Monday, January 15, 2018

CHED Chairperson Forced to Resign by Malacanang

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Below is the resignation statement of CHED Chairperson Patricia B. Licuanan, Ph.D.

The Chairperson asked that no media interviews will be given at this time. A media advisory will be released once the Chairperson is ready to face the media one last time.

CHED would like to thank the media for their kind attention and continued support to Philippine Higher Education.

"Over the weekend I received a call from Executive Secretary Medialdea asking me to resign as chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education. While my term by law ends in July 2018, I have decided it is time to go.

It has become obvious that there are persons determined to get me out of CHED by hurling false and baseless accusations against me in what appears to be a fishing expedition and a well-orchestrated move in media.

I was first accused of excessive travel. When records revealed that I travelled eight times officially in 2017 (with only five of these trips paid for by government), five times in 2016, six times in 2015, two times in 2014, and only three times in 2013, the accusation turned to travel without authority from the Office of the President.

When my office provided copies of travel papers signed by the Senior Deputy Executive Secretary authorizing me to meet specific commitments in line with CHED’s internationalization mandate and allowing me to travel business class to avoid the recurrence of vertigo, my ability to attend to CHED work for health reasons was maliciously peddled in social media even if I have worked consistently in CHED from 6:45 AM to after 6 PM on most days and took a sick leave only for half a day in 7.5 years in office.

What I cannot understand is how Rep. Jericho Nograles got hold of my internal travel documents for the past five years. Only a few offices in CHED had access to these. These are internal documents to support the administrative release of funds and while I sign the internal document for my own travels, my signing is always based on an official travel authority from Malacanan. The question is, who put these together and who offered it to the congressman?

When the travel-related accusations proved baseless, those who are dying to remove me from office then turned to mismanagement and corruption in the release of allowances to faculty scholars in the K to 12 Transition Program.

The K to 12 Transition Program began in 2016 to prevent massive displacement of higher education faculty and staff, while upgrading the quality of higher education. Admittedly there have been challenges in the release of living allowances, but these were due to 1) discrepancies and deficiencies in documents submitted to CHED; 2) the volume of documents that required thorough vetting and that put the onus of accountability and final review of the documents previously checked by contractual staff on an extremely limited number of staff with plantilla items; and 3) the need to abide by government accounting and auditing rules. Since our effort to fast-track processing last November 2017, the 2,828 scholars who have submitted valid documents have already received their allowances as of today—full allowances for 2,247 scholars and partial allowances for 581 scholars with remaining deficiencies in terms of submission following accounting and auditing rules, In line with the same rules, funds for the 1,268 scholars who have not submitted valid enrollment forms and authenticated copies of grades for the previous semester will be released as soon as these requirements are met.

I must strongly denounce malicious allegations of corruption and mismanagement of funds. It has been my personal commitment to stamp out corruption in CHED since day one, despite the odds and the strong resistance. The K to 12 Transition Program has been implemented with the highest level of ethical stewardship and every peso is accounted for.

Although I vehemently deny the accusations against me, it is time to resign as my continued presence in CHED is inimical to the interest of the institution. It will only serve as lightning rod to attract more controversy that is distracting the agency from vigorously pursuing urgent reforms that will redound to the benefit of future generations of Filipinos. It is particularly important for CHED to focus on its work especially at this critical time when it prepares for the implementation of Republic Act 10931 or the “Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

I am deeply grateful for the rare opportunity to have served Philippine higher education. My only wish is for reforms that ought to transcend political divides and have their roots in many previous administrations-reforms of access and equity, quality and relevance, excellence and competitiveness, and good governance-to continue when the CHED political cloud dissipates and the agency settles down to the task of pursuing its mandate,

As a private citizen, I intend to continue as a dedicated advocate for reform in Philippine higher education."

Patricia B. Licuanan, Ph.D.
15 January 2018

Im-paws-ible to Miss: Asia’s Biggest Dog Show Comes to Araneta Center

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The biggest dog show in Asia is coming to the Araneta Center with the staging of the Philippine Circuit at the Smart Araneta Coliseum from January 18 to 21, 2018.

The biggest dog show in Asia is coming to the Araneta Center with the staging of the Philippine Circuit at the Smart Araneta Coliseum from January 18 to 21, 2018.

Whether you are a dog breeder, a dog trainer, a dog owner or just a casual fan of “man’s best friend”, you will surely find a reason to see this four-day show.

Pup-tastic numbers

Now on its seventh year, the Philippine Circuit the event attracts close to 600 dogs from all over the world to participate in 12 shows.

There will be around 90 different breeds of dogs present according to organizer Philippine Canine Club, Inc. (PCCI), with 19 foreign judges on hand to scrutinize the dogs’ appearance and performance.

Best of the best

Expect only the “cream of the crop” in the competition, according to Augusto Santos III, President of PCCI.

“Those who come from Europe, South America, America, come here to win,” Santos said. The diverse lineup “will introduce (Filipinos) to a whole new world of dog breeds.”

These purebred dogs will be competing in 12 shows across those four days, hoping to be named the best of the best.

Ticket prices that don’t bite

Tickets to the show are free to the public. The audiences get a chance not only to see the dogs strut their stuff during the competition, they also get to interact with a select few at the Coliseum’s lobby.

Dog breeders and dog owners—even the prospective ones—have a chance to get to know more about these outstanding canine breeds by interacting with the owners and trainers present in the competition or by communicating with the PCCI.

Doggie tips and tricks

The Philippine Circuit also features exciting shows such as the flyball relay and the agility test.

In the flyball relay, dogs are made to work together as teams trying to race against each other while retrieving flying balls. The agility test, on the other hand, requires the dogs to jump over hurdles.

PCCI, however, makes sure that the dogs remain safe throughout the competition.

“All our dogs are vaccinated. The Bureau of Animal Industry sends their own veterinarians to inspect their health certificates. They are vaccinated for all the contagious diseases to the other dogs. And they must also have rabies shots. It’s a must. We make sure no dogs are left in the car. Every dog show is fully air-conditioned,” Santos said.

The competition, being held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum for the third straight year, has also seen a transfer of technologies among Filipino breeders and their foreign counterparts. This has enabled Filipinos to develop and train better and even win some of the rounds of the competition.

For more information, visit or For tickets, visit

Geje Eustaquio Sacrifices Christmas Family Time in Pursuit of Decisive Victory

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Sacrifice means to give up something cherished in order to get something even more valuable in the future.

This concept also applies to the constantly-evolving world of martial arts as the path to becoming a celebrated world champion is paved with much sacrifice.

To set foot on the pinnacle of success, all competitors must go through blood, sweat and tears in training.

Furthermore, martial artists have to be separated from their families for months to dedicate their lives to the craft that they seek to perfect.

Filipino striking ace Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio had to undergo the same process as he had to give up numerous special occasions with his family and friends to fully focus on his training.

“The life of a professional martial artist is difficult, but I understand that in order to be the best, we have to make certain sacrifices. Spending time away from friends and family to train isn’t easy,” he said.

Eustaquio is slated to face former titleholder Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov for the interim ONE Flyweight World Championship in the co-main event of ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES, which takes place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on 26 January.

For his highly-anticipated second encounter against Akhmetov at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES, Eustaquio did not have the chance to fully savor Christmas and the rest of the Yuletide season.

According to Eustaquio, the most painful sacrifice is not being able to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with his beloved family, but he knows that there is a reward waiting for him.

“It’s part of being a professional martial artist. A lot of sacrifices have been made. Training in December was one of them. I had to give up Christmas celebrations for this fight. I missed a lot of family activities such as birthdays and reunions,” he stated.

“If I want to consider myself as a championship-quality athlete in this sport, I have to make that sacrifice. In the end, I will reap the fruits of my labor. Hard work cannot be denied forever,” Eustaquio added.

On 26 January, the 28-year-old Baguio City native aims to turn his sacrifices into gold as he is looking to exact some revenge and claim a world title in front of his treasured countrymen.

The headlining flyweight clash between Eustaquio and Akhmetov at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES serves as a rematch of their grueling collision four months earlier, where the Kazakh dynamo defeated the Filipino standout by way of razor-thin split decision.

“It was a learning experience for me, the first time I met Kairat,” Eustaquio recalled. “I knew going into the match that it would be one of the biggest challenges of my career, given that he is a former world champion. Honestly, I was a little flustered. I thought I could have pushed the pace more, and maybe forced him to defend my strikes.”

Eustaquio admitted that there were lapses on his part when he first fought Akhmetov in September of last year.

“I lost focus of the game plan and allowed myself to operate at Akhmetov’s pace instead of dictating the action on the feet. I also could have had better takedown defense. I would have loved to have won, but it is what it is,” he explained.

With five rounds to duel and an interim ONE Flyweight World Championship title on the line, Eustaquio vows to bring more intensity to the cage when he crosses paths with Akhmetov at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES.

“Kairat is a tricky opponent. After three rounds with him, I have gotten to know him a little bit better. I am able to understand what makes him a great martial artist,” he mentioned.

Eustaquio is known for his fluid Wushu striking game with the distinct ability to remain calm under duress.

Moreover, Eustaquio has faced some of the most talented martial artists in the world, with notable triumphs over Kentaro Watanabe, Gianni Subba, Anatpong Bunrad and reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex Silva.

The 5-foot-5 Team Lakay veteran even previously challenged current ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes for the inaugural title in September 2014, losing via guillotine choke in the second round.

Eustaquio receives the second world title opportunity of his professional career, and a victory over his Kazakhstani rival would line up a future showdown with Moraes for the undisputed title of best flyweight in the world.

As he shares the ONE Championship cage with Akhmetov once more, Eustaquio bared that he working on correct the mistakes he committed in their initial meeting in order to pick up the victory.

Eustaquio believes that a superb takedown defense should prove handy against a wrestler of Akhmetov’s caliber.

“One of the aspects of my game I am working very hard on is my takedown defense,” he revealed. “Every day, we drill very hard in training. We all work to improve our ground game and takedown defense, so we can better showcase our Wushu. After every bout, I aim to get better, win or lose. Every bout is a learning experience.”

Despite falling on the wrong side of a split decision to Akhmetov in September 2017, Eustaquio remains optimistic that he will walk out of the SM Mall of Asia Arena with his hand raised and the interim ONE Flyweight World Championship belt around his waist.

“He he has a big heart. Kazakhstani martial artists have big hearts, and lots of pride. They do not go down easily, and are very tough. I am expecting another difficult bout. That is why I am preparing very well. A victory over Kairat would land me a rematch against Adriano. I believe I have what it takes to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion,” he ended.

​​​For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at
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