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Jennylyn, Dennis in GMA shows in US, Canada

Published in Entertainment

Photo from Instagram | @mercadojenny


Don’t look now but you may bump actress Jennylyn Mercado, Dennis Trillo and others in New Jersey in the United States and in Toronto, Canada.


This as the reel and real sweethearts are part of the “Sikat Ka Kapuso” shows of GMA Pinoy TV in New Jersey and in Toronto In Canada.


Meanwhile, Jennylyn is back to work after her Holy Week vacation abroad with her inamorato, Dennis Trillo. She’s currently taping “The Cure”, whose trailer is already being shown and it certainly looks like a big and expensive production. The story revolves about a city where the inhabitants are inflicted with a deadly new virus that turns them into zombies.


“Excited kami ng mga kasama ko rito, led by Tom Rodriguez, kasi first time kaming makagawa ng ganitong klase ng serye na ibang-ibang talaga from anything we’ve done before,” said Jen as reported by columnist Mario Bautista. “It really offers something new to the viewers kasi first time din naming magiging magkapareha ni Tom. Magkahalong horror, drama at suspense ang show.” 


Directed by Mark Reyes, Jen and Tom play a married couple, Charity and Gregory Salvador. When Tom’s mother, played by Irma Adlawan, is diagnosed with terminal illness, Tom is desperate for his mom to regain her health and agrees for her to be subjected to an experimental treatment by Dr. Evangeline Lazaro, played by Jaclyn Jose.


But instead of being beneficial to its recipients, the drug causes an infection that threatens to spread all over the city, prompting Tom and Jen along with Jaclyn and her son, Ken Chan, to seek for the right cure to the disease.


The powerhouse cast also includes Andrea Torres, Mark Herras, LJ Reyes and Arra San Agustin in important roles, along with Jay Manalo, Diva Montelaba, Jojo Alejar, Ronnie Henares, Rita Daniel, Joanna Marie Tan and child star Leanne Bautista as the daughter of Jen and Tom. 

It was reported that the fans of Jen and her beau, Dennis Trillo, as a couple are pleased when they saw pictures of Jen with Calix, the love son of Dennis with ex-beauty queen Carlene Aguilar. They are happy that Jen is bonding well with Calix while Dennis is also getting along fine with her own love son, Alex Jazz. In one school activity of Alex Jazz, both Jen and Dennis were there to attend the affair. They’re really one happy family.



Published in Headline

Marcos cries foul over wet ballots, missing audit logs; Robredo firm in win

By ALFRED GABOT | Editor in Chief


Photo: ABS-CBN News


MANILA – Finally, after several months of waiting, the Supreme Court (SC), acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), started on Monday, April 3, the manual recount of thousands of votes in connection with the election protest filed by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against sitting Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.


The recount will determine the number of votes received by Robredo, wife of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and a former congresswoman of Naga City and Camarines Sur, and Marcos, son of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. and former First Lady now Ilocos Norte congresswoman Imelda Romualdez Marcos, in the May 9, 2016 national elections through manual counting of the votes at the Supreme Court-Court of Appeals building in Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila.


Marcos had claimed he could have been cheated during the election prompting him to file an election protest but Robredo denied the allegations pointing out that she won that election fair and square.


Marcos filed the protest on June 29, 2016 in which he is contesting the results from 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clusters, covering 27 provinces and cities.


Robredo won the five-way vice presidential race in the May 2016 polls with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos' 14,155,344 votes. Other candidates then were Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and former senator, now Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, the runningmate of President Rodrigo Duterte.


The first day of the long-delayed recount was marred by allegation by Marcos and his lawyers of many “wet ballots” from four precincts in Bato, Camarines Sur, bailiwick of Robredo, and missing early voting transmission logs which they said were indications of alleged cheating in the polls.


Meanwhile, four of 40 head revisors tasked to manually recount the votes have resigned for still unclear reasons which could delay the proceedings.


Marcos said he was "surprised and concerned" with the resignation of the four revisors allegedly "for no apparent reason." 


"I hope this will not result in another round of delays especially now that we have started to uncover clear signs of fraud," he said. "They are no ordinary revisors, having undergone rigid psychological test and meticulous screening by the PET. They must have a compelling reason for backing out and I am one with the Filipino people in asking why," he added.


Robredo, through her lawyer Beng Sardillo, also lamented the delay in the recount that the resignation has caused.


"It is unfortunate as this will once more cause delay in the proceedings," Sardillo said.


The vote recount will first cover the pilot areas of Marcos protest, namely, the provinces of Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental and Iloilo, all known bailiwicks of Robredo, covering a total of 5,418 clustered precincts.


It was gathered that the results of the revision of the pilot provinces will determine whether the Marcos protest will proceed with the remaining 31,047 protested clustered precincts, based on Rule 65 of the 2010 PET rules.


Records showed that this is the first time that PET is holding an actual recount of votes since the body was created by the 1987 Constitution to tackle electoral protests in the presidential and vice-presidential races.


The actual recount shall be conducted by revision committees, which are composed of three members each: one representative of the protestant, one representative of the protestee, and a head revisor, who shall represent the tribunal.


“As of today (Monday), the Tribunal has constituted 40 revision committees. The target is 50 revision committees and the Tribunal is still in the process of hiring and training applicants for the remaining 10 Head Revisor positions,” said Te told reporters in a press conference.


The recount will be conducted Monday to, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with two 15-minute breaks and a one-hour lunch break.


Lawyer Jose Lemuel Arenas, a PET ad hoc committee member, said the revision is the process of verifying the ballots, to recount the votes of the parties, and to record the objections or claims of the parties.


He said there were 5,418 clustered precincts that cover the three pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental, which were chosen by Marcos as the best provinces where he could prove the irregularities he cited in his poll protest.


Arenas said for each table, there will be three revisors – the head revisor (employee of PET), the protestant’s revisor and the protestee’s revisor.


The revisors will not be allowed to bring in their personal belongings, including their mobile phones, inside the venue. The PET has provided a locker for their belongings.


He noted that the time limit per ballot box with less than 300 votes will be 5.5 hours while for 300-700 votes will be 8.25 hours and for more than 700 votes will be 11 hours.


The tribunal is expecting some 213 personnel to come in per day during the recount. These include 60 employees of the tribunal, psychometricians, lawyers and representatives of both parties, and the revisors.


The revisors are part of the tribunal’s committee tasked to examine the contested ballots.


Arenas, said that the PET is currently housing some 1,400 ballot boxes from Camarines Sur.


Arenas said that other ballot boxes are currently with the Commission on Elections, due to storage issues.


Once the recount on the first 1,400 ballot boxes is done, the PET will receive the other ballot boxes from Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.


Members of the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Police Security Protection Group and PET guards will secure the recount venue round-the-clock.


CCTVs were also installed on all four corners of the recount venue and the storage area. The proceedings are closed to media.


Marcos personally visited and observed at the recounting area during the first day of recount.


Marcos raised the issue that there were alleged wet ballots and "missing" clustered precinct audit logs in municipality of Bato in Camarines Sur.


He said that all ballots from four clustered precincts in the municipality of Bato in Camarines Sur have all been found wet, and their contents "illegible," and also alleged 39 out of four clustered precincts in the same town had no audit logs.


“Apat na presinto, sa bayan ng Bato, lahat ng balota, nung binuksan ‘yung balota, lahat ng balota, basa,” Marcos said.

“So, hindi magamit. Eh hindi namin maintindihan papaano. Hindi naman siguro, impossible naman siguro na dalawang taong basa ‘yan,” he added.

Furthermore, Marcos said that audit logs from 38 precincts out of 42 in Bato town were missing and remain unaccounted for.

“Out of 42 precincts, 38 precincts walang audit logs. Kinuha ‘yung audit logs. In other words, kinuha ‘yung ballot box, kinuha ‘yung ballot logs, at hindi namin makita,” he said.


Hindi namin maintindihan papaano, imposible naman siguro na dalawang taong basa 'yan. Palagay ko, kailangan talaga pag-aralan kung paano nangyari 'yan. Ibig sabihin kasi kung may nagbasa, may nagbukas nung ballot box (We cannot understand but I think’s it is impossible the ballots were wet for two years. I think we must know how did that happen. If these are wet, this means that somebody opened the ballot boxes)," Marcos said.


Marcos also said the audit logs contain the record of the times the precinct opened, closed and the time the votes were cast.


“We’re going to have to find a way to recover those audit logs somehow. Since we are using computer, maybe it’s possible that those audit logs are in the database,” the former senator said.


Marcos admitted that his camp is concerned about votes that came late on the evening of May 9, 2016 and early morning of May 10, 2016.


He said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is to be blamed for the missing audit logs since they have in their possession the ballot boxes.


These concerns will be manifested in their objections, which will be recorded by the head revisors in each revision committee.


Marcos said he found the ballot boxes apparently unsecured prior to their Monday reopening -- while the containers were sealed, one box had a hole patched by masking tape, and a crack on its side.


He further observed rather slow proceedings on the first day of the recount but expects the process to speed up in the future.


 Robredo was represented by her lawyers on the first day of the recount.


Robredo’s legal counsel Romulo Macalintal dismissed Marcos’ insinuation that the wet ballots and missing audit logs indicate irregularities in the 2016 vice presidential race.


Hindi naman problema ‘yon eh. Talaga namang nangyayari ‘yon eh. Dahil sa ‘yang mga audit logs, pwede ka namang mag-request diyan sa mga ballot images. Puwedeng mag-request siya sa Supreme Court, sa Comelec. It’s not a problem. Kasi hindi naman pupuwedeng porket wala ang audit logs ay may anomaly (There is no problem with that. It really happens. You can just request for ballot images. It can be requested from the Supreme Court and Comelec. It doesn't necessarily mean that there is anomaly when there are no audit logs). The best evidence in the recount or revision are the ballots. And even the lawyer of Mr. Marcos said the best evidence are the ballots,” Macalintal told reporters in a hastily called press conference.


“The credibility of the ballots will remain. Kasi pag ang bilang ng (If the number of) ballots will tally with the bilang (number) ng election returns, walang problema (there is no problem). And in all election protests, from 2010 up to present automated elections, laging nagta-tally ang bilang ng recount doon sa (the recount tallies with the number of) election returns. And that’s the reason kung bakit wala pang nanalong (why there is no winning) election protest in 2010 to 2016 on the basis of ballot recount,” he added.


Macalintal said the ballots got wet during a typhoon sometime in December.


“I think Mr. Marcos should consult his representatives when the ballots were retrieved. Maybe he failed to read their report or they hid the truth from him about the condition of the ballots,” Macalintal said.


The wet ballots, according to Macalintal, are also immaterial considering that existence of ballot images.


“That is the beauty of an automated election. Because for every ballot cast, there is corresponding ballot image, corresponding picture of the ballot,” he pointed out.




The Philippine Stagers Foundation ( PSF) headed by its Artistic Director Vince Tañada claims that they tower over the rest of the theater companies in the country as far as the number of productions and audience reach are taken into consideration.


In their 17 years of active existence   in the realm of staging original musical theater, the PSF has continued to perform in their advocacy to bring across   no-nonsense, educational albeit highly entertaining content of their theatrical productions. These were  performed annually in the key cities and provinces throughout the country with unprecedented success in terms of wider audience reach and critical acclaim.


And rightly so, in 2010 said theater company was awarded one of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) at the Heroes Hall of Malacañang  Palace  by Pres. Noynoy Aquino III Added to this were the honors bestowed on Director Tañada  for his invaluable contribution in the field of Culture and the Arts  as one of the Ten Outstanding Manilans by  Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada including “Dangal Ng Bansa” to PSF by the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino.


Also, both Director Tañada and the  PSF as a theater company including some of his brilliant actors have received various awards and are continuing to do so in different categories from Aliw Awards Foundation including a slew of the most recent awards from Broadway World Philippines recognizing them  as the country’s best theater group.


It can be argued that not one company in the theater circuit of Manila- centrist theater productions can lay claim to their achievement in the way of reaching wider sectors of society, e.g., students, professionals, and local constituents. 


Incidentally,the past week I was privileged to watch the finale performance of said company’s “Obra Ni Juan,” a multi- media theater presentation which incorporated  film clips and footages on the life,  nationalist struggle, and the controvesial tragic love affair of Juan Luna, the greatest Filipino painter  and revolutionary in history known for his internationally-acclaimed painting “Spoliarium” staged to a bursting capacity at the St. Scholastica’s College, Manila.


To beef up the event, Asia’s King of Talk Boy Abunda  of ABS-CBN’s long-running public service program and entertainment talk show host “The Bottomline” and “Tonight With Boy Abunda”respectivley was the special guest  that night  where he delivered an inspirational message after the show which he did with his usual panache and instinctive sharpness. This he did also in his capacity as spokesperson of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). 


True to his being the darling of the entertainment press, Boy early on  was warmly swarmed  and right after his brief,  though prescient appearance onstage by close friends from the movie press led byCrispina Martinez-Belen, Maryo Labad,Danny Vibas,  Fernan De Guzman with Chi-Cha, Jonas Virtudazo, and PSR editor Josh in tow,Eddie Littlefield and press photographer Fernand Sucalit, Robert Silverio, Throy Catan, and yours truly which humility and indulgence aside was given a descriptive “The Great George Vail” when onstaged he acknowledged me in passing as one of his friends who witnessed his theater beginnings in his salad days with the legendary Madame Conchita Sunico at the  Met which was then  his training ground.


Back then Boy had directed several plays and events to which I was privy and even to this time staying at the ringside of his talk shows where he is the indispensable co-actor stimulating and interacting organically with the motley characters and guests coming from all walks of life and persuasions.


Boy Abunda spoke with deep sincerity from his heart transforming himself instantly into an endemic, empathetic part of the members of PSF poised onstage and all enthralled  at the momentlistening up to him in glowing and encouraging terms as he was and still is a theater person by definition and reckoning.


Yet Boy kind of  apologized for not keeping up with the 17 years of active existence  of PSF in the realm of staging original musical theaterdeep in  social and historical content with ummistakeable  political correctness and  unimpeachable production values. These were  performed annually in the key cities and provinces throughout the country with unprecedented success in terms of wider audience reach and critical acclaim.


I must say, not one company in the theater circuit of Manila- centrist theater productions can lay claim to PSF’s achievement in the way of reaching a wider sectors of society, e.g., students, professionals, and local constituents.


“Obra Ni Juna” was more than nostalgic as it was magical transporting  viewers to the turbulent world of Filipino Progandists in Europe the likes of Marcelo H. Del Pilar,  Dr. Jose Rizal,  Juan and Antonio Luna  particularly while staying in Madrid, vis-a-vis the raging revolutionary forces back home led by Andres Bonifacio as inspired by Rizal’s novels “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo”  and the  “Spoliarium, ” the iconic major prize winning painting of Juan Luna, brother to the slained General Antonio Luna.


Director Tañada recalled that  said musical  was staged in Badoc Ilocos Norte where Juan Luna was born. He said, “The Luna descendants  showed up and thanked us profusely for coming out with the play that made an objective interpretation of the extreme fit of jealousy  that led Juan to shoot  dead his wife Paz and mother-in-law Juliana Pardo de Tavera, and  wounding his brother-in-law Felix who tried to intervene. It also showed the not so well-known nationalist acts and participation  of Juan Luna during the revolution. He was eventually  acquitted by the Spanish court due to momentary insanity. The mother and daughter were survived by an only son Andres Pardo de Tavera –Luna.”


Tañada concluded, “On the other hand, not one among the Pardo de Tavera descendants has shown up thus far to watch the musical. Probably, recreating the controversial  cause of the murder of their  progenitors onstage does not sit well with the Pardo de Taveras.  Or perhaps they have not as yet forgiven Juan, our country’s colossal pride and the greatest Filipino painter up to this time for the crime of passion that he had committed? Or some other well-founded reasons that only them were privy to?”

Jinggoy’s 'misrepresentation'

Published in Editorial & Other Articles

A few days ago, the fifth division of the Philippines graft court, the Sandiganbayan, granted a petition of out-on-bail former senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada (real name: Jose Pimentel Ejercito), son of conviced plunderer former President now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada (real name: Joseph Marcelo Ejercito) and former First Lady and senator Luisa P. Estrada, to travel and vacation for one month to the United States. The main reason for Estrada’s petition was an invitation supposedly to be the guest speaker of the Filipino-American group called the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG) headed by lawyer-businesswoman Loida Nicolas Lewis, chairperson, and lawyer Rodel Rodis, president, in its general assembly on May 20 in Sterling Heights in Michigan.


Lewis, a known critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and Rodis, also a columnist, however, denied extending the invitation for the ex-senator who is still facing plunder and graft charges before the Sandiganbayan and is out on P1.3 million bail, pointing out that the USPGG’s Michigan chapter headed by William Dechavez which reportedly wrote the invitation was not authorized to make such invitation to the ex-senator for their general meeting.“USPGG did not invite Jinggoy Estrada to speak in Michigan under USPGG nor is any program being planned by USPGG Michigan, since Willie Dechavez is on vacation in the Philippines,” Lewis and Rodis pointed out in a statement.


The question now that is being raised is did Jinggoy Estrada, who is gearing up for a campaign to return to the Senate via the 2019 elections, lie to the court in view of the denial by Lewis and Rodis, well known FilAm leaders? The graft court should respond immediately to the revelation of Lewis and Rodis, who are both lawyers, considering that there could be some misrepresentation, a grave offense, on the matter. Lewis and Rodis, meanwhile, were reported to be planning to file a petition before the Sandiganbayan seeking to rescind the travel authority of Estrada who, in the first place should not have been granted bail considering that plunder is a non-bailable offense.

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