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John Lloyd takes indefinite leave in showbiz

Published in Entertainment

(Photo from Instagram | @maria.elena.adarna)


Don’t look now but showbiz heartthrob John Lloyd Cruz has gone on an indefinite leave. 

This was officially announced on Oct. 6 by his mother studio ABS-CBN in a statement stating that their contract star is taking a leave of absence because of personal reasons.

“ABS-CBN and John Lloyd Cruz have agreed for him to take an indefinite leave of absence to attend to personal matters,” the network stated as revealed by Kane Errol Choa,  head of Integrated Corporate Communications of ABS-CBN.

The statement also said the34-year-old actor will take a break “outside the country and will return to ABS-CBN after his leave of absence.”


It was not known how long the leave would be, however, and when he will be back to the country and his weekly sitcom, “Home Sweetie Home,” which airs every Saturday on ABS-CBN.

John Lloyd reportedly flew last Oct. 7, with rumored girlfriend, Ellen Adarna, to an undisclosed destination in Europe.


Both John Lloyd and Adarna also posted photos of what looks like an aircraft cabin on their social media accounts and reports indicated later that they flew to Portugal.


John Lloyd has been making showbiz headlines for several weeks now when videos of him and “Home Sweetie Home” co-star Ellen Adarna went viral during their Cebu getaway.


The two have posted their sweet photos on personal social media accounts but never admitted anything about their relationship status.


More photos of other getaways in other places were also posted by the two, fueling speculations that they were in a romance.


John Lloyd was last seen at the Star Magic Ball on September 30 without any partner but avoided the press in the red carpet.


As this developed, actress Angelica Panganiban was reported to be unperturbed by the controversy surrounding her ex, John Lloyd Cruz, and his rumored paramour, Ellen Adarna, according to showbiz columnist Ethel Ramos.

Angelica looked cool and unaffected at the Star Magic Ball, in spite of people talking about John Lloyd’s arrival; it was reported in the column. 

Both were date-less at the event. Angelica, however, strolled placidly on the red carpet, while John Lloyd chose to skip it, according to the report.

Angelica will soon be facing the movie cameras with Judy Ann Santos in “Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes.” She is also seen regularly in the Sunday gag show, “Banana Sundae.” 


Judy Ann, Angelica and the cast of the movie were seen with visiting Hollywood actor Steven Segal and former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson.

(Photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer)


MANILA — Following the reversal by the House of Representatives of its panel’s decision to drop the impeachment complaint against him, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista may change his mind and step down even before the effectivity of his resignation of Dec. 31 to avoid an impeachment trial by the Senate acting as Senate Impeachment Tribunal.


This as members of the Senate and the House of Representatives said Bautista would still undergo impeachment trial if he does not resign immediately and irrevocably.


Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez disclosed that the House committee on justice has prepared the articles of impeachment to be filed in the Senate. The House, however, is on recess and could act on the articles when it resumes its session middle of November.


Lawyers of Bautista’s estranged wife Patricia, meanwhile, said they will file plunder charges against the Comelec chief for accumulating over P1 billion.


Patricia had accused Bautista of corruption, and presented to the public his actual bank passbooks and documents which, together with his real property, were valued at P1.2 billion, to prove it. She said she did nlt want to be accused in some future time of being part of her husband’s corruption or even profiting from his dirty money.


 Lawyer Lorna Kapunan said Bautista may have already tendered his resignation letter but they would still pursue the filing of a plunder case against him.


“We will file plunder (case). The impeachment will only remove him from his position,” Kapunan said.


Kapunan explained that if the Comelec chairman would be impeached, he only has to vacate his position, but to make him accountable for the alleged crimes he has committed; cases would have to be filed against Bautista in court.


“Criminal cases have to be filed against him, some members of his family, Smartmatic, Divina Law Firm managing partner Nilo Divina, and the Luzon Development Bank,” she said.


The embattled Comelec chief is also facing impeachment before Congress after 137 lawmakers at the House voted to forward the complaint against him to the Senate, which will now act as an impeachment court.


Bautista is the first Comelec chairman to be impeached by Congress.


In the affidavit Patricia filed before the NBI, she alleged her husband has 35 bank accounts amounting to more than P300 million with the Luzon Development Bank; has a foreign currency account and a peso account amounting to US$12,778.30 with the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC); and HK$948,358.97 with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. (HSBC).


Deputy minority leader Harry Roque, one of the impeachment complainants, said that the draft of the articles of impeachment he has submitted to the committee involves the following.


• The anomalous bank accounts, funds, businesses, corporations and financial transactions involving Bautista and/or his family members;

• Bautista’s supposed commissions from private law firm Divina &Uy law offices;

• Bautista’s failure to properly disclose his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth; and

•Bautista’s failure to address the hacking of the Comelec website in March 2015.


Bautista disclosed that he was just waiting for the official communication from Malacañang since President Duterte announced last week that he had accepted his resignation.


The Senate will wait for the actual resignation of Bautista before totally scrapping its preparations for his impeachment trial in the chamber, according to Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said.


Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque also said Bautista must be tried by the Senate as an impeachment court if he does not resign before Dec. 31.


Sotto revealed the House would no longer transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate once Bautista is out of the Comelec because it will be useless.


Sotto said he would not want to waste public funds preparing for Bautista’s trial that in all likelihood would not push through.


Bautista said he went to Malacanang Tuesday last week to hand his resignation and met with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. During the meeting, the two forged a “gentleman’s agreement” for him to resign by the end of the year.


Once a replacement for his position is chosen before Dec. 31, Bautista said he could leave his post.


He explained he did not resign immediately to give the President time to find a replacement and have a smooth and orderly transition within the poll body.


Published in Perry Scope
It’s not everyday that someone would call the most powerful leader in the world a “moron” or anything close to that.  But that’s what Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did.  And for those who don’t know what it means, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “moron” as a “very stupid person” or “a person affected with mild mental retardation,” which then begs the question: Is Donald J. Trump a moron? 
But whatever you might think about it, the real reason Tillerson called Trump a moron is actually “terrifying” as the Daily Beast reported the incident on October 4, 2017.  It reported that the insult came one day after "a meeting about Afghanistan in which Trump compared the process of reviewing strategy in the country to the renovation of a high-end New York restaurant." It then said that NBC News reported that “Tillerson called Trump a ‘moron’ after a meeting concerning the US' nuclear arsenal in which Trump asked for 10 times more nuclear weapons.”
According to NBC News, the meeting was in July and Trump’s “insane request” was apparently in response to information Trump was given about the US’ steady decrease in nuclear weapons since the late 60’s. The officials at the meeting were said to be surprised by his request, and had to explain to Trump “the legal and practical impediments to a nuclear buildup.” 
The NBC News reported further that Trump said several times that he also wanted more troops and military equipment.  But officials told NBC News that no increase in the nuclear arsenal is planned.  Soon after the meeting ended, the officials who stayed behind overheard Tillerson say that Trump was a “moron.”  When a reporter asked Tillerson to confirm if he called Trump a “moron,” he didn’t dispute it.  
But what might sound “petty” is a serious problem… a very serious problem, considering that the person referred to as a “moron” is the most powerful man on earth who has at his disposal more than 5,000 nuclear warheads.  And he wanted to increase that number tenfold?  This man is not only a “moron,” he is the “Moron-in-Chief.” And he must be crazy, too! 
Dr. Strangelove
Which reminds me of the 1964 movie, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”  It is a political satire black comedy film that satirizes the Cold War fears of a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States.
Although the Cold War is now over, the specter of a nuclear war is still very real.  With North Korea threatening to attack the U.S. with a barrage of nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, it has driven Trump closer to the brink of madness and self-destruction.  The sad part of it is that the whole humankind would suffer, nay perish.
In less than a year in the presidency, Trump has reduced the world’s only superpower to an impotent eunuch denigrated by rogue states like North Korea and Iran.   
When Trump addressed the U.N. General Assembly with a threat to “totally destroy North Korea” if the U.S. is forced to defend itself or its allies, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un responded: “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”  Kim’s personal response marked an escalation of the word war between Trump and Kim.  North Korea’s state-run news agency KCNA then released the following statement: “The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to ‘totally destroy’ a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.”  
So, where is all this hyperbole leading?  With North Korea conducting 19 missile tests and one nuclear test in 2017, North Korea is getting closer to its goal of developing a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile that could target the U.S.  North Korea is now believed to possess 60 nuclear weapons. 
Trump’s miscalculations
But North Korea’s nuclear blackmail is only the tip of the iceberg.  While the threat can be neutralized at a very high cost in lives and resources, there are a number of Trump miscalculations that could change the world order.
In my column, “Trump’s geopolitical miscalculations,” (May 12, 2017), I wrote: “But the worst in Trump’s miscalculations in Asia was his decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a security and economic agreement between 12 countries led by the U.S.  Seven of the member-countries hail from the Asia-Pacific: Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam, of which four are ASEAN members (Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam). Collectively, the TPP member-countries account for 40% of world trade.  Ironically, it was the U.S. under the presidency of Obama who started the negotiations among the 12 countries.  Unfortunately, while 11 countries ratified TPP in 2016, the U.S. Congress under Republican control failed – or refused – to ratify it in the last few months of Obama’s presidency.  When Trump took over, withdrawal from TPP was one of his first acts – victims of his vindictive assault on policies and programs that Obama implemented.”
China fills the void
 With the U.S. out of the “big picture,” it is anticipated that China would step in to take the place of the U.S. in the TPP.  It’s ironic that TPP, which the U.S. was instrumental in forming as a counterbalance China’s dominance in world trade, would end up circling in China’s orbit.
But while the TPP might hurt the U.S.’s trade relations, there is nothing more destructive than Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement last June.  The agreement was adopted by consensus by representatives of 196 parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties of UNFCCC in Paris on December 12, 2015.  To date, 195 members have signed the agreement, 168 of which have ratified it.  By Trump’s withdrawal, the U.S. will join two other U.N. member countries – Syria and Nicaragua -- that haven’t signed on.
On October12, 2017, Trump brought his war to the home front, launching an assault on Obamacare.  He issued an executive order that stopped payments worth billions of dollars to health insurers to subsidize low-income Americans.   It was a move health insurers have warned will cause chaos in insurance markets and a spike in premiums.   
The following day, Trump did what he’d been threatening to do and that is: pull out of a deal freezing and reversing Iran’s nuclear program if Congress and U.S. allies do not agree to strengthen it.  In trying to justify his decision, Trump said: “As I have said many times, the Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into."  
Sad to say, what Obama put together in the eight years he was president, Trump dismantled them in eight months.  And it would probably take another eight years –maybe more -- to put them back together. As someone once said, “Rome wasn’t built in one day, but they were laying bricks every hour.”  In the case of the U.S., Trump is burning it, day after day.  And he fiddled while doing it.




Hollywood action star, producer, director, and martial artist Steven Seagal has called on  President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacanang.


And judging from reports, photos and videos that came out after their meeting, Seagal visibly enjoyed his meeting with the unorthodox leader.


In one of the photos, the smiling actor and the President were seen doing the Chief Executive’s trademark fist pose.


In another photo, President Duterte and Seagal are shown doing the signature pose with other officials and guests.


The officials and guests included Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Council for Philippine Affairs (COPA) Secretary General Pastor Saycon,  Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Narvacan, former Ilocos Sur governor and now Councilor Luis Singson, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez.


Seagal, 65, a native of Michigan but holds American, Russian and Serbian citizenship, flew in to be one of the judges of the Miss Earth pageant on Nov. 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.


While in the Philippines, Seagal, who is an expert in Aikido, Karate, Judo, Kendo and Shito-ryu, will be scouting for locations for his new movie.


President  Duterte received Steven Seagal in a courtesy call in Malacañang on October 12.


Seagal, 65, was accompanied by former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson during his meeting with the President. Seagal’s new movie is about illegal drugs and other crimes.


Telling Seagal that movies are a reflection of life, President Duterte reiterated his strong stance against illegal drugs because it enslaves people to a form of synthetic chemical. He also told the American actor that he used to have karate lessons.


Drug trade and production devastated many societies in Latin America, particularly Mexico, and the President said he does not want the Philippines to suffer the same fate.


Prior to meeting Steven Seagal, President Duterte received artist Freddie Luna Cruz. Cruz, the great grandson of national artist Juan Luna, presented a portrait of the President, which he painted last year when the Chief Executive assumed office. Cruz was accompanied by Presidential Consultant for Education Jose David Lapuz.


Seagal is in the country to scout a location for the sequel of 1988 film "Above the Law." The 80s film featured the story of a cop (Seagal) whose "routine drug-trafficking investigation leads to an international conspiracy."


It is not actually the first visit of the Hollywood actor. More than a year ago, he was in Manila on a “business trip” details of which to this day has not been made public.


Seagal’s first visits to the country were during the time of President Ferdinand Marcos and then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.


As was in his last visit, Seagal was again welcomed by his friend, former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson, who accompanied him to the welcome party hosted by the Miss Earth Organization for the international delegates of the Miss Earth pageant at the Carousel Mansion in Mandaluyong City, reported Edwin Sallan of


During the event, Lorraine Shuck, executive vice president of Carousel Productions which runs the Miss Earth and Miss Earth Philippines pageants, announced that Seagal will be a judge at the 17th edition of Miss Earth pageant on November 4.


Philippine television networks showed Seagal with the Miss Earth candidates in a visit in  Manila’s former Spanish district of Intramuros.


Lately, Seagal hogged the headlines when former world boxing champion George Foreman challenged him to a boxing bout.


It was not known if the actor accepted the challenge.


Seagal is best known for a string of blockbuster action movies from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, which included “Above The Law,” “Hard to Kill,” “Marked for Death,” “Out for Justice,” “Under Siege,” and “On Deadly Ground.”


He was one of the world’s top action stars until the late 1990s when he started to star, producer and sometimes write films that were released direct-to-video and more recently as video-on-demand.


Hollywood reports showed that this year, Seagal has two films already in post-production, “Attrition” and “Above The Law 2,” a sequel to his 1988 debut blockbuster.


Last year, the American actor who now lives in Moscow flew to Manila, Cebu and Boracay purportedly to look for location sites for the filming of another movie.


Seagal flew in via a Cathay Pacific Airlines flight and was welcomed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 by then Terminal Manager Octavio “Bing” Lina and former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson, his host.


The actor described former President Arroyo as a friend and was disheartened when he learned that she was at that time under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

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