‘Trump, Duterte will walk the talk’

THE rise of populist leaders Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte, who were roundly slammed for their brash personalities, will bring about significant changes as they promised during their presidential campaigns, according to a global economic and policy analyst. Steinbock warned that Trump could begin a rollback on trade deals and go tough on American companies shipping jobs overseas, a move that could affect the Philippines’ outsourcing industry. So he might walk the talk at least initially,” Steinbock said of Trump. But now, especially with the incoming Trump administration…there’s going to be economic uncertainty, market volatility and strategic doubt,” he said. Duterte ‘strategic’Given the developments in Washington, Duterte is doing the right move in terms of a foreign policy shift away from the US and toward China and even Russia, Steinbock said.

January 19, 2017 16:48 UTC

Duterte asks govs for help in drug war, blasts Church anew

Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday sought assistance from provincial governors in his campaign against illegal drugs, as he again lashed out at the Church for criticizing him. In remarks during an oath-taking ceremony for new police officials in Malacañang, Duterte said he met with the provincial governors to inform them about the drug problem. The President said many officials, especially those in local government, were involved in the illegal drug trade, becoming millionaires overnight. Duterte outed another elected official in his so-called “narcolist” and said nearly 40 percent of barangay (village) officials in the country were linked to drugs. Duterte again blasted Catholic Church officials critical of the alleged extrajudicial killings being linked to his drug war.

January 19, 2017 16:44 UTC

Smart franchise faces rough sailing in Senate

THE bill granting Manuel Pangilinan-led Smart Communications Inc. a fresh franchise is expected to face rough sailing in the Senate, with some senators complaining of the telecommunications firm’s services. The House Representatives approved on third reading last Monday House Bill 4637, which extends the franchise of Smart for another 25 years. Sotto said he couldn’t say if the Smart franchise bill would be passed on time as other senators also had some concerns over its services. Vietnam, which has fewer mobile subscribers, has a total of 55,000 cell sites, Sotto pointed out. The head of the Senate Committee on Public Services, Sen. Grace Poe, likewise said there was no guarantee the Senate would be able to renew the Smart franchise bill before March.

January 19, 2017 16:44 UTC

‘Robredo camp running out of explanations’

Lawyer Vic Rodriguez blasted Robredo and her legal team, led by Romulo Macalintal, for pretending to be “blind” amid “evidence” emerging that Marcos was cheated in the vice-presidential race. Robredo beat Marcos by 263,473 votes in the May 2016 polls. Macalintal said he was willing to withdraw his license to practice law if Robredo lost the case. He proposed the suspension of the verification and examination of 13 SD cards found to have data until the filing of a joint manifestation before the Commission on Elections. Rodriguez, however countered: “It’s very simple, if the SD cards were not used, they should be empty.

January 19, 2017 16:44 UTC

House to review train deal

The House of Representatives will look again into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the common station that will link three railway lines, a House leader said on Thursday. The Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1, Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and the future MRT Line 7 will share the P2.8-billion, 13,700-square-meter common station that will be built starting in December. Now the question is, the proposal on the common station, is that what is good for the convenience of passengers?” House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte told dzMM in a radio interview. The common station will be constructed between the malls SM North EDSA and Trinoma. According to Alvarez, the review of the MOA aims to ensure that the project would also benefit the riding public.

January 19, 2017 16:44 UTC

Stop exporting people — growth guru

ONCE more, an international expert on economic growth and policy-making has suggested that our government must reduce our dependence on exporting Filipino labor and focus on creating more jobs. He said the Philippines could take advantage of its good demographics—in other words its huge population, by harnessing its potential in manufacturing, electronics, information and communications technology and tourism, among other sectors. We must also praise the President for his administration’s initial good work in the economic growth and business fields, as Mr. Dan Steinbock did. He said something that other analysts seldom talk about: that having a huge population is an asset. He warned that a huge population turns into a destabilizing force in the future—if not allowed to exercise their capabilities to be productive.

January 19, 2017 16:42 UTC

High Court on PLDT case: If there’s a breakdown in nationalism, it is the fault of the firm’s Filipino directors

It is the breakdown of nationalism in each of the Filipino shareholders, Filipino directors and Filipino officers of that corporation. The Supreme Court back in 2011, by a vote of 11 to 2, ruled that PLDT had skirted the 40 percent limit. This allowed PLDT to skirt the 2011 Court decision, since it issued 150 million “voting preferred shares” worth P150 million, to its employees’ pension fund. This recent Court decision ruled eight to five denied the petition, that nothing was wrong with the SEC ruling memorandum. Filipino big businessmen can very easily buy off such foreign shares, if foreigners are required to dispose of them.

January 19, 2017 16:38 UTC

Study grants, return service initiatives: Some lessons

Besides giving them pointers, I stress to them that they are expected by the awarding body to render some return service initiatives of socio-cultural value to their communities. Although there’s no lack of information on study grants in the web, some students may not have unlimited access to the internet save for their research requirements. Return service for a grant gives them the opportunity to contribute ideas and actions related to their experience upon their return to their home communities. Our discussion then will be how one obtains a study grant aside from through the usual web search and, in return, create initiatives to share one’s offshore experience and be successful. German language teachers and students are generously sponsored annually for language and culture immersion in Germany and in other cross-border activities.

January 19, 2017 16:19 UTC

International trade thuggery

President-elect Donald Trump’s threats against American companies looking to relocate in foreign countries have won favorable review from many quarters. Support comes from those alarmed about trade deficits, those who want a “level playing field” and those who call for “free trade but fair trade,” whatever that means. Congress can play favorites with US sugar producers by keeping foreign sugar out, enabling them to charge higher sugar prices, earn higher profits and pay their employees higher wages. One of the unappreciated benefits of international trade is that it helps reveal the cost of domestic policy. By the way, all trade is fair in the eyes of the parties trading, or else they would not trade.

January 19, 2017 16:18 UTC

Manila budget pushes thru

Manila Vice Mayor Honey LacunaYanga declared as valid and legal the City Council sessions held last Dec. 15 and Jan. 3 approving the budget ordinance. In his testimony, however, Sison said it was Lacuna who violated the rules when she abruptly adjourned the Dec. 15 session so that the budget ordinance would not be tackled. There, they passed on second reading the proposed budget ordinance. As to the January 3 session, Sison said Lacuna presided over it, and that the 2017 budget was in the official list of items to be tackled. The Manila court ruled that the budget ordinance was legally passed as mandated by the Revised Internal Rules of the Sangguniang Panglunsod of Maynila.

January 19, 2017 16:11 UTC

India’s Modi won’t stop bull-wrestling ban

Residents of the southern state of Tamil Nadu said the Jallikattu festival is a crucial part of their culture and are demanding the ban be lifted. “The ban imposed on Jallikattu by the Supreme Court came up for discussion,” Modi’s office said on Twitter after the two men met. “This is an attack on our culture,” said Manikanda Venkatesh, a student from Tamil Nadu. “People who have never been to Tamil Nadu are telling us about about culture and calling it barbaric. Police say the protests have remained peaceful so far but have spread to large parts of Tamil Nadu.

January 19, 2017 15:51 UTC

Malaysia PM urges Myanmar to end Rohingya crackdown

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s prime minister Thursday urged Myanmar to end its crackdown on the Muslim Rohingya minority, warning that Islamist extremists may exploit the crisis. At least 66,000 Rohingya people have subsequently fled to neighboring Bangladesh, alleging rape, murder and torture at the hands of security forces. Instead it describes them pejoratively as Bengalis—or illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh—even though many have lived in Myanmar for generations. The secretary-general of the 56-member OIC, Yousef Al-Othaimeen, urged Myanmar security forces to use restraint with civilian populations or risk fuelling a violent reaction from oppressed groups. Analysts say Najib’s embrace of the Rohingya in part aims to burnish his international image after the damaging 1MDB graft scandal.

January 19, 2017 15:43 UTC

Twin rocket fire kills 9 civilians in Yemen’s Taez

ADEN: Twin rockets fired from the rebel-held outskirts of Yemen’s third city Taez killed nine civilians late Wednesday, a medic and a loyalist military source said. Taez is one of the key battlegrounds of the civil war and government-held neighborhoods have come under repeated rebel fire. A medical source at the city’s Al-Rawda hospital told AFP that seven civilians were wounded by the rocket fire. A loyalist military source said that the rockets struck one after the other in the city’s Al-Nour district. The World Health Organization said more than 7,400 people have been killed since the coalition intervention began.

January 19, 2017 15:43 UTC

NKorea preparing to launch new missiles—report

Pyongyang’s missile program and its pursuit of nuclear arms have seen it repeatedly sanctioned by the UN Security Council. Quoting high-level South Korean officials and South Korean and US military sources, the South’s Yonhap news agency said two new missiles had been loaded onto mobile launchers. CNN and other US news reports, quoting a US defense official, that the Pentagon had deployed a high-tech sea-based X-band radar system to keep watch for a possible North Korean long-range missile launch in the coming months. A spokesman for the South Korean military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the Yonhap report had not been verified. A senior US defense official said last month that the North has developed the capability to pair a nuclear warhead with a missile and launch it.

January 19, 2017 15:43 UTC

Atlanta’s Ryan, Oakland’s Mack take top awards

NEW YORK: Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who directed the NFL’s highest-scoring attack, and Oakland defensive end Khalil Mack took top awards in media voting announced Wednesday (Thursday in Manila). Ryan, who led the Falcons with club records in passing yards and touchdowns, was chosen the 2016 NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year. Mack, who matched an NFL record with quarterback sacks in eight consecutive games, took Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Professional Football Writers of America. Ryan, in his ninth NFL season, completed 373 of 534 passes (a club record 69.9 percent of his throws) for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. The Falcons produced a one-season club record 540 points in this campaign and went 11-5 to claim a first-round playoff bye.

January 19, 2017 15:43 UTC

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