  televisionaries. Fame is very superficial, as Jesus had every reason to
          Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man           know. I saw a famous actor being interviewed on television, and I
covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to          was astounded to see that he appeared to have no real life of his own:
the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you choose, you can make me            he seemed to exist only in the characters he portrayed on screen and
clean." Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I        stage; he seemed to be empty himself. Perhaps this is an advantage
do choose. Be made clean." Immediately the leprosy left him. And he         to an actor, but it is a terrible price to pay. Jesus has not faded into
ordered him to tell no one. "Go," he said, "and show yourself to the        history, because he was substantial, he was not an actor. What does
priest, and, as Moses commanded, make an offering for your                  it say about our age that so many of our great heroes are actors and
cleansing, for a testimony to them." But now more than ever the word        entertainers? But Jesus was substance, not appearance. He touched
about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him             the leper – something he could not have done through television. And
and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to deserted        then he sent him away, telling him to say nothing, while he himself
places and pray.                                                            “would withdraw to deserted places and pray.” More than the other
          There is a small but significant difference in this healing       gospel writers, Luke shows Jesus frequently at prayer. One
story. Jesus' other miracles occurred through the mere speaking of a        translation says “He would always go off to some place where he
word, but here he touched the leper, thereby making himself ritually        could be alone and pray.” Others say often. It is clear that it was his
unclean according to Jewish law (Lev 13:42-46). The compassion is           custom, not an occasional thing. This became all the more necessary
evident – and was badly needed, given the isolation that was forced         as his fame increased. He also needed to get away just to rest. Our
on lepers. Naturally, the word began to spread. And why not? we             world puts a very high value on busyness, sometimes making it seem
might ask. Every word spreads: that's the nature of words. And              the ultimate value. But how could it be that? Some of the greatest
Jesus is the Word. So why the secrecy? He must have seen that he            ruffians in history have also been the busiest. “The most cruel men,”
was in danger of becoming a celebrity. Celebrities, by definition, are      wrote Tolstoy, “your Neros and Peter the Greats, were constantly
famous. I doubt that Jesus would ever agree to appear on television,        occupied.” If it was necessary for Jesus to seek solitude in first-
were he walking the earth today. But you get the uneasy feeling that        century Palestine, how much more for us who live with the bustle of
many of the ‘apparitions’ of Jesus and Mary today are based only on         the twenty-first century!
somebody’s lifelong habit of watching television; our visionaries are