Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Repost From Norman Bordadora - PDI/ANN

Philippine president dares Arroyo's son to show proof he filed tax document

Urdaneta, Philippines (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has asked the son of ex-president Gloria Arroyo Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo to show proof that he filed his income tax returns during the years that the Bureau of Internal Revenues alleged he failed to honor his tax obligations.

Aquino wouldn't address other issues raised by Arroyo, such as his claim that the tax case was filed in light of the President's falling satisfaction ratings and criticism over the President's Porsche sportscar and Lexus SUV.

"There is only one issue. The only issue is he earned income that can be clearly seen in the SAL (Statement of Assets and Liabilities) that has been increasing. If you earn income, you have an obligation to pay taxes," President Aquino told reporters during a visit to Pangasinan province on Friday.

"The accusation is you didn't even file (tax returns). Paying insufficient taxes is one thing but here, it is shown that he didn't file income tax returns. Let me just stress, before anything more is said, 'If you paid your taxes, show your income tax return'," he added. "Tapos ang isyu (Issue is over)."

Reposted From Norman Bordadora of PDI/ANN

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Repost From Tetch Torres of ANN (Asian News Network)

US gov't turns over forfeited general's assets to Philippine- envoy

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - United States Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. announced Thursday that the US government had turned over to the Philippines US$132,000 worth of forfeited assets of Erlinda Ligot, wife of former military comptroller Lieutenant General Jacinto Ligot.

"Today, I am pleased to announce the first ever return of funds in the asset forfeiture case where the US government is returning $132,000 to the Philippine government," Thomas announced in a meeting with Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.

In 2009, the Philippines made a request before the US government pursuant to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to look into real-estate transactions of assets belonging to Mrs. Ligot.

"I think this is to show the benefits of the MLAT we have with the Philippines and to show the confidence that the US government places in the Aquino administration that this will be returned to the Philippine treasury and will be used for the benefit of the Filipino people," Thomas said, adding that this was not the first and that there would be more cases "where we will be cooperating with the Philippine government."

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said the amount came from the proceeds of the property located at 70102 Stanton Avenue, Buenas Park in California.

De Lima explained that the initial request came in 2005 after the filing of a forfeiture case against Ligot before the Sandiganbayan under then Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo.

"It was ordered forfeited in the US under administrative forfeiture proceedings and upon learning of that in 2009, the DoJ, then under Secretary Agnes Devanadera, made the official request for the turnover of the proceeds," De Lima said.

The Ligots are facing a P428-million ($9.9 million) tax evasion case with the DoJ.

Based on the complaint filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, General Ligot failed to file his income tax return (ITRs) for taxable year 2001 while Erlinda failed to file hers from 2001 to 2004.

The two also failed to declare their income net worth of P41.854 million in 2001; P103.6 million in 2002; P165.367 million in 2003; and P148.955 million in 2004.

Some of the properties allegedly owned by the Ligots which were revealed during a Senate inquiry included houses in Makati City, Cabernet Circle, Anaheim, California and Stanton Avenue, Buenas Park in California.

Reposted From Tetch Torres of PDI and ANN (Asian News Network)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Repost From Pia Lee-Brago of

US tags Quiapo as one of world's 'notorious markets'

MANILA, Philippines - Quiapo district in Manila has been identified as among the “notorious markets” around the world in which pirated or counterfeit goods are reportedly available.

“Quiapo is just one example of several locations and neighborhoods, especially in Metropolitan Manila, known to deal in counterfeit and pirated goods such as clothing, shoes, watches and handbags,” according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s latest annual report “Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets.”

The Notorious Markets review identifies markets that are particularly prominent examples of markets in each category, and does not constitute an exhaustive list of all notorious markets around the world.

The report said inclusion in the Notorious Markets list does not reflect a finding of a violation of law nor does it reflect the United States government’s analysis of the general climate of protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the countries concerned.

But the broader analysis of IPR protection and enforcement is contained in the annual “Special 301” report, published at the end of April every year.

The Special 301 report is an annual review of the global state of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement, conducted by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). It identifies a wide range of serious concerns such as troubling “indigenous innovation” policies that may unfairly disadvantage US rights, the continuing challenges of Internet piracy in countries, and the ongoing systemic IPR enforcement challenges in many countries around the world.

The report pointed that “global piracy and counterfeiting continue to thrive due in part to marketplaces that deal in infringing goods.”

The Notorious Markets list identifies selected markets, including those on the Internet, which exemplify the problem of marketplaces dealing in infringing goods and helping to sustain global piracy and counterfeiting. These are marketplaces that have been the subject of enforcement action or that may merit further investigation for possible intellectual property rights infringements.

The Notorious Markets list reflects an effort to further expose these markets, and is in response to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator’s 2010 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. This document is the result of an Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets and follows a separate, dedicated request for comments from interested stakeholders, which was initiated on Oct. 1, 2010.

Also identified as Notorious Markets are Bahia Market (Guayaquil, Ecuador), China Small Commodities Market (Yiwu, China), Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), Harco Glodok (Jakarta, Indonesia), La Salada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Ladies Market (Mongkok, Hong Kong), Luowu Market (Shenzhen, China), Nehru Place (New Delhi, India); PC Malls (China), Petrivka Market (Kyiv, Ukraine), Red Zones (Thailand), San Andresitos (Colombia), Savelovskiy Market (Moscow, Russia), Silk Market (Beijing, China), Tepito (Mexico City) and Urdu Bazaars (Pakistan).

The identified notorious markets sells large quantities of illicit goods, many of which are either counterfeit products, cited as a center for wholesaling of infringing goods, making them the origin of many counterfeit goods available internationally, selling counterfeit and pirated goods, particularly notorious for pirated optical discs or reportedly sources of pirated books. - By Pia Lee-Brago (Philstar News Service,

Reposted From Pia Lee-Brago of

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Repost From Cecil Morella of AFP

Philippines says tribal gunmen free 12 hostages

MANILA, April 6, 2011 (AFP) - Philippine tribal gunmen on Wednesday freed 12 hostages after the group of teachers and a student endured a four-day ordeal in a remote jungle area, the government said.

Negotiators convinced the near-illiterate gunmen from the forest-dwelling Manobo tribe to let the group go in exchange for fair treatment of a relative jailed for kidnap, Interior Minister Jesse Robredo said.

"As of 6:00 am (2200 GMT Tuesday) I was informed by the police that the hostages are on their way down from the mountain. It appears that all of them were unharmed," Robredo said in a nationwide radio broadcast.

Security forces are to launch a manhunt after the freed hostages reach the safety of the town of La Prosperidad, which may take several hours, Robredo said.

Five Manobo gunmen seized 15 teachers and children on the largely lawless southern island of Mindanao on Saturday in a bid to get the government to free Ondo Perez, a jailed relative.

Perez is in jail and awaiting trial for murder as well as for kidnapping a group of 79 people, including teachers and schoolchildren, in La Prosperidad in 2009.

The gunmen, who police said did not understand Philippine legal processes, freed three of the hostages on Sunday and Monday and later received assurances from the government that Perez would be tried fairly.

"That was the only thing we could offer," Robredo said Wednesday. "They did not demand ransom and none was offered."

At the same time, the gunmen were made to understand in no uncertain terms that the government would use force if the hostages were not freed soon, Robredo said.

"President (Benigno) Aquino had standing orders to be patient in negotiations, but he was very firm in saying that certain things cannot be negotiated," Robredo added.

"They (the kidnappers) will be made to account for what they did."

Resource-rich but impoverished Mindanao makes up roughly the southern third of the Philippines. Communist and Muslim insurgencies have claimed thousands of lives on the island over recent decades.

Robredo said the kidnappers were former members of local militia forces numbering several thousands that were given guns to help defend remote communities in Mindanao and elsewhere from guerrilla attacks.

"After they were separated from the (government-backed militia force), their guns were not recovered and that is why they are armed," he said.

He said he had ordered the police forces, which come under his direct supervision, to take steps to disarm former militiamen so they could not use government-issue weapons to commit crime.

Senior members of a Mindanao-based Muslim clan and nearly 200 members of their government-armed militia force are on trial for the November 2009 abductions and murders of 57 people including political rivals and journalists.

Reposted From Cecil Morella of AFP

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Repost From Marjorie Gorospe of THE INBOX

The Inbox

UK boxer Amir Khan: Manny is my idol

AP Photo/Peter Morrison

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — He is currently the Filipino boxing hero's sparring mate but outside the ring, British pugilist Amir Khan says Manny Pacquiao is also his idol.

The 24-year old British fighter, who will defend his WBA light welterweight title against Paul McCloskey of Ireland on April 16, is all praises for Pacquiao in an interview with the UK's The Independent.

"I may look arrogant in the ring but I've always been humble. More so now because even though he is the greatest boxer in the world Manny is incredibly humble. He is an example to me, and I try to be an example to youngsters back home," he said.

Khan just wrapped up his stint as the Filipino champ's sparring mate in preparation for the latter's fight against Sugar Shane Mosley on May 7.

The British fighter, known for his flashy hand speed and footwork, earlier predicted Pacquiao will stop Mosley no later than the eighth round.

Khan, meanwhile, also clarified his split with conditioning coach Alex Ariza after his most recent title defense against Marcos Maidana. Ariza also serves as Pacquiao's conditioning coach.

The break-up, Khan says, had nothing to do with unfounded rumors of illegal pills and power potions being used in the Pacquiao camp, largely instigated by Floyd Mayweather Jr.

"It was nothing like that," he explained. "We simply moved on. Alex was also working with Manny but now I have someone [nutritionist Michael Vale] who is working only with me. Alex and I still say hello to each other; after all, it's a professional game. But you have to do what you feel is best for yourself."

Khan flew back home to the UK last weekend. Freddie Roach, who is also his trainer, will take some time out from Pacquiao's training to prepare Khan for his fight against McCloskey.

Reposted From Marjorie Gorospe of THE INBOX

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Repost From SPOT

Mang Inasal suspends ads on Willing Willie; Oishi calls Jan-Jan incident "regretful"

( Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) has suspended Mang Inasal's ad placements on TV5's Willing Willie following the child abuse controversy involving a six-year old boy who was asked to dance on the show, reports

JFC's Corporate Media team announced the decision on its Facebook page on Saturday, April 2, 2011: "Mang Inasal will be holding off their ad placements from Willing Willie this week. We will continue to monitor the issue and await the results of the investigation. The whole JFC group, will remain committed to upholding the welfare of children. - JFC Corporate Media."

According to, JFC's media representative Pauline Lao sent a letter to Froilan Grate of the Facebook group Para Kay Jan-jan (Shame on you Willie Revillame) saying the company is "aware of the issues and the various sentiments raised" following the March 12 episode where six-year old contestant Jan-Jan Estrada was egged on to dance, simulating a striptease, in exchange for P10,000 in prize money.

"We trust that the appropriate and expert institutions will also respond and look into this matter with urgency," Lao told Lao also clarified that JFC's other fastfood chains such as Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich and Red Ribbon, do not have ad placements on the show.

Activist lawyer Ipat Luna has also called on other advertisers to pull out of Revillame's show. Luna's letter was also sent to Oishi, Yakult, Unilever, Bench, Camella–A Vista Land Company, CDO Karne Norte, Belo Medical Group, and Cebuana Lhuillier.

Oishi has responded to the letter and said, "While we, as advertisers, do not control the actual execution and their artists during the show, we also want to do our part to avoid these unfortunate incidents." They also described the incident as "regretful" and is reviewing possible actions which can yield positive results.

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board's (MTRCB) hearing has been scheduled to review the episode for appropriate action. Froilan Grate of the Facebook group Para Kay Jan-jan (Shame on you Willie Revillame), has also posted the names and contact details of the company heads of the advertisers on Willing Willie to urge the public to let them know of their sentiments against the show.

Reposted From Spot

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Repost From Enayat Najafizada of AFP News

Seven UN staff killed in Afghan Koran protest

A mob enraged by a Koran burning in the US stormed a UN compound in Afghanistan and killed seven staff, the worst attack on the world body in the country since the 2001 invasion.

Four Nepalese guards fought desperately against armed protesters Friday but were overwhelmed and died with three workers they were protecting at the compound in the normally relatively calm city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the violence following a battle lasting more than three hours in which part of the building was burned down amid small-arms fire and explosions, an AFP correspondent at the scene said.

US President Barack Obama condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms", while UN chief Ban Ki-moon said it was "an outrageous and cowardly attack".

The UN did not announce the nationalities of the three civilian staff killed. But Sweden named one as 33-year-old Swede, Joakim Dungel. Norway said Lieutenant Colonel Siri Skare, a 53-year-old female pilot, was killed. Diplomats said the third was a Romanian.

The attackers broke away from a large demonstration in the city against the burning of a Koran, Islam's holy book, by a US pastor in Florida.

"Some of them were clearly armed and they stormed into the building" and set it on fire, UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy told reporters after briefing the Security Council at UN headquarters in New York.

"The security guards, who were the Gurkhas, tried their best but the number was so high that they were not able to prevent it."

He denied reports that two of the dead were beheaded but said one victim had his throat cut.

UN officials said the Gurkhas, security mainstays in many world trouble spots, were believed to have killed a number of assailants before they were overcome.

Balkh provincial governor Atta Mohammad Noor said five other people, thought to be protesters, were also killed while at least 20 people were wounded in the fighting. About 20 people were arrested, he said.

A police spokesman said demonstrators seized weapons from guards before turning them on the staff.

An unknown number of UN staff were wounded and had been evacuated, Le Roy said. But the Mazar-i-Sharif base would remain open, he insisted, adding that he did not believe the United Nations had been a specific target.

Ban's chief of staff, Vijay Nambiar, and a top peacekeeping official had left for Afghanistan to conduct a review of security at UN facilities, Le Roy said.

The 15-nation UN Security Council held a special meeting on the incident, calling on the Afghan government to step up protection for UN workers.

Hundreds of people had taken to the streets of Mazar-i-Sharif to protest against last month's Koran burning, and local police spokesman Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai said Taliban militants had infiltrated the demonstrators.

He told AFP that "two of the killed UN staff were beheaded". But accounts of the killings were conflicting, with police official General Abdul Rauf Taj saying that "according to the initial reports... none have been beheaded. They were shot in the head".

Friday's attack was the worst suffered by the world body since a bomb blast at the UN compound in Algiers in 2007 in which 17 staff died.

In the last major attack on the UN in Afghanistan, five of its foreign staff were killed when three gunmen wearing explosives-packed vests attacked a Kabul guesthouse in October 2009.

In 2003 an attack on the UN's office in Baghdad killed 22 staffers, including top envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Before Friday's violence Afghanistan had condemned the "disrespectful and abhorrent" burning of the Koran at the Dove World Outreach Center, an evangelical church in Gainesville, Florida, calling it an effort to incite tension between religions.

Pastor Terry Jones, the head of the church, told AFP that "we don't feel responsible" for the attack, adding: "The radical element of Islam takes (the burning) as an excuse to promote their violent activities."

The protest in Mazar-i-Sharif began after the traditional prayers.

The crowd called on the Afghan government to cut ties with the United States if the cleric behind the Koran burning was not prosecuted, and to declare the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan illegal.

Reposted From Enayat Najafizada of AFP News

A Repost From ABS-CBN News

Arnell Ignacio files rap vs 3 PNP-HPG officers

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Actor-comedian Arnell Ignacio filed on Friday an extortion complaint against 3 policemen before the office of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG).

The comedian personally filed the case against PO3 Jose Levy Llagas, PO3 Neil Pono and PO1 Joel Lasala, members of the PNP-HPG.

According to Ignacio, the incident happened last March 26 when the 3 officers followed him while he was driving his Porsche and asked him to shell out P50,000.

Ignacio admitted he gave the money after the officers threatened to impound his luxury car.

Following the complaint, Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina of PNP-HPG ordered that the 3 policemen be disarmed.

Espina said the 3 suspects have been relieved of their duties and are under investigation.

Criminal and administration charges may be filed against them, he said.

Reposted From ABS-CBN News


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