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Thelma Cruz

Thelma Cruz

Marry Kylie, Robin Padilla tells Aljur

Published in Entertainment

(Photo from Instagram | @kylienicolepadilla)


Actors Robin Padilla and Aljur Abrenica remain not in talking terms.


This is an offshoot of the decision of Robin’s daughter Kylie to abandon her showbiz career to be with Aljur, resulting to their having their first child.


Robin has a condition before accepting Aljur and he has made this clear.


And Robin stressed it - he wants Aljur to marry his daughter Kylie.


“Lahat naman kami hopeful [na magkaayos],” Robin was quoted by his mother studio ABS-CBN as saying to reporters.


 “Ako ay tatay. Ang lahat ng tatay, gusto pakasalan ang anak. Kapag napakasalan niya ang anak, wala na kaming issue,” said Robin, once called the Bad Boy of Philippine movies.


Robin made it clear that Aljur should not take it a long time to make his decision, according to the reports.


“One plus one lang ‘yun. Kailangan ba niyang pag-isipan pa kung anong problema namin?” he said.


“May kalayaan ang anak ko sa gusto niyang gawin. Ang sinasabi ko lang, kung gusto nilang makuha 'yung suporta ko, sundin nila ako. Kung ayaw naman nilang makuha ang suporta ko, huwag nila akong sundin. Huwag silang gumawa ng issue sa akin,” he added.


Aljur said he understands where Robin is coming from.


"Bilang isang bagong tatay, kailangan ko rin ng guidance. Napag-usapan namin ng tatay ko at ang sabi ng tatay ko ay tama ang sinabi ni Tito Robin," he said in the ABS-CBN report.


"Ako rin bilang isang ama, kung ano ang nakikita ni Tito Robin sa anak ko, gusto ko rin 'yon, 'yung taas noo niyang haharapin ang lahat sa mata ng Diyos at sa mata ng tao," he added.


Aljur and Kylie are already engaged after having their firstborn son Alas, it was reported.


In another interview, Aljur revealed he and Kylie are already talking marriage for the benefit of their son.


“Hindi ko masasabi na s’ya (Kylie) ‘yung may ayaw eh or nag-aalangan. Kasi kapag napapag-usapan namin, laging nauuwi sa prioridad. Ang prioridad namin ay si Alas,” said Aljur during an interview on “Tonight With Boy Abunda” on ABS CBN. “Mahal ko si Kylie. Walang pag-aalinlangan doon kaya kung ano man ang mangyari, kasal man ‘yan or ano.


Handa ako dyan.”


“At meron kaming nae-envision na kasal eh. So hanggang doon lang muna as much as possible. Kaya hindi ko s’ya fully masagot eh,” Aljur added.


Published in Headline

(Photo from Facebook | @noynoyaquinoIII)


QUEZON CITY (via PhilAmPress) — A second criminal complaint has been filed against former President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III before the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City in connection with the alleged anomalous purchase of P3.5 billion worth of dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia.


Gabriela party-list Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas charged Aquino with violation of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.”


Charged with Aquino were former Health Secretary Janette Garin, former Budget Secretary Florencio Butch Abad, and former Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.


This developed as the Department of Justice (DOJ)  issued an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) against former President Aquino, some of his Cabinet members, and key Sanofi Pasteur executives in connection with the controversial P3.5 billion dengue immunization program of the Department of Health (DOH).


In a memorandum, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II directed Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente to instruct all immigration officers in the country’s airports and seaports to be on the lookout to prevent attempts of Aquino and others to leave the country.


Placed under the ILBO were former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, former Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, former Health Secretary Janette Garin, Guillaume Leroy, Olivier Brandicourt, Ruby Dizon, Thomas Triomphe and Carlito Realuyo.


Aguirre issued an ILBO after militant group Gabriela and parents of children injected with anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia filed graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman.


Aguirre said that considering the gravity of the charges, there is a “strong probability” that the persons may leave the country.


“We thus deem the issuance of an ILBO against the subject persons prudent in order to at least monitor the itineraries of their flight, travel, and/or whereabouts,” said Aguirre.


 Earlier, Aguirre ordered National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran to “conduct investigation and case build-up over the alleged danger to public health arising from the P3.5 billion anti-dengue vaccination drive of the DOH and Sanofi Pasteur and if evidence so warrants, to file appropriate charges thereon.”


Aguirre required the NBI to submit a status report on their investigation regarding the issue, but did not give the NBI a timeframe on their probe.


He said the probe would look into whether government officials should be held liable for the seemingly rushed procurement of the vaccine and the immunization of more than 700,000 children.


 Congresswomen de Jesus and Brosas  had earlier filed a petition for mandamus before the Supreme Court (SC) to compel the government to provide free consultations and medical services to children who were injected with the vaccine distributed by Sanofi Pasteur (Sanofi).


Sanofi has cautioned the prescription of Dengvaxia to patients who have not had the virus in the past, such that it may cause severe diseases in the long run.


After six years of studying clinical data, Sanofi said it has found that Dengvaxia was only beneficial in the prevention of dengue fever to those who have already suffered from the other serotypes of the virus.


Former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General and erstwhile Iloilo congressman Augusto Syjuco, Jr. earlier filed charges against Aquino and former Department of Health Secretary Janet Garin for mass murder and plunder over the Dengvaxia scam.


The DOH, through Health Secretary Francisco Duque II, has ordered the suspension of the vaccine program, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered Sanofi to stop the sale, distribution, and marketing of Dengvaxia.


The Gabriela partylist  filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking to compel the officials of the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to provide free medical services and treatment to children injected with the controversial anti-dengue Dengvaxia vaccine.


In a 42-page petition for mandamus, Gabriela Rep. Emmi De Jesus and the Association for the Rights of Children in Southeast Asia (ARCSEA) asked the Supreme Court to order the respondents to publicly disseminate on a regular basis the report of the task force created and designated to monitor and review the school-based immunization program involving Dengvaxia and submit the same to the House of Representatives and Senate committees on health for monitoring.


The petitioners said the government agencies should monitor children in all villages and regions who were injected with the vaccine.


The agencies should also provide free services including, but not limited to, medical check-ups, consultations, medical treatment, and blood tests, the petitioners said.


The petitioners also asked that these free medical services be continued until it would have been determined and declared by competent medical and/or scientific experts that the threats brought by the Dengvaxia vaccine have been minimized or eliminated.


“These free medical services shall continue until it would have been determined and declared by competent medical and/or scientific experts that the threat/s brought about by the Dengvaxia vaccine have been minimized or eliminated,” the petitioners said.


The petitioners also asked the SC to direct the DOH, DepEd, and DILG to create a registry of children who were administered with the vaccine to facilitate the delivery of free healthcare services.


The petitioners said that the Dengvaxia issue is “of transcendental importance” and that the SC must compel key government agencies to provide free medical services and treatment for those who might suffer from severe dengue or any of the determined side effects of the anti-dengue vaccine.


“The horrors and risks being posed right now by the vaccine, which has been haphazardly administered to around 800,000 children, should be enough for the justices to act with urgency on our petition,” De Jesus said.


De Jesus said that while the current number of petitioners is only 70, there is a possibility that they would have additional petitioners since there are more families seeking Gabriela’s help.


Named as respondents on the petition are the current DOH Secretary Francisco Duque, DILG Acting Secretary Catalino Cuy, and DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones. Also included in the list are DOH-National Center for Disease Prevention and Control program director Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, and Food and Drug Administrative director general Nela Charade Puno.


BSP: Old bills demonetized starting July 1

Published in Business

MANILA  — Starting July 1, old Philippine peso bills no longer have monetary value.


This as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced it sticked to the June 30 deadline for the use demonetization of  the old bills or the New Design Series (NDS) launched in 1985.


Due to public clamor, the BSP had twice extended the deadline for the exchange of the NDS bills with the New Generation Currency (NGC) banknotes launched in 2010.


The old banknotes were no longer accepted in day-to-day transactions starting Jan. 1 after the BSP started circulating the NGC bills in the market.


However, the old banknotes could still be exchanged in banks and BSP offices. The original deadline was set on Dec. 31, 2016 but this was extended to March 31 and eventually to June 30.


“There are no plans to extend the deadline now. The demonetization will end on June 30 this year,” outgoing BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said.  


The NGC series is more user-friendly as it allows easy identification of each denomination because of the dominant color in distinct and primary inks.


The new banknotes also have new and enhanced security features to protect the currency against counterfeiters. These include the big numerals corresponding to the value printed on both sides as well as the intaglio-printed front side of the currency to give an embossed feel and help the visually impaired differentiate each denomination.


Under Republic Act No. 7653 or the new Central Bank Act of 1993, the BSP could call in for replacement notes of any series or denomination that are more than five years old and coins that are more than 10 years old.

(Photo from Facebook | @LeniRobredoPH)


MANILA (PhilAmPress) — A group of volunteer lawyers and professors are mulling a second impeachment complaint against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo but President Rodrigo Duterte, who himself is facing a separate impeachment complaint, had asked them and his allies to stop the filing of complaint.


This developed as House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez  said he is studying the possibility of filing an impeachment complaint against Robredo, whom he accused of having a hand in the first impeach move against Duterte.


Robredo herself said he supported Duterte’s statement that the impeachment process was too early for her and the President who have just started their six-year term.


Robredo, who was invited by the President together with her daughters to a dinner in Malacanang, at the same time, expressed doubt about the impeachment complaint against Mr. Duterte, pointing out that the allegations against the President were acts when he was the mayor of Davao City.


 Robredo said any moves to impeach Duterte and herself would be a distraction to governance and further polarize the country.


She said she shared Duterte’s opinion on impeachment. “Wala pang isang taon kaming nahahalalmaraming problema na dapat asikasuhinAng impeachment ay hindi biromay nakaraan na tayo sa impeachment, alam natin (It hasn’t been a year since we were elected. Impeachment is no joke, we have a history of impeachment, we know) how divisive it is,” she said.


Sobrang dami na nating problemang inaatupag‘pag nagkaroon ng impeachment laban sa President, sa akinparang maraming trabahong hindi magagawa (There are so many problems needing our attention, if there is an impeachment process against the President, against me, so much work will remain undone),” she added.


But an opposition lawmaker immediately warned Speaker Alvarez he could be ousted and replaced if he will insist on going against President Duterte’s call to stop attempts to impeach Vice President Leni Robredo.

“House members are also not keen on the Speaker’s plan and will not be supporting it. Otherwise if the Speaker will insist on it, he would be facing a mutiny in the House,” said Rep. Tom Villarin (PL, Akbayan).

Villarin said the Speaker “cannot go against his principal and would have to tone down his rhetoric against VP Leni Robredo.”

The biggest threat to Alvarez’ post is Rep. Gloria Arroyo (Lakas-CMD, Pampanga) who was recently stripped by Alvarez of her post as deputy speaker for Central Luzon for voting against the death penalty bill, because of the former president’s closeness to Duterte.

Rep. Rodel Batocabe (PL, Ako Bicol), president of the Party List Coalition (PLC), said the President is doing the right thing because an impeachment “will further polarize our already divided country.”

“The campaign and election period have already passed and it is now the time to heal and galvanize our nation to work for the common good,” he said.

In the Senate, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said Duterte’s allies can push through with their plan to impeach Robredo.

“It’s a free country,” Pimentel said.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, LP president, said he is no longer surprised with Pimentel’s statement “considering there are other forces aligned with the President who see the Vice President as a threat to their own political plans.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, on the other hand, said politics should “take the backseat” among government officials so the impeachment complaint should be shot down.

“Both have been in office for only nine months. Let’s pass laws helpful to Filipino families,” he said.


Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said he will support Speaker Alvarez on his planned impeachment complaint against  Robredo despite President  Duterte's pronouncement to end to any ouster move against the Vice President.


"I am going to support it. Ang alam ko si Speaker ang nagsusulong… Si Presidente (Duterte) naman, personal opinion niya lang yun. But it will be the power, it will be a congressional call not president's call,” Aguirre said.


Aguirre vowed to support the impeachment charges against Robredo based on her video message against President Duterte and his administration sent to the United Nations Commission on Narcotics Drugs, believing they have basis in law.


"Ang ginawa n'ya, pinahiya niya ang Pilipinas so I’m sure na aside from damaging the image of the Philippines, may epekto yan economically," he noted.


The DoJ Secretary said the impeachment against Robredo, a vocal critic of the administration's war on illegal drugs, would succeed if the complainants would be able to establish the violations she was supposed to have committed against the Constitution.


Earlier, Solicitor General Jose Calida said he will support Rep. Alvarez's plan to file an impeachment complaint against Robredo over the latter's video to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs where she criticized the conduct of the administration’s anti-drug campaign.


"I fully understand and support the sentiment of Speaker Bebot Alvarez that VP Robredo should be rightfully condemned for slandering and selling out our country and its leaders before the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs,” Calida said.


In Quezon City last week, lawyer Bruce Rivera said his group is already laying the groundwork in drafting the impeachment case against the Vice President which could take two to three weeks of case-building.


The group is composed of Rivera, Atty. Tom Berenguer, Atty. Trixie Angeles, Prof. Antonio Contreras, and Interior Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III.


“Leni Robredo has gone too far. We demand accountability. She needs to answer to us now. It is clear that in her determination to further her political stature she is willing to bring the Filipino nation to perdition even at the cost of Filipino integrity and self-determination,” Rivera said.


“We have decided to file for her impeachment. She can no longer be allowed to continue in this manner. Not anymore. Not at our expense,” he added.


Without giving specifics, Rivera said the general grounds for impeachment against Robredo are betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution, and other high crimes.


Rivera said the group expects to file the impeachment case at the House of Representatives before sessions resume in May.


Although President Duterte has already stated that he will not allow any impeach move against the Vice President, Rivera and his group would still push through with their complaint, stressing that they are not the “President’s minions”.


Angeles also categorically denied they are “agents of the President.”


"We understand the President’s predicament -- he wants the best for the Filipinos. (But) We’re not doing this for the President, but for the Filipino people," Rivera said.


Rivera  denied that this impeachment case against Robredo is in retaliation to the impeachment complaint filed by Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano against Duterte.


"Hindi naman kami mga mercenaries o mga gang na bumebwelta or rumeresbak… We are not defending President Duterte in the impeachment case," Rivera said.


"At the end of the day, we have reason in filing (an) impeachment complaint against Robredo," he added.


Robredo said impeachment should be a last recourse.


Ito na lang ba ang remedy na natitira para ma-resolve ang lahat ng problema natin? … Sana hindi ganito kabilissana napag-usapanmedyo nabigla tayo (Is this the only remedy left to resolve all our problems? … I wish it were not this swift, I wish thing were discussed, this caught us by surprise),” she said.


Robredo said she had doubts about the impeachment complaint filed against Duterte by Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano.


Iyong allegations eh noong mayor pa si Pangulobakit iyong allegations eh noong mayor pa siyaPero balita ko may balak pang i-file na supplemental (complaint), siguro titingnan natin (The allegations date back to when the President was still a mayor, why raise allegations from when he was still mayor? But I hear they plan to file a supplemental complaint, maybe, let us see).”


Speaker  Alvarez  said the House of Representatives will stand by its constitutional duty to hear impeachment complaints against high-ranking officials, even as President Duterte called for an end to any ouster moves against Vice President Robredo.


Alvarez said while he respects the position of President Duterte, he said the lower chamber should still do its mandate under the Constitution.


"We respect the President, but we have to do our duty as mandated by the Constitution," Alvarez said.


Alvarez further cited the separation of powers in government in pushing through with the impeachment of Robredo.


"Mayroon po tayong separation of powers at kami po sa House of Representatives ay kinakailangan namin ‘yung kahit anong complaint or impeachment, kailangan namin i-proseso iyan," Alvarez stressed.


This after President Duterte thumbed down the “divisive” impeachment process against Robredo, whom he said was just exercising her freedom of expression in criticizing the administration’s narcotics crackdown.

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