Saturday, June 10, 2017

Abetting Rebellion Accusation: Dictator Marcos Did It Before

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*Statement of Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros

Accusing someone of abetting a rebellion is not new. This is the same tactic used by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos against democracy defenders like Soc Rodrigo, Lorenzo Tanada and Ka Pepe Diokno. Even then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo resorted to this when she accused journalist Tina Panganiban Perez of abetting a rebellion when the latter was simply fulfilling her duty as a member of a free press.

Thus, I am saddened by the news that Mayor Inday Sara Duterte accuses me of such. The Mayor and I have been friendly acquaintances for some years, and I respect her as a fellow woman leader. Does the Mayor accuse me already or simply wonder if I’m abetting rebellion? 

The accusation that I am abetting a rebellion is absurd. It is as ludicrous as the latest fake news about me. I have publicly condemned the Maute group for their brazen acts of terrorism and criminality. I stand by our brave soldiers and police personnel for their heroic efforts, I praise their decisive victories to neutralize the Maute group.

Rebellion is ideological, terrorism is pure terror

But purveyors of fake news accuse me of siding with the Maute group because I didn’t automatically regard their terrorist action as rebellion. Magkalinawan tayo. Ang Maute group ay hindi mga rebelde. Sila ay mga terorista. Ang mga rebelde gaya ng CPP-NPA, MNLF at MILF ay kausap na ng pamahalaan sa peace process. Ang Maute ay hindi. Wala silang karapatan umupo sa lamesa ng kapayapaan. The essence of rebellion is ideological. Terrorism is pure terror. 

In my long years as a member of the government panel for the peace process, the principle has always been to set a very high bar for characterizing a given incident as rebellion because history has demonstrated repeatedly how governments use the label of rebellion to justify the abuse of state power to silence dissent. 

Silencing voices

Today, I suspect that the same concept of "abetting a rebellion" is being used against me simply because I demanded the Legislature to hold a joint session to deliberate the factual bases for the Martial Law declaration. They paint me an enemy who sympathize with terrorists like the Maute group. I suspect that the government will try to use this to silence my voice, and the voices of those who want to see the Maute threat eliminated and at the same time demand to know the truth about Martial Law. 

“Fake news king”

Yesterday, Justice Secretary Vitalliano Aguirre ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate and build cases against Senators and opposition leaders who are allegedly involved in a destabilization plot against the government.
Wala na bang ibang magawa ang fake news king ng Padre Faura? Namamatay na ang mga inosente at ang ating mga sundalo sa Marawi, pero ang tanging pinagkakaabalahan pa rin ng mga gaya ni Aguirre ay mga pekeng kaso at pekeng balita.

I will not be surprised if a case is filed against me or my colleagues in the Senate minority. I will not be intimidated or silenced. I will continue to take the floor and speak truth to power. They can make thousands of fake news accounts, they can threaten me with false charges but I will continue to stand. They cannot stop me from doing my duty as a legislator to speak out about our civil liberties and oppose creeping authoritarianism.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Baliktanaw 2017: Isang Bangka Tayo Pasig River Tour and Cultural Heritage Experience at Intramuros

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Here's a preview of the Baliktanaw 2017: Isang Bangka Tayo Pasig River Tour and Cultural Heritage Experience at Intramuros with Philippine Information Agency (PIA) NCR Asst. Regional Director Emver P. Cortez.

The longer version, with talkies and interviews, will be coming out soon, in both bite-size vlog and lengthy YouTube videos.

The event is in partnership with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC), Intramuros Administration, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), etc.,

Plus other representatives from many government agencies like Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Presidential Management Staff (PMS), and a lot more.

Students from different colleges and universities like PUP, CEU, etc., also joined us. Media and bloggers covered the event.

Nationwide Alay Para Atleta Program launched at First Philippine Para Sports Summit

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Filipino para-athletes are raring to compete for the country in the coming 9th ASEAN Para Games in Malaysia this September 2017 and looking forward with gusto to the Asian Para Games in Indonesia in 2018, the 10th ASEAN Para Games in Manila and the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020.

The Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) and the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (PHILSPADA) held yesterday (June 9) the first ever Philippine Para Sports Summit at Microtel, Technohub in Diliman, Quezon City. With the theme “Transcending Barriers Through Sports”, the summit underscored PPC-PHILSPADA’s mission to develop an inclusive society that uses para sports as a tool to change the lives of Filipinos with disabilities. 

Launched at the event was the Alay PARA Atleta program, a nationwide campaign designed to make the general public genuine stakeholders of the Paralympic Movement. Contributions made through mobile phone access will boost funding for para-athletes and teams to achieve sporting excellence that will excite and inspire the world.

The Summit discussed the Paralympic Movement, the Paralympics Classification System, medical sports science and anti-doping, the achievements and plight of Filipino para-athletes, para-athletes’ actual experiences in foreign competition and PPC-PHILSPADA’s plans and programs for the next three years. Michael I. Barredo, President of PPC-PHILSPADA made a call to action at the end of the one-day summit for both government and private sectors to join the Paralympic Movement.

Philippine Trade: Then to Now

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While commerce has remained a core function in society, the process and nature of the way people do trade has changed greatly throughout the centuries. In the Philippines, it all started with what we know as barter – a manual exchange of item per item, oftentimes without the use of money. Neighboring tribes in the country would use barter to trade items or services of equal value, such as 3 hours of labor for a meal. This changed in the 2nd Century AD, upon the arrival of the Chinese as the first foreign traders in the country. Local products were exchanged for corals, gold, cotton, and pearls, some of which can be considered early forms of currency.

In 1565, the Spaniards marked their first settlement in Cebu when they sought to acquire a share in the lucrative spice trade. It was during this same period that the Royal Company of the Philippines was abolished, making Manila an open port for global traders. This welcomed business from all corners of the world, dubbing the Philippines as the center for commerce in the East.

During the American period, a distinct advantage that Filipinos gained was access to education. No longer reserved for the privileged, education and a grasp of the English language propelled even the average Filipino further forward into the trade market, allowing him to sell local crops and goods to foreign bodies.

Through years of exposure in both local and foreign trade, the modern-day Filipino was born with an entrepreneurial spirit; according to research, millennial entrepreneurs have launched at least twice as many businesses compared to their Baby Booming predecessors. In fact, 55% of millennials in a local study indicated owning a successful business and reaching financial independence as an important value in their lives. Lucky for this generation, they are equipped with a highly distinct tool that allows them to fulfill their entrepreneurial aspirations – the internet.

The internet has changed the way people live, think, and do business. With the emergence of e-commerce, international trade became possible on an individual level. The definition of a free market has found itself in its truest form, with sellers at liberty to position their own products and pricing, and consumers at free reign to choose what they buy.

In 2012, e-commerce was made known to the Philippine landscape through the entry of a company named Lazada. In the beginning, Lazada sold goods to Filipinos from its own warehouses. After just a year of operations however, the business model evolved into a marketplace, inviting third-party brands, retailers, and individuals to sell on the site. Today, the e-commerce giant enjoys market leadership in Philippine e-commerce, with a significant portion of its sales brought in by marketplace deals.

A key factor that has allowed Lazada to maintain its position as market leader is the convenience it provides not just to buyers, but also to sellers. It is a one-stop shopping and selling destination that makes it easy for Filipinos to trade across cities, across the archipelago, and even across the globe, all with a few simple clicks. Through this, it may be said that Lazada has paved the way for many Filipinos to fulfill their dreams of entrepreneurship, and reach financial independence.

While competition in the e-commerce playing field is tough, Philippines’ CEO Inanc Balci remains confident of the future. In an interview with Anthony Pangilingan of The Boardroom, Balci states “Lazada will continue evolving. We went from being an e-commerce site, to now an m-commerce (mobile-commerce) site. We will increase the social aspects of it, the assortment, the service, etc. In every way possible, we will continue to evolve the company and be the market leader for years to come. It is one of my life goals to make the Philippines a top e-commerce company in the world”

5 Great Tips for Improving Your Creative Writing Ability

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Those writers that want to improve their creative writing ability, will definitely find some very important and interesting tips in our article.

The main goal of creative writing is to express something using your mind creativity. According to Wikipedia –, it can be poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction writing, etc., where the author express their emotions, thoughts or feelings instead of just to convey information. 

Whether you are an experienced writer or just a beginner, we have gathered some useful tips for improving your creative writing and making your essays more interesting and exciting for your readers. 

1. Think about your audience

You need to figure our an audience to whom you are writing, so you will be able to understand what kind of things make people interested in your essay or book. That's why it's better to:

- keep your work easy to read and well understood, without badly written places or many repetitions that could make your essay sound boring and uninterested to read;

- catch the readers' attention with a surprise from a very beginning and keep them excited about your story till the end. 

2. Use a right structure

In most movies and telenovelas they use the 3-act structure where these three parts are connected between each other so the audience can't see where the one part ended and another began. Here how this structure looks like:

- set-up – this short part introduces the characters to readers and how they related. Then the author should make a “turning point” of the story that grabs the audience's attention and motivates people to read the whole essay. This part is your story's introduction;

- confrontation – here you represent to readers the central problem of your essay, developing the argument with strong evidence. This is the longest part of your story that logically goes to the conclusion;

- resolution – the final section of your essay, where you summarize facts shortly and tie up ends, writing your conclusions about the problem you have viewed. 

3. Use extended metaphors

Creative writing allows using metaphors to give your readers drawing comparisons, that are easy to understand for most people. A metaphor is an analogy, when you just complain one thing with another to explain something to your readers. Such comparisons can be very interesting for the audience, giving people something new to understand. Needless to say that metaphors help to make your essay extraordinary and original. 

4. Include illustrations, photographs and charts into your work

Adding some photo and charts into your essay will help to give originality to your work. Of course when you are including such elements into your story, make sure they don't distract the readers' attention from your text. Such elements as charts, graphs, tables, pictures, diagrams, illustrations, etc. can be a great thing to make your essay more creative and interesting. 

5. Include interesting details

Add some pepper to your dry story and make it more exciting and creative with some interesting details about location and setting, just like creative writers do often. Of course this thing might not work out good with a scientific work, but this is a great idea to make your history or literature essay more creative and interesting to read.

Tips for beginners 

When you want to keep your body in a good shape, you usually go to the gym to stretch your muscles. The same is with your writing muscles – just stretch them with daily exercises. Even just ten minutes in day will help you to get into the writing habit. Just don't stop and write about anything that comes to your head. 

A good idea is to carry a notebook in your pocket with you. This is a good and simple way to keep all your ideas saved, you won't forget anything. Who knows what another day will bring to you, so you are always ready to keep everything in the notebook, because we know our memory is not a reliable source when it comes to saving many creative ideas. 

Try to work at that time of day when you are most creative. Some people mostly like to work in morning hours, others enjoy writing in the middle of the night. Choose your own time for creating your masterpieces when you mostly active to do it! 

Proofread your work when it's done. But don't rush into it, better to take a break from writing and distract yourself with something else. When you come back to your story with refreshed eyes, you'd be able to find and correct all grammar, logical and punctuation mistakes.

We hope our short guide will be helpful to you to create interesting and creative stories that will impress your readers. You can find more tips for improving writing on our website Have fun with starting new projects and surprise your audience with fresh and professional essays, stories, poems, or some other unique masterpiece.

ASEAN+3 Forum Tackles Energy Security

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Senior energy officials from member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as from China, Japan and Korea concluded the 14th Energy Security Forum (ESF) with a consensus to conduct regular sharing of relevant energy developments to ensure energy security, particularly on coal, oil and nuclear energy resources.

​The 14th ESF is part of the three-day ASEAN+3 (China Japan and Korea) Forum hosted by the Philippine Department of Energy held from 23-25 May 2017 at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City.

​The ESF focused on the latest energy trends in the region, including energy consumption, power generation and energy self-sufficiency.

​The meeting also reviewed the technical preparations of the energy outlook of the ASEAN+3 member-economies highlighting on the modeling framework and major assumptions for Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES), Final Energy Consumption (FEC) and Power Generation Mix, including Fossil Fuels Demand and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions.

​Each ASEAN Member-State shared their best practices on oil security and provided updates regarding their oil stockpiling status and directions.

​Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corp. (JOGMEC) also gave a status report regarding its oil stockpiling capacity building program, while Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) expounded on their oil stockpiling outreach policy.

​In the discussion on coal energy resource security.

China, Japan & Korea briefed the participants on clean coal technology development, specifically focusing on the High Efficiency and Low Emission (HELE) coal power generation technology.

​The ASEAN Member-States furthermore discussed a plan for a possible engagement with the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC) regarding the sharing of experiences in "Nuclear Front-end Planning”.

​The Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ) presented a paper, "Challenges of Nuclear Development: Safety Guidelines Procedure and Policy Updates" to address the looming scenarios in developing and utilizing nuclear energy.

DOE Undersecretary Jesus Cristino P. Posadas headed the Philippine delegation together with Energy Policy and Planning Bureau Asst. Director Carmencita Bariso.

Cover Photo Caption: 

SECURING ASEAN ENERGY: ASEAN Member-States together with China, Japan and Korea shared best practices to ensure energy security in the region during the 14th Energy Security Forum hosted by the Philippine Department of Energy on 25 May 2017 at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City. Photo shows Senior Energy Officials of the ASEAN+3 together with DOE Undersecretary Jesus Cristino P. Posadas (center) and DOE-Energy Policy and Planning Bureau Asst. Director Carmencita Bariso (6th from left).

Great Things Ahead with All Cool Treats and Best Deals Done the SM Men Way

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It’s an exciting month of June for SM Men as the brand gears up for promos and discounts to watch out for and enjoy.

June is a great time to shop in SM Men as the whole month celebrates its annual Men’s Sale, where prices will go up to 70% off from June 1 to 30. Enjoy a wide array of denim, basics, tees, and on-trend pieces with specially discounted prices from SM Men brands.

This Father’s Day, SM Men  is out to treat all dads for all their love and hardwork. Treat Pops to a day out shopping with a P300 SM Men Sodexo Gift Pass, when you spend a minimum of P3,000 at SM Men.

More are in store for dads and all guy shoppers: SM Supermalls will celebrate Dad’s Day with special activities and treats from June 13 - 25. In the Thursday Kings promo, male shoppers will enjoy 20% off from their minimum P2,000 purchase from The SM Store on all Thursdays of June.

Follow SM Men (@sm_men) on Instagram and Facebook for details on these exciting promos.

Smart is Asia’s Top Digital Services Provider

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‘Welcome Change’ also named Best Brand Campaign at Asia Communication Awards

For its efforts to boost its network and make relevant digital services accessible to Filipinos, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications was named Digital Service Provider of the Year at the Asia Communication Awards (ACA) ceremony held recently in Singapore.

The ACA recognizes outstanding performance by Asian carriers, multimedia content providers, vendors, and other communication service providers. It is conducted annually by London-based industry publication Total Telecom.

Smart’s Welcome Change campaign – which communicated the company’s digital pivot and encouraged Filipinos to empower themselves through mobile innovations – won the Best Brand Campaign recognition.

Janet Watkin, head of the ACA panel of judges and CEO of a customer experience consultancy, said simply making it to the shortlist was already an achievement, given the challenges faced by the telecommunications industry.

“Doing business has become more digital, global, social, and mobile, and the marketplace is vaster and more crowded than it has ever been. Alongside changes in technology and competition are the changing expectations and behavior of customers. As such, making it onto the shortlist for the Asia Communication Awards is indeed a formidable achievement. To win requires that something extra special that is a cut above the rest,” she said.

Digital transformation

“We are honored to receive these awards from a prestigious institution that understands the rapid changes sweeping through the telco industry. This recognition further inspires us to intensify our pursuit for digital transformation and to bring the benefits of the digital life to more Filipinos,” said PLDT and Smart chairman and CEO Manny V. Pangilinan.

Smart has a multi-pronged approach in encouraging Filipinos to welcome the digital change – it continuously improves and expands its network while making available devices, relevant content, and value-packed service offers to its subscribers.

In 2016, Smart and PLDT launched a $1-billion digital transformation program to enable their fixed and mobile networks to support the rising demand for digital services. Smart has committed to progressively deploy LTE services to 95% of the country’s cities and municipalities by end-2018. To do this, the company is combining low-band frequencies for better indoor penetration and wider coverage, with high-band frequencies for additional capacity. These frequencies include those obtained through the acquisition of the telco businesses of San Miguel Corp.

Smart has finished its LTE deployment in Boracay and Metro Davao, while efforts are ongoing in Metro Cebu and Metro Manila. Internal tests show Smart’s LTE service consistently increasing in speeds and registering improved indoor data coverage. Third-party crowdsourced tests also show that Smart offers the fastest LTE service in the Philippines.

Because not many Filipinos can afford LTE handsets, Smart has partnered with various device manufacturers to introduce affordable LTE devices with network-compatible frequencies.

Bring Dapper Back to the Workplace with Sennheiser Headphones

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Professional-grade Headphones available at Power Mac Center

If you’re like most of the men in Manila who are required to be in uniform or adhere to a dress code at work, an alternative for fashion self-expression is through accessories. And when accessories such as headphones are part of your job, you have to consider both quality and style, especially if there’s someone at work you want to impress.

Sennheiser, the German authority in consumer and professional audio equipment since 1945, has proven time and again its track record in quality workmanship while keeping updated on trends and even setting them. Whether you’re going wired or wireless, you can choose from a wide range of luxurious headphones and earphones equipped with patented technology for the best sound experiences. Each pair of Sennheiser headphones carves out every aural nuance in even finer detail, making sound a more brilliant experience.

Apart from the signature powerful bass and proprietary NoiseGard active noise cancellation features, the superior craftsmanship of Sennheiser headphones allow for crystal clear conversations via a built-in microphone, while remaining lightweight and portable for listening on the go.

The highly acclaimed Sennheiser MOMENTUM product family revolutionizes the way professional-grade headphones look on real people with real jobs. Made from premium materials like stainless steel, genuine leather, and soft ear cushions, the MOMENTUM family of headphones and earphones makes any look instantly dapper, while providing long-wearing comfort for even the most hardworking and dedicated employee.

Learn How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Business at PBEX 2017

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Social Media is already at its peak in the country – according to data from the recent data from consultancy firm We Are Social, the Philippines is the world’s No. 1 in terms of time spent on social media. If your business is still not hopping in the bandwagon, here’s your chance.

This July, the 8th Philippine Business and Entrepreneur's Expo has invited social media professionals to share with you the basics of how to use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Blogging as a way to communicate your business to everyone.

On the #SocialMedia for Business Seminar (to be held on Saturday, July 29) are featuring The City Roamer’s Alwin Aguirre, The Reimaru Files’ Chad Ramos, Encyclopevia’s Via Galang and Social Media Influencer Christian Melanie Lee as they share their experience and expertise in the fields of Blogging, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook and to give you tips on how each platform can help you boost your business.

Wazzup Pilipinas is a proud media partner.

The 8th Philippine Business and Entrepreneurs' Expo will be held at the Megatrade Hall 1 of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City this July 28 to 30, Friday to Sunday. We are open for exhibitors to showcase their products and services - get in touch with Ex-Link at (+63 2) 633-0153, 643-3887 or 535-1150; SMS (+63) 920 981 4376 or (+63) 920 924 2532; email or message us on Facebook @exlinkevents. Program lineup subject to change without prior notice.

Startups Pitched Their Innovative Energy Solutions at the Largest Energy Event in the Philippines

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Impact Hub Manila in partnership with Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) and Terrapinn, held the largest energy event -- Power & Electricity World Philippines and The Solar Show last May 24 to 25. The event took place at the SMX Convention Center, where energy innovation-centric corporations and startups gathered. The event brought together 150+ sponsors and exhibitors, 100+ speakers, and 5,000+ attendees to discuss about development, investment and partnership opportunities in the Philippines’ energy sector. Bob Calingo, Executive Director of the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), shared during his opening speech, “Renewable energy through social enterprise can be a response to the context of poverty alleviation”. 

Bob Calingo, Executive Director of Peace and Equity Foundation, opened the event at the Solar Show Philippines.
Fifteen startups with promising innovative energy solutions were also invited to participate in the exhibit and pitching competition, namely: Uproot Aquaponics, Urban Greens, Hi-Gi Energy,, sunEtrike, E2T2 Corporation, OneWatt, HydroPlus, Tubig Kanlungan Foundation Inc., Amatera Solar Technologies, San Jose Renewable Energy, SolarSolutions, ElectriCChain, SALt, and CleverHeat.

SolarSolutions, whose main business is building Solar Sari-Sari Stores in provinces, won the Energy Innovation Arena and brought home the $10,000 check. They help and train communities with scarce resources of potable and viable water through solar power pumps, precipitation devices, and rain water harvest. SolarSolutions is also one of the recent winners of the Impact Hub Fellowship (Incubation) program that concluded last April.

The jury for the pitch (Left to Right: Matthias Jaeggi, Matthias Gelber, Paul Clark, Omar Salva, Fritize Vergel, Ces Rondario)            
Ces Rondario, co-founder of Impact Hub Manila, shared: “It is through collaborations with organizations such as PEF and Terrapinn that help create a bigger impact on the community. Events and pitching competitions such as this, empower promising startups to help marginalized communities through their innovative and sustainable solutions. We will definitely have more future collaborations with both local and global organizations for the entrepreneurial community to look forward to.”

Impact Hub Manila offers coworking spaces, incubation programs, corporate innovation workshops, and a vibrant learning community. Locally rooted and globally connected, Impact Hub continues to dominate the coworking industry as the largest global network of entrepreneurs with 15,000+ members in 102 Impact Hubs around the world. In partnership with KMC Solutions, Impact Hub Manila offers 6 key locations in Metro Manila for coworking or office space. This allows flexibility and convenience to entrepreneurs and startups who are passionate in collaborating to create an impact. Members can choose their preferred homebase (location) and move around other Impact Hub coworking spaces with no additional costs.

Visit to know more about Impact Hub Manila and their coworking spaces. Follow Impact Hub Manila on Facebook or Twitter to get real-time updates on events and announcements.

Scaled-Down E-Trike Project to Push Through

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The Department of Energy (DOE) will push through with the long-delayed E-Trike Project although on a much smaller scale from the original 100,000 units to just 3,000 and from the original project cost of P21.672 billion to P1.73 billion.

According to Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III, despite the many challenges faced by the project from previous Administrations, now nearing the end of its five-year loan term period, the DOE will move to showcase the potential use of clean and diversified energy technologies through the E-Trike.

The DOE headed by Secretary Alfonso Cusi moved to partially cancel the loan contract last year as the Department wanted to revisit all the options available in view of significant flaws in the project’s design, including the choice of just one model and pricing concerns.

Since the approval of the E-Trike Project by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in June 2013, recorded investments in e-trike manufacturing and support reached P500 million and generated 14,840 jobs as of the end of 2016, according to the Board of Investments and Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines.

This month, NEDA-Investment Coordination Committee took note of the DOE proposal last March on the revised project implementation, including the additional deployment options and arrangements.

As there would be substantial changes in the project, the DOE is securing amendments to the loan, Project Administration Manual and related documents with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The current DOE leadership is pushing through with the procurement of the 3,000 units of e-trikes instead of 100,000 units because this had already been contracted by the previous Administration.

Pulido explained that the DOE decided on 3,000 e-trike units as a sufficient quantity to demonstrate the viability of the technology.

"Sustainability dictates that the appropriate eco-system be in place to support the e-trike beyond deployment or at the point of sale. The terms of the contract of the winning bidder under the project include after-sales support and warranty. This sends a clear and strong signal to the public to make the switch to e-trikes," Pulido said.

Prior to the E-Trike Project, there had been previous attempts to deploy electric tricycles in various parts of the country. However, these early attempts failed because after-sales support was absent or inadequate.

In fact, during the pilot study which served as the basis for the E-Trike Project conducted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2011, after-sales support and warranty were key lessons learned that would determine the success or failure of the e-trike, Pulido pointed out.

Nonetheless, he said, the DOE is committed to working with the ADB and other government partners to address the socially sensitive issue of the project regarding price.

The DOE also noted that ADB’s international competitive bidding rules were observed in every step of the project.

The original project scope of deploying 100,000 e-trike units with a total project cost of P21.672 billion required various arrangements involving the government, the private sector and ADB.

Nevertheless, the DOE acted to ensure that the project would benefit the public at minimal cost to taxpayers. Proof of this is the downscaling of the project cost from a whopping P21 billion to just P1.73 billion.

Pulido said the project is an investment not only in technology and the environment but more importantly, a socio-economic investment that would jumpstart a nascent industry, generate jobs and ensure sustainable energy consumption in the country.

Tañon Strait Celebrates 19th Year as Protected Area

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Celebrating nearly two decades as a protected area is the Tañon Strait, a 161-kilometer strip which separates the islands of Cebu and Negros. It is incredibly rich in biodiversity – hosting 62% of the country’s coral species, plus 14 species of whales and dolphins.

Declared as the Tañon Strait Protected Seascape (TSPS) by then-president Fidel Ramos on May 27, 1998, the area provides seafood and jobs for 42 towns, cities and municipalities. Sadly, the Strait was threatened by commercial fishers who illegally enter and fish – ignoring a ban on commercial fishing for both municipal waters and protected areas. The various law enforcement agencies have since conducted regular joint sea-borne operations to stop the plunder of our marine resources in the area.

Figures released by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Region Seven showed increased fish landings since 2014.

Marine conservation nonprofits Oceana Philippines and Rare Philippines are working hand-in-hand with the government plus local fisheries champions to end illegal commercial fishing in the Strait and ensure effective conservation and sustainable fisheries management for this part of the Coral Triangle. Vessel monitoring measures are being pilot tested and local enforcers are being empowered.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

First Phase of Mindanao Railway Project to Cut Tagum to Digos Travel Time from 3.5 to 1.3 Hours

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The Department of Transportation (DOTr) today said that the 102-km Mindanao Railway Project: Tagum-Davao-Digos (MRP-TDD) segment is expected to reduce travel time from Tagum City, Davao del Norte to Digos City, Davao del Sur from 3.5 hours to 1.3 hours once it starts operating in 2022.

The MRP-TDD segment is the first of the 3 segments of the Mindanao Railway Project. The design and construction of the Project will begin by 3rd quarter of next year and is expected to be completed by end of 2021.

“The P35.91 billion MRP-TDD will make travel time faster by two (2) hours, with frequency of trips of up to 6 trains per hour,” says DOTr Undersecretary for Rails, Cesar Chavez.

The MRP-TDD is expected to not only make travel faster, but also safer, more convenient and comfortable for passengers in the said corridor. It will have 8 stations, namely: Tagum; Carmen; Panabo; Mudiang; Davao Terminal; Toril; Sta. Cruz; and Digos. A 10-hectare depot will be built in Tagum.

The rail line will be built with a single track, with provisions for future tracks and electrification. It will have six 5-car passenger trains (Diesel Multiple Units) with 3 spare cars, 4 locomotives and 15 freight cars.

Upon project completion, the DOTr expects the daily ridership of the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment to increase to 134,060 by 2022. The Department projects the daily ridership to further increase to 237,023 by 2032 and 375,134 by 2042.

Mike Unson's Mayhem in the First Degree Father's Day Comedy Show on June 16

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With all the fake news on social media, one immensely longs for a good laugh and veteran comedian, Mike Unson, is happy to perform with his relatable brand of observational comedy in his upcoming show “Mayhem in the First Degree” on June 16, 8pm at the 5th level, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave., Makati City.

Unson, a 2016 Aliw Award Nominee for Best Stand-Up Comedian, headlines the show with his arsenal of wholesome jokes on his views on urban life, childhood memories, relationships and interactions with everyday people as he dishes out his original material on annoying encounters with cab and jeepney drivers; street vendors; mall security guards; (un)talented bands; his childhood nanny; dealing with middle child syndrome, being in the friend zone, breakups and many more true to life situations that we all experience at times.

In his 14 year career, he is known for building up comic rhythm with impeccably timed punchlines and thought-provoking insights, leaving the audience in stitches and wanting for more!

Opening for Unson will be his current batch of apprentices from The Comedy Cartel namely Chris Bacula, Sergio Belarus, Michelle Defensor and Eric Salazar with musical guest Roy Antonio and comedian host Jerome McCuin.

Unson is also set to release a new comedy album on Spotify later this year.” Currently, he is part of the creative team of the number one TV sitcom in the Philippines Pepito Manaloto on GMA7. Earlier in his career, he was one of the hosts of an alternative comedy show “Front Act” on TV5. He was also part of “The Men's Room” on Studio 23 and a recurring guest on Jojo Alejar's “The Medyo Late Night Show.

A few of his notable performances include opening for Rob Schneider in 2013 and performing with Rex Navarrete in the Philippines from 2004 to 2014.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar: Reconstructing the Heritage of the Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!

While covering the grand coronation night of the Lakambini ng Las Casas beauty pageant or search for the ambassadress of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, and the following Santaruzan the next day, we got plenty of opportunities to takes photos, videos and vlogs about this magnificent collection of heritage homes and structures in Bagac, Bataan.

We also got a glimpse of Maria Theresa Ochoa Acuzar, wife of Jose Rizalino "Jerry" Larion Acuzar - owners of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, when she participated in the Santacruzan ceremonies before the three queens and the other 13 candidates walked off to start the parade around some parts of the 400 hectare property.

We rented a calesa tour but that just went around some of the places without visiting the insides of the houses, thus we also tried the walking tour which will allow us to visit around 4 to 5 houses for a closer inspection of the interiors plus well-informed stories about the history of the heritage homes from the tour guide.

Other alternatives is to rent a golf cart, either by yourselves or with a tour guide, but that would cost us more at around 1K more or less. You could check out some of the videos we would upload as one contains an interview with one of the tour guides who explained the rates.

The next alternative is via tramvia, a one coach train setup that also goes around like the path of the calesa but also restricted by its rails. But don't worry, that ride is fore free. If you like, you could also wait for their jeepneys, but the route would depend on the passengers destination. Again, that ride is for free.

MTP Production Proudly Presents The Fashion Gala Wedding Show

Wazzup Pilipinas!

June has always been the month for weddings. The time when two become one, may it be through a church wedding, or via the garden, beach, or come what may backdrops, that have pre-wedding activities like the prenup where photographers and videographers are in demand, just as the time of the actual wedding, plus the celebration at the reception venue.

At every point, the bride should always be at her best, thus most would hire top fashion designers to clothe them on their very special and once in a lifetime event.

With so many design options, it's better for a bride, together with his groom, to pick one that would fit them as perfect as possible but would match their budget and preference in lifestyle. However, the bride needs to be the most beautiful woman on her wedding day. Thus, spending more for her bridal gown is always highly considered.

Wazzup Pilipinas is a proud media partner of The Fashion Gala : Weddings, showcasing bridal collections of Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines ( FDAP)  typifying marriage of modern luxury and romance.

This will be on June 25, 2017 at Elements at Centris, Quezon City from 5 to 7 pm featuring 13 top fashion designers namely Rau Uson - Ablaza, Adam Balasa, Paolo Blanco, Cathy Capistrano, Ranel Espaldon, Manny Halasan, Sheila Marie Del Rosario, James O' Briant, Dave Ocampo, Louie Pangilinan, Dave Lee Aguirre Reyes, Vince Sityar and Edwin Uy.

Community Outreach Cum Travel Adventure at Bontoc, Mountain Province

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She asked me why I joined? I told her it's because I realized that it would be awesome to travel while giving back something in return. I may be excited for the sights and experience of going to new places, but I was doubly excited in engaging with the community via an outreach. 

I know I am idealistic. I wanted to live in a world where no one gets left behind, in either their living conditions or opportunities. It may be foolish of me to think I could save the world within my lifetime, but I'm doing every little thing possible within my own network, so that I could influence others to do the same. At least someone would be inspired to follow my footsteps so that saving the world would be a continuous process.

I may not have super-powers like the heroes in comics, cartoons and movies, but though it would be spectacular to fly or have super strength, I could still find something to do that's worth emulating by others.

Others may say that those little things would not make much of a difference in the long run, but I know that when you get to touch the lives of others in your own little way, somehow there would be a spark of hope fro them to get up and move on with their own lives, to fin their rightful place in this world, and make their own mark for the benefit of all.

We joined Meaningful Travels PH at one of their community outreach cum travel events from May 25 to May 28, 2017. The destination was at Bontoc, Mountain Province, specifically barangay Maligcong and Mainit. Though it was already announced that it would be a 10 to 12 hour ride from Cubao, I did not feel any regrets since we are about to do good, while satisfying our own pleasures at the same time.

A Surprise Kabayan Homecoming

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Concepcion “Connie” Cabasa couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw her daughter Ruselle standing at the front of their house.  Ruselle Cabasa, who had not been home to the Philippines for seven years, has just arrived at their doorstep in Navarcan, Ilocos Sur unannounced.  What her mother Connie and her father Eddie Cabasa didn’t know about is that Ruselle had just won MoneyGram’s Kabayan Homecoming promotion where one MoneyGram customer from Japan could win an all-expense paid trip back home to the Philippines.  For Ruselle, it was a long time awaited visit

Ruselle had been working in Japan for 13 years now. She didn’t visit her loved ones home for seven years to send them more money. A roundtrip ticket costs as much as PhP40,000– an amount that would cover her family’s living and household expenses in Narvacan.  So, instead of regularly flying in for a visit like other OFWs, Ruselle had chosen to sacrifice her need to be with her family and support them financially instead.  To make up for her absence, she regularly phoned home to keep in touch with her parents and siblings. 

As the third out of four children, Ruselle always had a strong sense of responsibility for her family.  After college graduation, together with her twin sister Raquel, she immediately started working in Manila to support their family’s income.  Soon they learned of an opportunity to work in Japan.  Both sisters applied for this position, but only Ruselle’s application was accepted.  

Although it was difficult to work in a foreign country, not to mention being oceans away from her family, Ruselle stayed motivated and did her best at work.  She adapted to the culture and norms, and soon started her own family in Japan.  Whenever she was tired, homesick or longed for her loved ones in the Philippines, her children, Yoshitaka and Nozomi, kept her spirits up.

ÄRT MÖD: See You at the Fair!

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The first ÄRT MÖD Fair 2017 is opening its doors on Independence Day weekend from 10 AM - 7 PM on Friday, June 9 to Sunday, June 11, 2017 at the Megatrade Hall 2, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

The 3-day art fair will be filled with contemporary artworks from various artists, talks and discussions, live demonstrations and sketching sessions among others. Visitors will also be treated to a variety of activities that inspires creativity and spurs understanding of art and its processes.

Envisioned to bring the world of Philippine Modern Art to a wider audience, ÄRT MÖD Fair 2017 gathers a host of both established and upcoming visual artists like Philipp Badon, Boysie Villavicencio, Joe Datuin and Toym Imao and other artists together under one roof.

ÄRT MÖD Fair 2017 provides art enthusiasts a convenient and comfortable venue to experience and appreciate modern art like paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, mixed media and digital art. A rare opportunity for serious collectors and first-time buyers alike to find the artwork that matches their styles and tastes. The event provides an alternative venue for artistic creations, ranging from painting to mixed media at affordable prices to be showcased in a unique and comfortable buying experience situated conveniently at the heart of the city. The art fair connects artists and buyers to strike better deals and build a community of appreciation for local talents.

ÄRT MÖD, coined from “modern art”, aims to be one of the largest affordable art fairs in the Philippines promoting Filipino visual arts and artists to a wide market. 

Powering The Country

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Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi highlighted the Philippine energy sector’s strategic directions anchored on President Rodrigo Duterte’s banner campaign--Ambisyon 2040--when he was Guest Speaker during the GE Philippines’ Powering the Philippines Forum Wednesday at the New World Hotel in Makati City. 

The 8-point Strategic Directions from now to 2040 are: ensure energy security; expand energy access; promote a low carbon future; strengthen collaboration among all government agencies involved in energy; implement, monitor and integrate sectoral and technological roadmaps and action plans; advocate passage of the Department’s legislative agenda; strengthen consumer welfare and protection and foster stronger international relations and partnerships. 

In photo along with Cusi from left to right are National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ Raul Joseph Seludo, National Renewable Energy Board Chairman Jose Layug Jr., Aboitiz Power Pres. & CEO Antonio Moraza, GE ASEAN Pres & CEO Wouter Van Wersch, Energy Regulatory Commission Commissioner Josefina Patricia M. Asirit, GE Philippines CEO Jose Victor Emmanuel “Jocot” De Dios, National Transmission Corporation Pres. & CEO Atty. Melvin Matibag and Bloomberg Philippines Anchor and event moderator Quintin Pastrana.

Compel Congress to Convene a Joint Session Regarding President Rodrigo Duterte’s Declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao

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Various civil libertarians, Church and student leaders trooped to the Supreme Court on Wednesday to ask the high tribunal to compel Congress to convene a joint session regarding President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of Martial law in Mindanao.

Led by Bishop Broderick Pabillo of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, the petitioners said that “a plain reading of the 1987 Constitution leads to the indubitable conclusion that a joint session of Congress to review a declaration of Martial Law by the President is mandatory.” They said that failure to convene a joint session “deprives the public of transparent proceedings within which to be informed of the factual bases of the declaration of Martial law.”

Meanwhile, Former senator Wigberto “Bobby” Tañada, a co-petitioner, and who was also the leader of the "Magnificent 12", the group of senators who successfully voted to reject the United States military bases treaty, explained that Congress’ failure to convene a joint session deprived lawmakers of a deliberative and interrogatory process to review Martial law. The petitioners also asserted that the framers of the constitution intended that a joint session of Congress be convened immediately after the declaration of Martial law.

“Erroneous information”

The petitioners filed the petition amid accusations that there were erroneous information in the President’s report submitted to Congress regarding his Martial law declaration. The petitioner said that because of this, the holding of joint session becomes more imperative.

"Snowballing protest"

The other petitioners were prominent Catholic church leaders such as Bishop Emeritus Deogracias Iniguez, Bishop Antonio Tobias, D.D. and Mother Adelaida Ygrubay of the Order of St. Benedict. This marked the first open challenge of the Catholic Church leadership to President Duterte’s Martial law, and is part of a snowballing of protests against Congress’s failure to hold a joint session to deliberate the factual bases of the Martial law declaration.

Last Monday, several congressmen filed a petition before the high court to question the legality of President Duterte’s Martial law declaration. On Tuesday, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, former Senator Rene Saguisag, former Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales, former peace negotiator Alex Padilla and former Representative Barry Gutierrez, along with more than 300 lawyers, filed a separate petition before the high court to compel Congress to convene a joint session.

“Meeting of two generations”

For her part, Shamah Bulangis, Secretary-general of Akbayan-youth, and also a co-petitioner, said that their act of seeking relief before the high court is a “meeting of two generations” fighting for democracy and civil liberties. “We millennials are honored to stand side by side with Senator Tañada and our Catholic bishops in the collective defense of our democracy from creeping authoritarianism. This is our way of thanking them for fighting tyranny during their time so that our generation may live as free citizens. Today, we honor them by standing up against those who want to drag us back to a dark and tyrannical past.”

The filing was initiated by the Gathering for Civil Liberties (GCL), a multi-tendency, multi-form and multi-sectoral loose formation organized by different personalities, human rights crusaders, sectoral leaders and social activists to provide safe and informal spaces to consolidate voices, perspectives and initiatives to promote democratic values and vigilance amid threats of creeping authoritarianism.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Venture Capital Cafe: Eat, Drink, Play, Meet, Collaborate and Get Funded

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Otherwise known as VC Cafe, the establishment has more than just coffee or pastries because it offers potential entrepreneurs (with great ideas) to be funded by the "venture capitalists" from the company that owns the cafe.

The place is actually dedicated for those who want to hang out, play video games, watch cartoons from the 80s, admire the toys or posters on display, while enjoying good food, and at the same time could present their ingenious ideas that are worth hearing out.

Who knows? You may have the next Google, or Facebook, or Uber, AirBnB or whatever idea. It doesn't even have to be an app or anything online. Just as long as you think you ideas have potential and sustainable, it may warrant a look from the people behind Venture Capital Cafe.

We will also focus our attention on the food available in their menu which is not limited to coffee or pastries. They have full meals with presentations that would beat those served at fine dining restaurants and hotels.

 We asked the Chef to bring out one food item per category so we could show you how their food looks like. We also had a short interview with the Chef so he could explain more about the food.

Below is the video interview we had with the Chef and the Managing Director, as well as another video showcasing the food. Also featured here are photos of the dishes from starter to pasta, salad, main entree, and drinks. We also had some dessert for sharing but it was not included on the video since it was just an additional order after everything else was done.

B&B Burgers & Brewskies: Definitely Big in Taste Even Without Beer

Wazzup Pilipinas!

As usual, I'm the early bird to come to the restaurant since I really hate to be late for a food tasting event. Just as how I hate people coming in late since if its this kind of event, the food is usually served ahead for photo (and video) before finally eating them all for tasting. So if you come in late, you'll end up eating left-overs, and worst is that you won't be having any good photos (and videos) of the food.

However, my experience at this restaurant is somewhat different because it let us order our own choice of burger (from between two selections only) and it just served what we normally call as the starters. Drinks could be cola, beer, or any liquor, but I chose a healthier drink of mango smoothie or shake since it was too early for alcoholic drinks.

I couldn't recall anymore how I got invited to this food tasting event but something tells me it must have been from a long-time sign-up opportunity looking for bloggers to try out restaurants. It's either my memory has defeated me or it was from a long time ago, and it is only now that they opted to invite us.

We were greeted by the organizer, Paulo, together with the owner and Chef who could be clearly known by the uniform he was wearing having the name tag of Marc. Chef Marc said they had a former branch at Capitol Commons but it had to close down. Right now he is concentrating on this only branch located at BGC which is now about to offer new menus for the restaurant.

We were told to bring in a plus one to join us for lunch but I completely forgot about it. Thus, I came there alone, while most of the attendees were with someone. But no worries since I left the resto smiling because of their delightful food.

NEC launches Center of Excellence for Analytics Platform & Solutions in India

Wazzup Pilipinas!

NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) and NEC Technologies India Private Limited (NTI) announced the launch of a “Center of Excellence for Analytics Platform & Solutions” (COE-APS) for promoting solutions and services of NEC’s Big Data & Analytics Platform, “Data Platform for Hadoop (DPH)”. The COE-APS will simplify digital transformation and act as a one stop shop for both customers and partners in the Telecom, Retail, Banking, Financial Services, Insurance and Manufacturing sectors, as well as Government organizations. NEC aims to achieve revenue of more than $100M USD within 3 years of the COE-APS’ establishment, which is being set-up with an overall investment of $10M USD over the same period.

The COE-APS will initially focus on markets that include Japan, India, Singapore, Philippines and Hong Kong, then gradually expand services throughout APAC and other regions. In order to support these growing operations, NEC plans to organize a team of 100 professionals within the first few years, as the Global Big Data & Analytics market is expected to reach $210B USD by 2020 (*1). Hadoop alone is expected to reach $50.2B USD by 2020 (*2). With the industry already facing a shortage in talent, specifically in Hadoop and analytics areas, the establishment of the COE-APS will help NEC to leverage India’s strong talent base.

In recent years, the exponential growth in data processing is straining the capabilities of conventional databases and data warehouse solutions. With the advent of Big Data & Analytics solutions, customers can be reassured that data is comprehensively and reliably analyzed, thereby enabling them to make well-informed decisions at the right time.

Moreover, the COE-APS will leverage the computational power and scalability of NEC’s specialized Hardware for Big Data & Analytics in order to flexibly handle the ever increasing demand for storage and computation by Hadoop.

The DPH features open source Hadoop from Hortonworks, as well as an analytics and Business Intelligence layer, making it a first-of-its-kind (*3) solution-in-a-box that frees customers from the burden of searching for the individual building blocks of big data analytics, and enables them to generate value from the enormous pools of data.

NEC has an accomplished record of contributing to national projects in India, including the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which is aligned with the Government’s “Digital India” initiative. For the DMIC, NEC established a Logistics Data Bank (LDB) that tracks almost 70% of containers in India (*4). In terms of the UIDAI, NEC provides a large-scale biometrics identification system which registered more than 1 billion people since its deployment.

“The key to success for organizations today is to make fast and informed decisions by extracting insights out of the huge volumes of data that are available to them. The new Center of Excellence is an important step towards utilizing big data analytics and NEC’s Data Platform for Hadoop to provide benefits for government bodies and enterprises in India and across the world,” said Tomoyasu Nishimura, Senior Vice President, NEC Corporation. “Going forward, we aim to continue driving digital transformation for industries of all sizes and markets.”

Tanada, Catholic Bishops and Student Leaders to File Petition Urging SC to Compel Congress to Hold Joint Session on Duterte's Martial Law

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Former Senator Wigberto "Bobby" Tanada, Bishop Broderick Pabillo of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, Bishop Pablo David of the Caloocan Diocese, Mother Adelaida Ygrubay of the Order of St. Benedict and student council leaders from different universities will file a petition for Certiorari and Mandamus before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, Wednesday 11:30 am, to compel the legislature to do its constitutional duty to hold a joint session on President Duterte's Martial law in Mindanao.

Tanada, who was a member of the "Magnificent 12" that voted no to a new lease for the US bases in the country, said in their petition that a plain reading of the 1987 constitution leads to the "indutable conclusion that a joint session of Congress to review a declaration of Martial law by the President is mandatory."

The petitioners also said that failure to convene a joint session deprives the public of transparent proceedings within which to be informed of the factual bases of the declaration of Martial law.

It was reported that there were erronenous information in the President's report submitted to Congress regarding his Martial law declaration in Mindanao. Due to the non-holding of a joint session, there is no way of scrutinizing the said inconsistencies and errors. They now cast a dark cloud of doubt over the legitimacy and proportionality of Martial law as a response to the Marawi conflict.

The filing of the petition is initiated by the Gathering for Civil Liberties (GCL), a multi-tendency, multi-form and multi-sectoral loose formation organized by different personalities, human rights crusaders, sectoral leaders and social activists to provide safe and informal spaces to consolidate voices, perspectives and initiatives to promote democratic values and vigilance amid threats of creeping authoritarianism.

Photo opportunities and interviews will be made available.
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