HEADLINES: 43 policemen probed as ‘cleansing’ begins | Jan. 14, 2023

Good morning. These are the stories from The Manila Times Saturday, January 14, 2023.

BANNER: 43 officers were questioned by police as the ‘cleansing” began

As part of the ongoing drive to rid the Philippine National Police (PNP), of those who are involved in drug trafficking, at least 43 officers from NCRPO were summoned for an initial screening procedure. According to LtCol. NCRPO, the policemen were named on the NCRPO’s drug watch list, which was compiled by its counterintelligence division. Dexter Versola. NCRPO Acting Region Director MGen called them. Versola explained that Jonnel Estomo took them to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, to get a chance to clear their name. The Metro Manila police force will be screened to eliminate any doubts about its integrity, especially regarding anti-narcotics units.

Manila port seized P19-M smuggled Sugar

The Manila International Container Port (MICP) was seized with smuggled sugar worth at least P19million, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA). James Layug (Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Inspection) said that contraband cargo found in five shipping containers was discovered January 11. Layug stated that the shipment contained insulators and surge arresters, slippers, outsoles, and rubber styrene butadiene. The shipment was ordered to be held on November 29, and was inspected by a team of the Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and (PDEA), Customs Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force and (CAIDTF), Bureau of Plant Industry and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Services. Layug indicated that DA is preparing criminal charges against Burias Jang Consumer Goods Trading as a result of misdeclaration of the shipment’s destination.

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Wealth fund approval is a welcomed development by foreign business leaders

FOREIGN business leaders agree that the Maharlika Wealth Fund, (MWF), could prove to be very profitable for the Philippines if it is properly implemented. Lorens Ziller, Executive Director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines believes that a sovereign wealth fund can make the Philippines a desirable destination for investors. The MWF, a sovereign fund, will be used by the government to invest in a variety of outlets, including foreign currencies, fixed income instruments, commercial real estate, and projects that impact infrastructure. Chris Nelson, the trustee of the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and executive director of the MWF, spoke out during the roundtable hosted by Dante Klink Ang 2nd, chairman and CEO of The Manila Times. Nelson pointed out that wealth funds have had many successes and achieved results. Jesper Svenningsen from the Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, who was also present at the roundtable with Nelson and Ziller, agreed that the wealth fund can bring about benefits for the country. Svenningsen suggested that President Marcos address another important issue at Davos: the effects of climate change on the Philippines.

DA Wants to Know Why Egg Prices Are So High

The Department of Agriculture (DA), is investigating why egg retail prices have soared up to P10 per piece. Kristine Evangelista, Agriculture Assistant Secretary and spokesman for the department, said Friday that they were investigating after Gregorio San Diego, Chairman of the Philippine Egg Board said that the farmgate price is still low at between P6.70 to P7.20 per pound.

Red-tagging continues to be a threat to the Church

According to a Church official RED-tagging continues to be a threat to missionaries in the Church, even though a local court cleared a Catholic nun and several human right activists of perjury charges filed by a former national intelligence adviser in 2019. Fr. Christian Buenafe O.Carm., chairman of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, said that while the court dismissed the perjury charge, the case still has implications for those who work to promote justice, equality, and freedom in the Philippines. Fr. Buenafe is also the executive secretary of the Conference of Major Superiors in the Philippines. He stated that the Church is determined to serve the poor. They are however vulnerable to red tagging or allegations of being members in rebel groups.

NDRRMC: Infra, agri damage up P418M

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, (NDRRMC), reported Friday that P418 million was incurred by agriculture and infrastructure as a result of floods caused by the shearline phenomenon and a low pressure area (LPA). This has been occurring since January 2. The amount of damage to agriculture is estimated at P252,698,531 while the infrastructure damage is P165,745,496. The National Irrigation Administration reported that there were P25.610,000 worth of damages. According to the report, 17 people died. According to the report, there were 17 deaths: five in Bicol and four in Northern Mindanao. Three in Eastern Visayas, one in Davao, and three in Zamboanga.

BBM requests private sector assistance on Natl ID

Ferdinand “Bongbong,” Marcos Jr. asked the private sector to assist in “getting the National Identification out.” He said that the sector has the technology and capabilities for creating new digital IDs. Marcos issued a directive on Thursday to speed up the digitalization of the national ID system during his meeting with the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) on Digital Infrastructure in Malacañang.

BUSINESS: PH plays a key role in Indo-Pacific growth

Topping business, better regional ties, supply chains and infrastructure will allow the Indo-Pacific region to grow — especially in these trying times — and the Philippines can play a central role in achieving this, Cabinet officials said. A panel discussion was held during Thursday’s forum. Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual stated that the Philippines has many advantages when it comes to establishing supply chains. Because of its central location, the Philippines has been a gateway to the Pacific and north.

SPORTS: Dindin inks in PVL with Akari Chargers

Sports: Aleona Denise Santiago-Manabat, a former Chery Tiggo 7 pro crossovers player, has signed a contract with the Akari Chargers, the newest Premier Volleyball League team. Friday, January 13th was the date of her signing. Manabat, 29, had previously played for many PVL teams between 2013 and 2022 and also had played for two Japanese teams between 2020 and 2018. She was part of the Chery Tiggo team, which won the PVL Open conference championship in 2021. Manabat was last in Thailand in 2017 for the Nakhon Ratchasima Women’s Volleyball Club. Manabat is joining Camille Victoria, Bang Pineda and Eli Soyud, who are the new recruits to Akari. Akari also boasts its old guards in Trisha Generation, Erika Rapagas, Lycha Embon, Michelle Cobb Jaja Maraguinot and Dani Ravena. Myla Pablo will be joining the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers.

Editorial and opinion

Today’s columnists include Antonio Contreras (Yen Makabenta), Danton Remoto and Danton Rmoto. Contreras discusses the current political situation in the US. Contreras continues his series about the country being an onion. Remoto speaks about the Library Renewal Partnership.

Today’s editorial believes President Marcos is sending a wrong message by addressing the controversial sovereign fund of the country during the World Economic Forum, Davos. The full text can be found in the opinion section of the paper or listened to the Voice of the Times.

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This is Peter Steven Llevares reporting.

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