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Belmonte pushes anti-dynasty bill

Published in National News
By SAMMY F. MARTIN
 
QUEZON CITY -- Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said that the House of Representatives is inclined to pass the anti-dynasty law as mandated under the Constitution.
Belmonte said the proposed measure which is limited only to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity had been tossed to the plenary for debates after the unanimous approval of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms chaired by Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro.
This is the first time this kind of measure passed the committee level. It is also one of the priority bills of Malacanang submitted to Congress.
“I want to see the bill pass in this Congress although there is no counterpart bill yet in the Senate,” Belmonte told reporters at the weekly forum, Ugnayan sa Batasan, at the Batasan Complex in Quezon City.
Under the second degree of consanguinity, he said that cousins and nephews of sitting politicians are not included, “meaning that they can still run to any public office.”
“But I am open to amendment by extending the measure up to the third degree of consanguinity,” Belmonte stressed. Personally, he said he wants this measure to become a law as decreed in the Constitution.
Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, Bayan Muna party list Reps. Neri Colmenares and Carlos Isagani Zarate, Gabriela party list Reps. Luzviminda Ilagan Emmi de Jesus, Anakpawis party list Rep. Fernando Hicap, Kabataan party list Rep. Terry Ridon and ACT Teacher party list Rep. Antonio Tinio have filed separate bills on Anti Dynasty and it was consolidated under House Bill 3587 under Committee Report 19.
“A political dynasty exists when two or more individuals who are related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity hold or run for national or local office in successive, simultaneous or overlapping terms,” the committee report reveals.
Under the proposed law, excluded from the second degree of consanguinity are the elective positions of barangay chairpersons and the Sanguniang Barangay (barangay councilmen).
Belmonte said he would like to make some amendments by pushing it further to the third degree of affinity or consanguinity when the debates open on this issue.
“But I may withdraw my amendment if there will be violent reaction and will not agree with me. What is important to me is to pass the measure into law because this is what the Constitution mandates,” Belmonte pointed out.
 
QUEZON CITY -- The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) officially declared the start of the rainy season in the country while Low Pressure Area (LPA) near Basco, Batanes has developed into a Tropical Depression named "Ester."
PAGASA weather forecaster Buddy Javier said that all the criteria in declaring the onset of the rainy season have been met.
Javier said that the criteria include the presence of southwest winds and the amount of rainfall is at least five weather bureau stations across the country reached 25 millimeters in volume in five straight days.
Vicente Malano, officer in charge of PAGASA, said that during the next two (2) months (July-August), near (81-120%) to above normal (120%) rainfall conditions are expected in most parts of the country.
He said that during the rainy season, the prevailing weather system is the southwest monsoon or “habagat” and monsoon breaks are likely, which may last for several days.
He added that El Niño will also develop in the next three months (June to August) due to the unusual warming of sea surface temperature.
“Starting September, rainfall patterns in some parts of the country will be affected, ” Malano said.
He said the country is battered by an average of 20 storms per year. With the El Niño, drier conditions but stronger storms are expected.
“PAGASA will continue to monitor the tropical Pacific and updates will be issued as appropriate. Concerned agencies are advised to take precautionary measures,” Malano said.
 
Last year, PAGASA officially declared the start of the rainy season on June 10.
Meanwhile, Javier said that the LPA intensified into tropical depression locally named "Ester", the first cyclone for the month of June and the fifth for this year.
According to Javier, the month of June expects two to three tropical cyclones to affect the country.
 
MANDALUYONG CITY -- San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is expecting its new businesses to grow by 20 percent this year, SMC president Ramon S. Ang told reporters at the sidelines of the company’s Annual Stockholders’ Meeting.
 
Ang said the double-digit growth for new businesses will be supported by its Petron refinery and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) tollway as the latter is expected to consolidate this year.
In 2013, SMC’s new businesses grew by 7.0 percent.
It shared 72 percent of the total revenue last year which hit P747.7 billion.
Ang stressed that since SMC expects 20 percent growth in new businesses, its share to revenue is also seen to expand to 76 percent this year.
On the other hand, the SMC’s president also eyes 5.0 to 10 percent growth in its traditional businesses.
From a company offering food, beverage, and packaging products, SMC has expanded to oil, power, transportation and infrastructure businesses.
Among the projects in the pipeline of SMC include Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, NAIA Expressway, Skyway system, Boracay Airport, Petron Refinery Master Plan Phase 2, Greenfield Power Plants, and Golden Bay Grain Terminal
 

UAE moves to host Pacquiao-Floyd fight in Dubai

Published in Sports
 
MANILA/DUBAI  The dream fight between world boxing icons Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. may yet happen soon.
 
This loomed as officials of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has decided to join the race to host the fight in Dubai.
 
Danny Buenafe of the ABS-CBN News Middle East Bureau reported from Dubai that the President and Royal Family of the United Arab Emirates have given the green light to hold talks for a possible staging of the fight in Dubai.
 
There was no immediate reaction on the plan from both Mayweather and Pacquiao.
 
Pacquiao has been reported lately resigned to the possibility that the dream fight with Mayweather will not happen in the immediate future.
 
To while away his time, Pacquiao has decided to coach the KIA Motors team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) tournament. Pacquiao already went public wearing a jacket of a coach of KIA Motors and has started screening possible members of the basketball team.
 
It was not known if Pacquiao will be also a playing coach of the KIA Motors team as he had expressed his desire before to also play in the league. But rules of PBA state that to be able to play, Pacquiao has to undergo the draft in the league in which he may end up with another PBA team.
 
There was no word also if basketball legend Robert Jaworski will come out of retirement and assist Pacquiao in the KIA Motors team as manager or coach. 
 
Prince Amir Shafipour expressed confidence that they have the formula to bring to the negotiating table the handlers for both Pacquiao and Mayweather, according to the report.
 
Prince Amir, representing Golden Cage Events and Promotions,r was given the go-signal to coordinate with a major boxing promoter in the United States.
 
He did not reveal yet the identity of the promoter, but boasts that the latter has connections to both camps, the report added.
 
The network report which is posted on ABS-CBN website stated that Prince Amir has the backing of UAE President Khalifa Bin Zayed AL Nahyan, whose vision is to make Dubai the premiere entertainment and tourism destination, not only in the Middle East, but globally.
 
He does not see any problem raising the prize money, or the handle of Top Rank Promotions of Bob Arum, where Pacquiao has an existing contract.
 
Reports have indicated that Mayweather is unwilling to work with Arum.
 
While admitting there could be slight problems in dealing with Mayweather, Prince Amir remains optimistic this could be ironed out.
 
Prince Amir and Golden Cage Events and Promotions were behind the huge success of the recently concluded Global Fighting Championships, held also in Dubai.
 
They are currently going through a financial study, reviewing the pay-per-view, and other TV rights in holding the Pacquiao-Mayweather mega-fight.
 
For years, Dubai has become a sports paradise for huge events in the field of golf, tennis and even horse racing. Prince Amir believes the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight could be the clincher.
 
He is set to leave for the United States in the next two to three weeks to finalize the negotiations.

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