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US most trusted by Pinoys, China least - survey

Published in Latest News

 

MANILA — The United States is the nation most trusted by Filipinos – and China the least, based on a Pulse Asia survey conducted from March 15 to 20.

 

The poll showed trust level for the US at 79 percent; Japan, 75 percent; Australia and Great Britain, 69 percent and 53 percent, respectively.

 

Only four in 10 have trust in Russia and China – at 42 percent and 37 percent, respectively.

 

President Duterte has established stronger relations with China and Russia while expressing dismay at the US for the latter’s critical stand on his war on drugs.

 

“That’s par for the course. After all these years we’ve been programmed to think that these are the enemies,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said referring to China and Russia, in reaction to the survey result.

 

“The President is breaking free as a disruptor so… it’s par for the course,” he added.

 

In the survey, 63 percent of respondents said they could not trust China and 56 percent voiced the same opinion of Russia.

Charice splits from girlfriend Alyssa

Published in Entertainment

(Photo from pep.ph)

 

Charice Pempengco, who is known internationally as singer Charice, is no longer in a relationship with Alyssa Quijano.

 

Last week, it was reported that Quijano, once a singing rival of Charice, left the apartment she shared with the "Pyramid" singer.

 

The break-up was then confirmed by Carl Cabral, the new manager of Charice, through ABS-CBN showbiz reporter MJ Felipe.

 

Cabral said the split was a mutual decision and Charice will not be accepting any interviews as she was taking a break. 

 

The singer's manager also dismissed rumors that Charice is currently staying with a fan in Laguna.

 

"The rumor that Charice is living with the fan is not true. He has bought his own house," he said. 

 

"He's doing fine and he's happy," Cabral said.

 

The news of their split came after Charice hinted on social media that he’s “tired” and “over” with uncertain things. He wrote: "Happy for what I've achieved, for what I've become, for making people happy. I'll just leave it like that. I'm tired now." 

 

Charice added: "I can't anymore. I'm over it" on Twitter.

 

Charice and Quijano were in a relationship for four years. It was a relationship opposed by Charice' mother from the start.

 

The singer confirmed that they were a couple in 2013 even if his mother, Raquel Pempengco, disapproved of their romance.

 

Just last year, Charice and Quijano shared that they were thinking of tying the knot abroad and having a child.

TRUMP INVITES DUTERTE AGAIN TO WASHINGTON

Published in Headline

American leader to join ASEAN and partners summit in Manila in November

By ALFRED GABOT, JOSEPH G. LARIOSA and CLAIRE MORALES TRUE

 

(Photos from pcoo.gov.ph & Facebppk @WhiteHouse)

 

WASHINGTON/MANILA (PhilAmPress) — US President Donald Trump has personally reaffirmed America’s longtime alliance with the Philippines and confirmed his visit to the country in November for the ASEAN summit with partner countries like Japan, European Union, China and South Korea.

 

In a telephone call to the Philippine leader on April 29, Trump also invited again President Rodrigo Duterte to visit Washington and the Philippine leader has reportedly agreed to be at the White House “sometime soon.”

 

Mr. Duterte, who is set to visit Russia, Israel and China this month, has repeatedly said before that he will never set foot in the United States after hurling invectives against Trump’s predecessor, former US President Barack Obama, for criticizing his campaign against drugs. Duterte also assailed the US record on human rights, particularly the massacre of Filipinos in Mindanao and Samar when they colonized the Philippines.

 

At one point, Duterte even told then-President Obama in a speech to “go to hell” for opposing his war on drugs, announced a “separation from the US” during a trip to China and called then-Secretary of State John Kerry “crazy” following a meeting just weeks after taking office. Duterte had also threatened to throw out American troops in the country, particularly those stationed in Mindanao.

 

Duterte, however, who has drawn comparisons with Trump, has since softened his tone against US and now wants continued US support for security and cooperation in the disputed South China Sea. He has also allowed joint military exercises between Filipino and American soldiers which he once declared must stop.

 

Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, meanwhile, declared that the country’s relationship with the US is “strong and vibrant.” “The key is not letting these rough patches affect the core of the relationship.”

 

Duterte declared in Davao that the US President Trump “wants to make friends, and it seems that we are friends.” 

 

Duterte first disclosed the invitation during a conversation which aides said lasted for about 15 minutes and which he said also tackled the nuclear crisis in the Korean peninsula which affects the Philippines and the region.

 

The day after the Duterte disclosure, White House confirmed the conversation and invitation in an official announcement. Trump’s call came as Duterte and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations concluded their summit at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

 

But while initially Duterte hinted he had accepted the invitation to travel to the White House, he later clarified that he has not made any commitment yet. A Malacanang official confirmed the call and invitation by Trump but agreed with Mr. Duterte that he has not committed for a visit to Washington.

 

Aside from Duterte, Trump also called the leaders of Thailand and Singapore reportedly to shore up support on initiatives to ease the crisis in the Korean peninsula as a result of North Korea’s nuclear missile tetstings. White House officials later announced that Thailand’s junta chief has accepted an invitation to visit the White House from President Donald Trump.

 

 “The Prime Minister thanked and accepted President Trump’s invitation to visit the United States,” junta spokesman Major General Werachon Sukhonhapatipak said in a statement, adding that the offer to visit had been reciprocated with an invitation for Trump to visit Thailand.

 

Trump, who has been cool to Obama’s Asia “pivot” plan by US and has scrapped the Trans Pacific Partnership, is due to visit Vietnam and the Philippines towards the end of the year to attend two regional summits in those countries.

 

Trump’s invitation to Duterte immediately drew the ire of the Philippine leader’s critics due to killings in Manila as a result of the war on illegal drugs.

 

But Trump set aside the criticisms as he underscored his eagerness to meet Mr. Duterte.

 

 “The Philippines is very important to me strategically and militarily,” Trump said later in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News, two days after he invited the Philippine leader to Washington. 

 

“I look forward to meeting him. If he comes to the White House that’s fine,” Trump said in the interview.

 

In the same interview, Trump emphasized public support for Duterte despite the condemnations over the drug conflict.

 

“You know he’s very popular in the Philippines,” Trump said. “He has a very high approval rating in the Philippines.”

 

A press statement from the White House said President Trump spoke on April 29, by phone to President Duterte.

 

It said, “It was a very friendly conversation, in which the two leaders discussed the concerns of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regarding regional security, including the threat posed by North Korea.”

 

The statement added they also discussed the fact that the Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs, a scourge that affects many countries throughout the world.

 

The readout said President Trump “enjoyed the conversation and said that he is looking forward to visiting the Philippines in November to participate in the East Asia Summit and the U.S.-ASEAN Summit.”

 

It added President Trump also invited President Duterte to the White House to discuss the importance of the United States-Philippines alliance, which is now heading in a very positive direction.”

 

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus later defended President Trump’s invitation to President Duterte to visit Washington, saying the need to rally Asian allies over North Korea overshadowed concerns about Duterte’s brutal war on drugs.

 

Priebus made the statement when asked why Trump was “honoring” Duterte with the White House invitation.

 

“I’m not so sure it’s a matter of honoring this president,” Priebus said.

 

“The issues facing us, developing out of North Korea, are so serious that we need cooperation at some level with as many partners in the area as we can get,” he said.

 

That way, Priebus added, “if something does happen in North Korea, we have everyone in line backing up a plan of action that may need to be put together with our partners in the area.”

 

Meanwhile, the New York Times again made a stinging editorial critical of President  Duterte, this time saying Duterte was “obviously not a man who should be welcomed to the White House.”

 

“Though the Philippines is an ally and a democracy, Mr. Duterte is neither a democratic leader nor a worthy ally. For about two decades as mayor of Davao, he was accused of allowing death squads to roam the city and kill freely,” the paper said in its editorial titled “Donald Trump Embraces Another Despot, which was published on May 1. 

 

Duterte first gained global prominence as well as criticism for his aggressive and violent war on illegal drugs as mayor of Davao City. Human rights groups say that, as President, his narcotics crackdown has led to more than 7,000 extrajudicial killings.

 

“He’s been very, very tough on that drug problem, but he has a massive drug problem,” Trump said in the interview.

 

Trump’s invitation to Duterte was denounced by human rights advocates and democratic lawmakers for overlooking the abuses.

 

“President Trump weakens American values when he fails to stand up for human rights,” Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement Monday.     

 

“President Duterte has overseen the illegal killing of thousands of his own people in the Philippines. By welcoming Duterte to meet with him in the White House, Trump risks giving Duterte’s actions―and his brutal human rights violations―an American stamp of approval,” he added.

 

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella claimed that Trump praised Duterte’s work in a phone call on April 29 despite the criticisms over the drug war. 

 

“Well, according to the conversation, the President of the United States has already acknowledged the fact that the President is doing a great job considering the weight and the enormity of the conditions in the Philippines,” Abella said at a briefing in Malacañang.

 

“So I’m sure he’s aware of all these considerations. However, from his point of view, it seems like the President of the Philippines is doing a sensible job,” he added.

 

The White House earlier defended Trump’s invite to Duterte as something to do with a pressing issue over North Korea. Singapore and Thailand prime ministers also received the same invite.

 

While Abella said that the invite was “a sign of openness and understanding” between the two leaders, he reiterated that Duterte was yet to accept the invitation.

 

“There was no direct acceptance of the invitation. It was acknowledged but there was no direct response to go… He didn’t say yes, he didn’t say no. He just… You know, it was a part of the conversation but there was no commitment, there was no promise to go at a specific date,” he said.

 

Many Filipino leaders want Duterte to visit the United States within the year.

 

For one, Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos said he believes that the invitation to President Duterte by President Trump is a good opportunity for the former to push for the welfare of Filipinos in the US.

 

 Bishop Santos said the Chief Executive's impending visit to the US to promote how peace loving people, hardworking and trustworthy Filipinos are.

 

"Yes it is better and beneficial for us. First it is personal and privilege opportunity to appeal for Filipino immigrants for leniency and fair treatment for status, and to manifest to the US government that Filipinos living and working there are peace loving people, hardworking and trustworthy," he said.

 

Santos added, "We are contributing much for the greatness and prosperity of America."

 

Bishop Santos, who is the chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI), noted that the visit is also an opportunity to enhance ties with the US, which starts back in the World War II (WWII) and appeal for assistance in connection with the issues in the West Philippine Sea.

 

"Make also that rare chance, as allied and reliable friends during WWII, to appeal for assistance for our occupied West Philippine Sea territories," the Balanga bishop added.

Pacquiao starts training for Horn fight in Australia

Published in Sports

(Photo from Instagram | @mannypacquiao)

 

PASAY CITY (via PhilAmPress)  — World boxing icon and senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao will be fighting Jeff Horn after all.

 

Pacquiao's business manager Eric Pineda confirmed to local reporters on Sunday night, April 10, that the eight-division world boxing champion will stake his WBO welterweight belt against the Australian pug at the Suncorp Stadium in the latter's hometown of Brisbane on July 2.

 

Pineda, who also acts as Mahindra's team manager, even said that Pacquiao has begun his training for the said match but, just like how he prepared for his match against Jessie Vargas, is staying in the Philippines to focus on his senatorial job.

 

"Araw-araw siya nagte-training. Nagsimula na siya. Pag nagsimula na ang session sa May 2, the training will be confined here," continued Pineda, who was present in the Floodbusters' PBA Commissioner's Cup match against the TNT KaTropa at the Mall of Asia Arena.

 

He also said that Coach Freddie Roach will fly in soon to join Pacquiao in training.

 

However, Pineda said that Pacquiao is still open to fight Amir Khan even as soon as the Horn fight is done.

 

"The deal with Abu Dhabi did not push through but maybe for his next fight. Hopefully [Manny will fight Amir] if [the fight negotiation] would push through again and the government of the UAE would still want Manny to fight. We're still working on it, because they really want the fight to happen in UAE," Pineda further said.

 

Heeding with the fans, Pacquiao's camp began negotiations with that of Khan for the said match with both sides even claiming twice that it was already a done deal.

 

But Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum, who has been insisting for the Pacquiao-Horn bout to happen, denied the claims. It was later revealed that the negotiations were stalled due to scheduling problems.

 

Looking forward to the Pacquiao-Horn match, Pineda said, "Hopefully this will be a good fight. Everybody is excited and wants to go to Australia now. It'll be good for everyone."

 

For his fearless forecast, Pineda simply said, "Siyempre Manny will win."

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