Monthly Archive July 19, 2021

BALITANG MARINO DAILY NEWS for July 19, 2021

HEADLINES

Thai police clash with protesters near Government House

Vietnam’s daily COVID-19 infections surge to new high

EU revises ETS to include shipping sector

China’s Exports Rebounded in June Despite Shipping Delays

MOL to boost methanol footprint with Waterfront stake

PH sees over 5K new COVID-19 cases

Delta variant local transmission yet to be determined –Vergeire

‘Fabian’ slightly intensifies, nears severe tropical storm strength — PAGASA

86 quakes in Taal Volcano recorded in last 24 hours; alert level 3 stays

Dawlah Islamiyah terrorist killed, 2 others captured in Maguindanao clash — military

PDP-Laban ousts Pacquiao as president, installs Cusi

Filipino beauty queens grace cover of Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam

‘Titane’ wins Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Fest, Spike Lee reveals

Still no full-length films in Cinemalaya 2021, 13 shorts competing

Bucks hold off Suns in Game Five to close in on NBA title

Alas, Ravena take turns as NLEX stuns reigning champion Ginebra

Alex Eala rules singles event in Milan to complete double title romp

FULL NEWSPAPER

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Thai police clash with protesters near Government House

BANGKOK, July 19 —— Thai police used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets on Sunday as they tried to stop protesters from marching on the office of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha calling for him to resign. More than 1,000 protesters took part in the demonstration, which police had so far not dispersed. Many demonstrators carried mock body-bags to represent coronavirus deaths, as they blame the prime minister and his government for mismanaging the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The government has been poor at managing the situation and if we don’t do anything there will be no change,” one protester, Kanyaporn Veeratat, 34, told Reuters. The use of force by the police came after some protesters tried to dismantle barbed wire and metal barricades set up by the authorities to block roads from Democracy Monument to Government House where the prime minister works. “Murderous government!” Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, a protest leader, tweeted after the use of force.

The protest marked one year since the first of a wave of large-scale street protests led by youth groups that attracted hundreds of thousands of people across the country. The momentum of those protests stalled after authorities began cracking down on rallies and detaining protest leaders, and after new waves of COVID-19 infections broke out. Most of the protest leaders who were detained have been released on bail and some took part in anti-government protests last month.

As part of curbs to stem the coronavirus spread, the government on Friday imposed a new nationwide ban on public gatherings of more than five people, which carries a maximum penalty of a two-year jail term or a fine of up to 40,000 baht ($1,220), or both. Thailand reported 11,397 infections and 101 deaths on Sunday, bringing the cumulative total to 403,386 cases and 3,341 fatalities, the vast majority from an outbreak since early April that is being fueled by the highly transmissible Alpha and Delta COVID-19 variants.

Police urged people not to join Sunday’s protest, saying that to do so risked further spreading coronavirus, and warned that those who breached the law and cause unrest will face charges. “There has been increasing in the number of newly infected cases on a daily basis,” said deputy police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen. “Joining such a rally would raise public concerns, public health concern and worsen the current situation,” he said.

Street protests against the prime minister have been held in recent weeks by several groups, including Prayuth’s former political allies, as frustrations grow over the mounting infections and the damage the pandemic has done to the economy. Last year’s protests also broke traditional taboos by openly criticizing the king, an offence under the country’s strict lese majeste law that makes insulting or defaming the king, queen, heir and regent punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Source: gmanetwork.com

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Vietnam’s daily COVID-19 infections surge to new high

HANOI, Vietnam, July 19 —— Vietnam reported another record high of 5,926 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, surpassing the previous record of 3,718 cases registered on Saturday, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. The new infections included 5,887 locally transmitted and 39 imported, bringing the total tally to 53,830, with 254 deaths, the ministry said.

Among the community cases, 4,692 were reported in the southern epicenter Ho Chi Minh City, 345 in the nearby southern Binh Duong province, and 147 in the southern Dong Nai province. Nationwide, 10,667 COVID-19 patients have so far recovered, up 355 from Saturday. As of Sunday, Vietnam has registered a total of 51,771 domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, including 50,201 detected since the start of the latest outbreak in late April, according to the health ministry.

Following the detection of new COVID-19 outbreaks in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi and the complication of the situation nationwide, authorities of Hanoi on Sunday announced that lockdown measures will be applied from Monday. Under the lockdown, all non-essential services will be suspended, people should stay at home and only go out for basic necessities such as buying food or medicines or going to work at factories or businesses that are allowed to open.

Source: mb.com.ph

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MARITIME NEWS

EU revises ETS to include shipping sector

July 19 —— In a new climate plan, the European Commission has proposed to extend the scope of the EU’s Emissions Trading System to cover CO2 emissions from ships. This is one of several proposals that aim to make the EU ‘fit for 55’ and help deliver on the European Climate Law target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by at least 55% by 2030, and enable climate neutrality by 2050. As informed, the revised EU ETS will focus on large ships — above 5,000 gross tonnage — regardless of the flag they fly. The extension will include all emissions from ships calling at an EU port for voyages within the EU as well as 50% of the emissions from voyages starting or ending outside of the EU as well as emissions that occur when ships are at berth in EU ports.

Under the proposal, the EU ETS would cover around two thirds of maritime transport emissions — 90 million tons CO2 — and result in a price signal that incentivizes improvements in energy efficiency and low-carbon solutions and reduces the price difference between alternative fuels and traditional maritime fuels. The proposal builds on the provisions in place for other EU ETS sectors as well as the existing EU Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (EU MRV) System for shipping, which tracks CO2  emissions from ships calling at all EU ports. What is more, the EU has presented FuelEU Maritime proposal to increase the uptake of alternative, low-carbon fuels in maritime to help drive down emissions faster. Specifically, the initiative will stimulate the uptake of sustainable maritime fuels and zero-emission technologies by setting a maximum limit on the greenhouse gas content of energy used by ships calling at European ports. For instance, most polluting shops will be required to connect to onshore power supply or use zero-emission technologies.

In practice, shipping companies will have to purchase and surrender ETS emission allowances for each ton of reported CO2 emissions. For the administration of the system, shipping companies will be attributed to an administering authority of a Member State that will ensure compliance using the same rules as for the other sectors. In addition to the EU ETS rules on penalties, ships can be denied entry to EU ports where the responsible shipping company has failed to surrender the necessary allowances for two or more consecutive years. To ensure a smooth transition, shipping companies will only have to surrender allowances for a portion of their emissions during an initial phase-in period, reaching 100% after 3 years. A reporting and review clause is included to monitor the implementation of the rules applicable to the maritime sector and to take account of relevant developments at the level of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

“We support shipping being a part of the ETS, but we would have preferred that the commission start with travels between two EU-ports. That would have made room for negotiations on global solutions at the IMO,” Maria Skipper Schwenn, Executive Director of Security, Environment and Maritime Research at Danish Shipping, said. “If the EU plays its cards right, the tariffs in the proposal could be used to put pressure on the global CO2-prices at the IMO, and consequently contribute to creating unified, international solutions,” Skipper Schwenn added.

Specifically, the commission will use the definition from the EU MRV-directive to place the responsibility for payment of quotas under the EU ETS. This means that it is the shipowner or the technical manager, who is responsible. This ensures good avenues for enforcement, thinks Danish Shipping, who are pleased with the proposal. “It is important that there is an easy and transparent enforcement of placement of responsibility. We are therefore very happy with the commission’s choice of the EU MRV-directive, which we already have good experiences with.”

The European Sea Ports Organization (ESPO) also welcomed the new proposals but stated that more work is needed to make it fit for purpose. “The fit for 55-proposals are an important first step: all ingredients are there to deliver the green deal and climate goals. We will now examine the proposals in depth and identify where the port pillar of this green deal architecture should be optimized,” ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost said. “For Europe’s ports it is essential to ultimately achieve a policy that is effective in reducing emissions, is coherent, keeps an eye on the competitiveness of Europe’s port sector, is future-proof and does not create stranded assets or additional administrative burden for ports. It should take the diversity of the European port and maritime sector into due consideration,” she continued.

To make the proposed package fit for purpose, several aspects will need to be considered, ESPO believes. These include coherence of the package, efficiency in terms of emissions reductions, onshore power supply where it makes sense, safeguarding the competitiveness of the European port and maritime sector, avoiding administrative burden for the port an providing the funding for 55% emission reduction. “If Europe is to become fit for 55, it needs to fund for 55. The needed investments in ports to facilitate the greening of shipping are huge. Since there is no silver bullet to green the shipping sector, these are high risk investments with hardly any return on investment for the investing port authority,” Isabelle Ryckbost concluded.

Separately, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) expressed its concerns about the latest draft proposals. “Other than as an ideological revenue raising exercise, which will greatly upset the EU’s trading partners, it’s difficult to see what extending the EU ETS to shipping will achieve towards reducing CO2, particularly as the proposal only covers about 7.5% of shipping’s global emissions. This could seriously put back climate negotiations for the remaining 92.5% of shipping emissions,” Guy Platten, Secretary General of ICS, noted. “We know that non-EU States like Japan have already expressed concern over this diplomatic overreach and imposition of a unilateral and extra-territorial tax on trade. It cannot be equitable for non-EU shipping companies to be forced to pay billions of euros to support EU economic recovery plans, particularly under a scheme that undermines CO2 negotiations. It is clear from how such schemes work in other sectors that there will be unintended consequences from the imposition of such a proposal. There are simpler and more effective options – such as a global fuel levy – but these require political leadership rather than political expediency. Another key issue for ICS is that who pays for the cost of fuel should be the same person that ultimately pays the cost of carbon allowances,” Platten further said.

The ICS also expressed its disappointment that the EU failed to include investment in research and development in the proposals at a time when the IEA and the Biden administration are highlighting that emission reduction will be possible only with the development of technologies that currently not exist. “To indicate one thing at the beginning of the process and then to withdraw it to pay for a post covid recovery sends a clear message to industry that the EU is not truly serious about decarbonizing global shipping. This also sends a message beyond shipping that political and investment risk is high in Europe. This only goes to show why we need the 5 billion USD IMO Maritime Research Fund,” Platten stressed.

Source: offshore-energy.biz

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China’s Exports Rebounded in June Despite Shipping Delays

July 19 —— In June, China’s exports and imports showed unexpected growth at the same time that massive disruptions rocked Southern China. This could be a sign of recovery after an economic slowdown caused by delays at the Yantian port, an effect that cascaded globally.

China’s General Administration of Customs released data showing that Chinese exports increased by 32 percent from a year earlier in dollar terms, even more than the 28 percent gain recorded in May. This surpassed expectations from economists, who had forecasted a slowdown due to lockdown restrictions in Southern China. During the same period, imports rose by 37 percent, also overturning an earlier prediction of 30 percent. However, this was lower than May’s 51 percent year over year rise. In total, China had a trade surplus of $52 billion for June, compared to May’s $46 billion. “The developments of foreign trade will face quite a number of uncertain and unstable factors in the second half of the year, as the coronavirus is still spreading at multiple places around the world and the pandemic situation remains complex,” said Li Kuiwen, the customs administration spokesman.

However, Beijing still believes that the global macro-economic condition is very volatile. Assistant Minister of Commerce Ren Hongbin said Monday that the ministry will redouble its efforts to stabilize trade and foreign investment. Some economists believe the trade rebound observed in June could have been caused by high commodity prices, as observed for iron ore prices and high freight rates passed on to consumers. Additionally, the unrelenting appetite for Chinese goods such as medical equipment and furniture could help account for the exports growth.

Source: maritime-executive.com

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MOL to boost methanol footprint with Waterfront stake

July 19 —— Japanese shipping giant Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has announced that it will acquire 40% of Methanex Corporation’s subsidiary Waterfront Shipping (WFS) to expand its involvement in methanol-fueled ships. Under the agreement worth $145 million, the companies will establish a strategic partnership, which will enable Methanex and WFS to benefit from MOL’s broad shipping experience. Furthermore, Methanex will retain the remaining 60% majority interest in WFS, while the WFS’ daily activities remain unchanged. The company also noted that the definitive agreements are subject to formal approval by MOL’s Board of Directors. If all customary conditions are met, the acquisition will be completed by the end of the year.

The strategic partnership strengthens a relationship established over 30 years between Methanex, WFS and MOL which, in 2016 in conjunction with other key partners, jointly built the first ocean-going dual-fuel vessel capable of running on methanol. “We have worked with MOL for over 30 years on methanol shipping since the era of Cape Horn Methanol Ltd., a predecessor to Methanex’s Chile operations, and we are confident that our new strategic relationship will help develop the market for methanol as a lower emission marine fuel,” John Floren, President & CEO of Methanex, said. “This transaction is consistent with MOL’s Environmental Vision 2.1., which regards our active involvement in methanol-fueled ships as one of the measures for adopting clean alternative fuels,” Takeshi Hashimoto, President of MOL stressed.

The Japanese shipping giant has pledged to invest approximately ¥200 billion ($1.81 billion) in low carbon/decarbonization fields over three years from the 2021 to 2023 fiscal year. Over the recent period, the company has revealed several initiatives aimed at switching from fossil fuels to alternative fuels such as methanol. Methanol as a marine fuel is believed to reduce sulphur oxides (SOx) by up to 99 percent, particulate matter (PM) emissions by up to 95 percent, and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by up to 80 percent compared to conventional marine fuels.

Moreover, methanol produced from renewable sources can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 95 percent compared to conventional marine fuels, providing a pathway to meet the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) decarbonization goals. According to the shipping consultancy firm Drewry, half of the vessels ordered after 2025 are expected to have dual-fuel engines, with a large percentage using methanol as a marine fuel.

Source: offshore-energy.biz

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PHILIPPINE NEWS

PH sees over 5K new COVID-19 cases

July 19 —— The Philippines recorded more than 5,000 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Sunday, July 18. The DOH said it found 5,411 more people who contracted the viral disease. This brought the country’s running tally of confirmed cases, since the pandemic began last year, to 1,507,755. According to the DOH’s case bulletin, 47,190 or 3.1 percent of the nationwide tally are active cases. Majority of the active cases or 91.9 percent were experiencing mild symptoms, 1.9 percent were asymptomatic, 1.6 percent were in critical condition, 2.7 percent were severely ill, and 1.88 percent were in moderate condition.

“Fifteen duplicates were removed from the total case count. Of these, 10 are recoveries and one is a death,” the DOH noted. The death toll jumped to 26,714 or 1.77 percent of the nationwide case count after 117 more people lost their lives, including the 82 cases that were “previously tagged as recoveries (but) were reclassified as deaths after final validation.”

Meanwhile, 5,439 more patients were able to defeat COVID-19, causing the recovery tally to increase to 1,433,851 or 95.1 percent of the overall case count. The people were reminded to follow the health protocols and stay vigilant. “Maging sa loob ng sarili nating mga tahanan, tiyakin ang masusing pag-iingat upang mapigilan ang higit pang pagkakahawa sa COVID-19,” the DOH said. The DOH also reminded the public to immediately coordinate with their respective local government units if they experienced symptoms of COVID-19 or if they were exposed to a positive patient.

“Nariyan din ang ating mga Telemedicine Service Providers na naghahatid ng ligtas na konsultasyon para sa iba pang pangangailangang medikal,” the DOH added.

Source: mb.com.ph

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Delta variant local transmission yet to be determined –Vergeire

July 19 —— A Department of Health official said Saturday that a local transmission of the Delta coronavirus variant has yet to be confirmed, and that an intensive contact-tracing effort should be done. In an interview on Dobol B TV, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire distinguished the difference between local cases and local transmission. A local case means the variant was detected from an individual who was not classified as a returning overseas Filipino (ROF), she said.

Meanwhile, local transmission means there’s evidence that the cases of COVID-19 in a community are linked together. “Sa ngayon ‘di pa nade-determine ‘yan [local transmission] kaya tayo gumagawa ng intensive contact tracing”, she said. Nevertheless, Vergeire said there is a need to determine the origin of the local cases of Delta variant.

“It might be a breach in protocol [at the] border,  kaya may nakapasok at nahawaan ang ibang tao sa komunidad”, she said. In another interview on Dobol B TV, infectious disease expert, Dr. Rontgene Solante, highlighted the importance of contact tracing to avert further transmission of the Delta variant. “Napaka-importante ngayon ng contact tracing para ma-trace ang mga nakasalumuha ng mga nagpositibo sa Delta variant,” he said. He advised the public to be more cautious as there were reported local cases in various regions across the country.

Solante agreed with the DOH that local transmission cannot be declared yet as the contacts of the COVID-19 patients detected with the Delta variant are yet to be traced. “Mag-ingat tayo sa definition ng local transmisson. We only define local transmission kung na-document na natin at confirmed na ang secondary contact nitong nakikita ngayon ay nahawaan, at ang contact nila ay nahawaan din. So kabit-kabit na transmission. Dun na natin makikitaan ng local transmisison,” he said.

“At this point, malamang hintayin ang tests ng secondary and tertiary contacts ng primary contact”, he added. On Friday, the Department of Health reported 16 new COVID-19  cases due to the Delta variant, and of the number, 11 are considered as local cases. Out of the 11 local cases, two were detected in Metro Manila, six in region 10, two in Region 6 and one was tested in Metro Manila but has an address sin Region 3. Two Delta variant cases in the country died. One was a 63-year-old seafarer, while the other one was a 58-year-old female, the DOH said.

Source: gmanetwork.com

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‘Fabian’ slightly intensifies, nears severe tropical storm strength — PAGASA

July 19 —— Tropical storm “Fabian” (international name “In-fa”) has slightly intensified and will likely reach the severe tropical storm category within 12 hours, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Monday morning, July 19. The center of Fabian was estimated at 1,090 kilometers (km) east-northeast of extreme northern Luzon around 4 a.m. It has maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 105 kph while moving north-northwest at 10 kph.

PAGASA said Fabian may become a severe tropical storm within the day and into a typhoon by Tuesday evening, July 20, or Wednesday morning, July 21. Fabian and a tropical depression located at 900 km west of extreme northern Luzon, or outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon or “habagat” in the coming days. The habagat may bring monsoon rains over Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Occidental Mindoro, and Palawan in the next 24 hours. Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental may also have scattered rains showers and thunderstorms.

Meanwhile, Mindanao and the rest of Visayas will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with rain showers or thunderstorms. PAGASA warned against possible flash floods or rain-induced landslides during heavy or prolonged rainfall, particularly in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards. Residents and disaster managers in Batanes and Babuyan Islands were also advised to continuously monitor PAGASA’s tropical cyclone bulletins as any further southward shift in Fabian’s track may result in the hoisting of tropical cyclone wind signal number 1 over these areas.

“The tropical cyclone will maintain a north-northwestward or northwestward (track) before turning west-northwestward tomorrow (July 20). The tropical cyclone may exit the Philippine area of responsibility tomorrow evening or on Wednesday early morning,” PAGASA said. However, it noted that a southward shift in the orientation of the track forecasts has been observed in the past 24 hours. “If the trend continues, there is an increasing possibility that Fabian will either re-enter the PAR or exit the PAR much later than the current forecast suggests,” PAGASA pointed out.

Source: mb.com.ph

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86 quakes in Taal Volcano recorded in last 24 hours; alert level 3 stays

MANILA, Philippines, July 19 —— The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Sunday said that it recorded 86 volcanic earthquakes in Taal Volcano in the last 24 hours. Of the total quakes, 84 were tremors that had durations of one to 34 minutes, one was a low-frequency volcanic earthquake,  and another was a hybrid earthquake and low-level background tremor that has persisted since July 7.

High levels of volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas emissions and steam-rich plumes that reached 2,100 meters before drifting northeast were also generated by the volcano. Phivolcs said SO2 emission averaged 5,466 tonnes on July 17. Magmatic unrest or Alert Level 3 is still in effect in Taal Volcano, meaning magma extruding from the volcano’s main crater could trigger an “explosive eruption.” The alert level was raised after the volcano had a phreatomagmatic eruption on July 1.

Phivolcs reminded that Taal Volcano Island is a permanent danger zone, which means entry into the island as well as into the high-risk barangays in the towns of Agoncillo and Laurel is prohibited due to the hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami should strong eruptions occur. All activities within Taal Lake should also be restricted until the volcano calms, said Phivolcs. “Communities around the Taal Lake shores are advised to remain vigilant, take precautionary measures against possible airborne ash and vog and calmly prepare for possible evacuation should unrest intensify,” it added.

Aviation authorities were also advised not to fly over Taal Volcano due to airborne ash and ballistic fragments which can be caused by sudden explosions. “Phivolcs maintains its close monitoring of Taal Volcano and any new development will be communicated to all concerned stakeholders,” Phivolcs said.

Source: inquirer.net

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Dawlah Islamiyah terrorist killed, 2 others captured in Maguindanao clash — military

July 19 —— A suspected member of the terrorist group Dawlah Islamiya was killed while two of his comrades were arrested by the military in an armed encounter in Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao on Saturday, July 17. The slain terrorist was identified by the military as alias “Tong Bomber” while caught were Nondo Ado Sangalan and Tong Sangalan. A soldier was also hurt in the crossfire and he was already receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital, said Lt. Col. Benjamin Cadiente, commanding oficer of the 33rd Infantry Battalion (33IB).

According to Cadiente, the 33IB received an intelligence report about a small group of Dawlah Islamiya terrorists spotted in Barangay Nabundas. He said this prompted them to conduct a counter-terrorism operation in the area. The soldiers were then engaged by an undetermined number of armed men in a firefight just as they were approaching the village around 8 a.m., said Cadiente. “While our troops were approaching the location of the suspected terrorists, we were met by heavy fires,” he stated.

The troops were forced to retaliate which led to the death of a suspected Dawlah Islamiya terrorist and the arrest of two others. Seized from them were an M14 rifle and two improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Cadiente said the body of the slain Dawlah Islamiya member was turned over to barangay officials for proper disposition while the captured suspects were placed under the custody of the local police for the filing of appropriate cases.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) Central, urged the remaining members of local terrorist groups in the area to surrender to the authorities and “live a peaceful and sustainable life with their family.” He said the local government of Maguindanao recently distributed livelihood assistance to 17 former members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) to give them a second chance at living a peaceful life.

Source: mb.com.ph

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PDP-Laban ousts Pacquiao as president, installs Cusi

July 19 —— Ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) on Saturday ousted Senator Manny Pacquiao as party president and installed Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi as his replacement. “I will live by the oath I took,” said Cusi, after he was sworn in by President Rodrigo Duterte, who is party chairman. Cusi’s assumption came shortly after Pacquiao’s post was declared vacant. Pacquiao, who is in the United States to prepare for his title boxing fight against Errol Spence, was expelled from his post in the party just seven months after he took oath as PDP-Laban president.

In a statement, Pacquiao slammed the assembly: “Kung sa tingin nila Cusi at iba pa na mas importante ang politika sa ngayon, bahala na sila. Sa huli, isa lang naman ang tanong na dapat sagutin. Sino ba ang sasamahan ng taong bayan?” The senator-boxer added: “Nakakalungkot na nakapasok na ang Delta variant sa Pilipinas at kapag hindi maagapan, marami ang maaaring mahawa. Ito dapat ang prioridad ng ating gobyerno.” Pacquiao’s ouster came a day after the PDP-Laban faction led by Cusi opened the new nominations for new party officials.

Cusi has organized the national assembly in Clark, Pampanga which was attended by Duterte. As announced earlier by the Palace, the entire PDP-Laban elections were not open to the media. The event organizers said the event will be covered by the RTVM but they later on informed members of the media that only Duterte’s speech will be broadcast live. “It is an intra-party affair. Does not have to be for public consumption,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque explained in a chance interview.

Around 250 voting delegates have attended the assembly with some PDP-Laban members representing their respective councils, according to PDP-Laban deputy secretary general Melvin Matibag. “They are entitled to another vote representing their respective councils. For example, a congressman of a district is entitled to a vote and if he is the president of the city council, he votes for that City Council too,” he earlier explained. There were also 82 delegates who virtually joined the assembly.

The party members are expected to vote for the following positions: President, Executive Vice President, Vice Presidents for NCR, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, Secretary General, Treasurer, Auditor. They will also pick heads of the party committees on Membership, Education, Finance, Legal, Public Information, Livelihood, and Youth Affairs. Pacquiao took his oath as PDP-Laban President last December 2020 alongside Speaker Lord Allan Velasco who took oath then as PDP-Laban Executive Vice President.

Pacquiao and his PDP allies earlier issued a resolution expelling PDP-Laban Vice Chairman Al Cusi, PDP-Laban Deputy Secretary General Melvin Matibag and PDP-Laban membership committee head Astra Naik over alleged violations of the party’s by-laws and constitution by “showing allegiance to a political party apart from PDP Laban.” Likewise, Pacquiao and his allies also issued resolutions invalidating what transpired in the previous two PDP-Laban meetings where a number of party members prodded President Duterte to run for Vice President in 2022, with others even asking the Chief Executive to pick Bong Go as his running mate.

Despite this move, President Rodrigo Duterte continued to recognize Cusi as PDP-Laban leader and even attended Saturday’s meeting when Pacquiao was ultimately expelled. Ahead of Saturday’s meeting, the Cusi-led faction rejected the resolution issued by the Pacquiao-led wing. The infighting within the party started when President Duterte accused Pacquiao of saying that corruption tripled during the Duterte administration. Since then, the President has called Pacquiao a liar and a punch drunk. It was unclear when Pacquiao supposedly made the claim, but Pacquiao has called on his party-mates during his oath taking as PDP-Laban President in December 2020 to shun corruption.

Source: gmanetwork.com

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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Filipino beauty queens grace cover of Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, July 19 —— Bow down to the queens! Their respective reigns may officially be over, but these queens still rule supreme. Four Filipino beauty queens, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Miss World 2013 Megan Young, Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa and Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong graced the July 2021 cover of Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam.

On Sunday, July 18, the queens took to social media to share photos from their stunning shoot. “Sharing the cover of @bazaarvietnam with these beautiful and strong women,” Megan wrote.  Pia also said, “Me and my girls on the cover of @bazaarvietnam. Time warp to Temptation Island… version 2021.”  “Did someone say, Queens? From the powerhouse of Asia, Team Philippines! Me and my girls for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam 10th anniversary issue. Inspired by Temptation Island realness,” wrote Kylie.

In their captions, Megan, Pia, and Kylie used references to the 1980 Regal film Temptation Island, directed by Joey Gosiengfiao, which tells the story of four beauty contest winners who found themselves stuck on a deserted island. On their website, Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam also uploaded more group and individual photos of Pia, Megan, Kylie, and Angelia as the four beauty queens talk about their respective pageant journeys and activities after their reign. The ladies were photographed by BJ Pascual and styled by Adrianne Concepcion, with creative direction from Eldzs Mejia.  The cover is part of the magazine’s special 10th anniversary issue.

Source: rappler.com

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‘Titane’ wins Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Fest, Spike Lee reveals

CANNES, July 19 —— “Titane”, a wildly imaginative film about a serial killer by French director Julia Ducournau, won the top Palme d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday — as revealed by jury head ahead of time Spike Lee in a gaffe at the ceremony. Ducournau, 37, became only the second woman to win the top award at Cannes. In a moment of confusion when asked in French to reveal what one of the prizes was, the US film director read off a card and prematurely announced the best movie winner.

“No excuses, I messed up,” Lee told a news conference after the event. “I’m a big sports fan, it’s like the guy at the end of the game at the foul line, he misses a free throw, or the guy misses a kick.” It was not the first blooper moment at an awards ceremony: at the 2017 Oscars, musical “La La Land” was incorrectly announced as best movie, instead of “Moonlight”.

Ducournau, 37, became only the second woman to win the top award at Cannes. Her violent film, where the heroine has sex with a car, split critics, with some praising its originality but others put off by its frantic and messy approach. “Ducournau’s beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy is a nightmarish yet mischievously comic barrage of sex, violence, lurid lighting and pounding music,” critics at the BBC broadcaster said. “It’s also impossible to predict where it’s going to go next.” Described as a “body horror” movie and based around a character with a titanium plate in her head, the film impressed with its energy.

“I’ve never seen a film in my life…. where a Cadillac impregnated a woman,” Lee said. Ducournau had previously found critical success with “Raw” in 2016. The only previous female winner of Cannes’ top award was Jane Campion who shared the prize in 1993 for “The Piano”. The world’s biggest film festival returned to the French Riviera after a 2020 hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic in one of the most unpredictable contests in years.

Stars happy to be back

The event drew stars such as Matt Damon and Sharon Stone to the red carpet, with moviemakers and actors delighted to be back though attendance was down on previous years. Once the awards were officially announced, other big winners included Leos Carax, picked as best director for “Annette”, a musical about two artists caught in a twisted love affair. Hamaguchi Ryusuke and Takamusa Oe of Japan won best screenplay for their tale of heartbreak and loss “Drive My Car”.

Renate Reinsve won best actress for her role in “The Worst Person In The World” by Joachim Trier, a modern-day romantic comedy that was a big hit with critics. “Compartment no6” by Juho Kuosmanen, about a woman who embarks on a train journey across Russia, tied with “A Hero” by Iran’s Asghar Farhadi, which features a prisoner faced with a moral quandary, for the Grand Prix distinction. Caleb Landry Jones, who starred in Australian film “Nitram”, won best actor.

The Jury Prize, another runner-up award for best movie, went to two films: “Ahed’s Knee” by Israel’s Nadav Lapid and “Memoria” by Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

Source: gmanetwork.com

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Still no full-length films in Cinemalaya 2021, 13 shorts competing

July 19 —— This year’s edition of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival will still exclude the competition category for full-length features as a result of the pandemic. It will, however, have 13 shorts battle it out for the best film award. Instead of having a three-week run online, the annual indie fete will be held for four weeks, from Aug. 6 to Sept. 6, and will be streaming on ktx.ph. However, Cinemalaya will have a “hybrid setup” this year, meaning it will attempt to do live streaming in one of the outdoor venues of its former home, the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City.

Cinemalaya officials made these announcements on Wednesday afternoon during a virtual media conference, where the directors of the 13 short film finalists were also introduced. Competing for best film are the following: Arjanmar H. Rebeta’s “An Sadit na Planeta,” Kevin Jay Ayson’s “Ang mga Nawalang Pag-Asa at Panlasa,” Shiri de Leon’s “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi,” Kevin Mayuga’s “Ate O.G.,” Myra Aquino’s “Beauty Queen,” Marc Misa’s “Crossing,” Alphie Velasco’s “Kawatan sa Salog,” Kyle Nieva’s “Kids on Fire,” James Fajardo’s “Looking for Rafflesias and Other Fleeting Things,” Che Tagyamon and Glenn Barit’s “Maski Papano,” Jonnie Lyn P. Dasalla’s “Namnama En Lolang,” Enrico Po’s “Out of Body,” and David Olson’s “The Dust in your Place.”

According to Cinemalaya’s main competition and monitoring chair Jose Javier Reyes, the short film finalists were chosen from 200 entries after spending “a great number of hours deliberating on which should be included in the lineup.” “Personally, this made me feel inspired because I see the passion in these young filmmakers, as well as see changes in the language in filmmaking that’s brought about by the pandemic. I realized that it’s all a matter of perspective, of how you look at the filmmaking process in the present times,” Reyes pointed out.

In 2020, it was announced that the eight full-length films that were supposed to compete will join the 10 other finalists of the 2021 edition. However, this will not push through this year.

Laurice Guillen, Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. president explained: “At the start, we were unsure of when we would have the vaccinations, but then, thankfully, we had the guidelines and protocols, which meant that in order to observe them and shoot these films, there has to be an increase of about 30 percent in budget. Of course, that was next to impossible at that time. As you know, even without this problem, the filmmakers are always dealing with a really tight budget. As a way of getting around this, we’ve decided to delay their shooting until such a time that they would be able to raise the needed funds through their co-financiers.”

Kyle Nievas’ “Kids on Fire”

This year’s edition of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival will still exclude the competition category for full-length features as a result of the pandemic. It will, however, have 13 shorts battle it out for the best film award. Instead of having a three-week run online, the annual indie fete will be held for four weeks, from Aug. 6 to Sept. 6, and will be streaming on ktx.ph. However, Cinemalaya will have a “hybrid setup” this year, meaning it will attempt to do live streaming in one of the outdoor venues of its former home, the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City.

Cinemalaya officials made these announcements on Wednesday afternoon during a virtual media conference, where the directors of the 13 short film finalists were also introduced. Competing for best film are the following: Arjanmar H. Rebeta’s “An Sadit na Planeta,” Kevin Jay Ayson’s “Ang mga Nawalang Pag-Asa at Panlasa,” Shiri de Leon’s “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi,” Kevin Mayuga’s “Ate O.G.,” Myra Aquino’s “Beauty Queen,” Marc Misa’s “Crossing,” Alphie Velasco’s “Kawatan sa Salog,” Kyle Nieva’s “Kids on Fire,” James Fajardo’s “Looking for Rafflesias and Other Fleeting Things,” Che Tagyamon and Glenn Barit’s “Maski Papano,” Jonnie Lyn P. Dasalla’s “Namnama En Lolang,” Enrico Po’s “Out of Body,” and David Olson’s “The Dust in your Place.”

Jonnie Lyn Dasalla’s “Namnama En Lolang”

According to Cinemalaya’s main competition and monitoring chair Jose Javier Reyes, the short film finalists were chosen from 200 entries after spending “a great number of hours deliberating on which should be included in the lineup.” “Personally, this made me feel inspired because I see the passion in these young filmmakers, as well as see changes in the language in filmmaking that’s brought about by the pandemic. I realized that it’s all a matter of perspective, of how you look at the filmmaking process in the present times,” Reyes pointed out.

In 2020, it was announced that the eight full-length films that were supposed to compete will join the 10 other finalists of the 2021 edition. However, this will not push through this year. Laurice Guillen, Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. president explained: “At the start, we were unsure of when we would have the vaccinations, but then, thankfully, we had the guidelines and protocols, which meant that in order to observe them and shoot these films, there has to be an increase of about 30 percent in budget. Of course, that was next to impossible at that time. As you know, even without this problem, the filmmakers are always dealing with a really tight budget. As a way of getting around this, we’ve decided to delay their shooting until such a time that they would be able to raise the needed funds through their co-financiers.”

Enrico Po’s “Out of Body”

Guillen added that the festival’s experience with the pandemic has given its organizers the opportunity to assess what they have been doing in the past few years. “Apart from thinking of ways we could solve this problem of the pandemic while shooting in the new normal, there was also the assessment of perhaps we could make some changes even if our vision for Cinemalaya remains the same. We also decided to allow changes, for example, by allowing commercial film producers to participate as co-financiers. In the past, this is purely independent. Now, we’ve agreed to this for as long as we kept true to our vision.”

Festival director Chris Millado has agreed that there were a lot of lessons learned from last year’s run. “One of these is that our viewers in 2020 wanted a longer time in terms of getting a chance to watch the films. That’s why we decided this year to extend the run from three to four weeks,” he explained. “Last year, we were on a learning curve in terms of online streaming. We were one of the firsts to have done this, so there was a bit of a challenge especially for our viewers to go online and to sign up. This year, we partnered with ktx.ph. Hopefully, these concerns will be addressed.”

Guillen added that while all these were short-term solutions, the Cinemalaya Film Institute has also come up with long-term ones with five new training programs that are geared toward preparing the new filmmakers to shoot in the new normal. “There are two screenwriting programs, one for production and one for assistant directing,” Guillen declared. “However, the biggest thing we’re doing this year is the creation of a film lab, which will be part of the competition process in the 2023 edition.”

The Cinemalaya Film Lab is a three-month-long film laboratory mentorship program happening from September to November 2021. “Those who will make it to the semi-finals will be attending the laboratory, where experts and experienced professionals can lecture them and mentor them about the artistic, creative, technological, as well as the business aspect of filmmaking. “By the time they’re through with the film lab, we’re confident that they’ve already come up with a shootable script and already know what’s in store for them, not just in terms of exhibition but also distribution,” Guillen added.

Source: inquirer.net

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SPORTS NEWS

Bucks hold off Suns in Game Five to close in on NBA title

PHOENIX, July 19 —— Jrue Holiday seized his chance to give the Milwaukee Bucks the lead in the NBA Finals. Took it right out of Devin Booker’s hands, actually. Holiday’s steal and alley-oop pass to Giannis Antetounmpo for a dunk sealed a wild Game Five and gave the Bucks a 123-119 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night (Sunday, Manila time).

Antetokounmpo had 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Khris Middleton added 29 points and Holiday had 27 points and 13 assists. The Bucks shot their way out of an early 16-point hole but then won it by making a huge defensive play for the second straight game. They can win their first title since 1971 in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. Booker had 40 points for the Suns.

Source: spin.ph

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Alas, Ravena take turns as NLEX stuns reigning champion Ginebra

July 19 —— NLEX gave reigning PBA Philippine Cup champion Barangay Ginebra a rude welcome after cruising to a 94-75 victory at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Sunday, July 18. Kevin Alas shone off the bench with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting to go with 3 assists as the Road Warriors bounced back from their conference-opening loss two days ago and spoiled the Gin Kings’ debut. NLEX also drew a prolific performance from Kiefer Ravena, who chalked up 19 points, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 2 rebounds.

Coming off its first All-Filipino title in more than a decade last season, Ginebra entered the season as the team to beat, especially with the addition of Christian Standhardinger following a trade from NorthPort. But the Road Warriors put their clamps on Standhardinger, who finished with 8 points and 10 rebounds, as they pulled away in the third quarter en route to a 19-point win. Leading by only 9 points midway through the third quarter, 59-50, NLEX broke the game wide open with an 11-0 run capped by an Anthony Semerad triple for its biggest lead of the game.

The Gin Kings got to within 11 points in the final salvo only to witness Ravena and Alas take turns offensively to seal the Road Warriors’ triumph. Don Trollano had 11 points and 7 rebounds in the win, Semerad put up 11 points on a perfect 3-of-3 clip from long range, while JR Quinahan added a double-double of 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Japeth Aguilar topscored for Ginebra with 15 points and 5 rebounds, while Scottie Thompson saw his near-triple-double of 12 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 blocks go to waste. Reigning Best Player of the Conference Stanley Pringle had a quiet performance with 8 points against 4 turnovers in the loss.

The Scores

NLEX 94 – Alas 20, Ravena 19, Trollano 11, Semerad 11, Quinahan 10, Cruz 9, Soyud 7, Miranda 5, Oftana 2, Porter 0, McAloney 0.

Barangay Ginebra 75 – Aguilar 15, Thompson 12, Tenorio 11, Standhardinger 9, Pringle 8, Caperal 8, Chan 4, Devance 3, Tolentino 2, Enriquez 2, Ayaay 2, Dillinger 0, Salado 0.

Quarters: 26-15, 41-35, 72-55, 94-75.

Source: rappler.com

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Alex Eala rules singles event in Milan to complete double title romp

July 19 —— Filipina tennis ace Alex Eala added two more titles to her championship haul in a span of 24 hours as she clinched the girls’ singles crown of the junior grade A tournament in Milan, Italy on Sunday, July 18. Coming off a sterling championship run in the girls’ doubles tilt with American partner Madison Sieg in the same event, Eala toppled Nikola Bartunkova of Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-3, in the girls’ singles finals.

Eala seized a 3-0 lead in the second set before Bartunkova got back in the match by taking three of the next five games. The 16-year-old Eala, though, held her ground and notched the ensuing game to complete the double title romp in Milan.

Despite back-to-back second-round exits in the singles and doubles tournament of the recent Wimbledon Open, Eala has enjoyed successful tennis in recent months. Eala won her second Grand Slam title in June when she and Russian partner Oksana Selekhmeteva ruled the girls’ doubles event of the French Open.

Source: rappler.com