The 2021 Blog of DILA

looking into the adversities of our constitutionally disadvantaged non-Tagalog peoples

 

January 12, 2021

News Report: 3 Pekingese nabbed for attempted kidnap.
Three Chinese nationals were arrested for robbing and attempting to kidnap a woman, fellow China national. A fellow countrymsn of the three escaped arrest. The suspects were charged with robbery, kidnapping, and illegal possession of firearms.

News Report: Lowest number of active cases in 6 months reached.
Despite concern over the rising number of new cases since the Christmas holidays, the country registered a positive note as it showed its lowest number of positive cases since June 2020 due to many recoveries. Another good news was the announcement of vaccine czar Carlito Galvez that vaccines will be available to 50-70 million Filipinos. The first of these will be 30 million doses of Sinovac from China.
In other news, it was reported that a bridge over the Pasig River built with China's assistance will pass over the historic Intendencia ruins and nearby sites. Construction of the bridge is reported to be approaching the area of the ruins and causing damage. The bridge has already been heavily criticized because its design conflicts with the traditional design mandated for Intramuros structures, as well as adversely affecting the World Heritage status of San Agustin Church. The Senate has held hearings on the project's employment of workers from China to the detriment of Philippine workers (40% of workers were reported to be Pekingese). Unfortunately, criticizing it may damage the administration's extremely friendly relations with China, so construction proceeds regardless of all other damage it causes.

philstar.com/headlines/2019/04/30/1912592/bridge-burning-bridges-why-china-funded-binondo-intramuros-structure-controversial

Senators question nat’l gov’t 'monopoly' on procurement of COVID-19 vaccine gmanetwork.com/news/nation/771292

 

January 7, 2021

News Report: Only 25% in NCR want to be vaccinated.
A survey conducted by the OPTA Research Group two days ago revealed that only a quarter of residents in Metro Manila were willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The rest were unsure or unwilling.
Comment: They should have checked the reasons, whether apprehensions brought by Dengvaxia, or mistrust of a China-made vaccine. The NCR is the epicenter of coronavirus infections in the country.

News Report: PAL passenger with new COVID-19 variant quarantined in Hong Kong.
A female passenger who returned to Hong Kong on a PAL flight from Manila on December 22 has tested positive for the new, more communicable variant of the China virus. The Philippines has already suspended flights from the UK and other countries with the new variant to prevent its entry.
Comment: The detection of this new variant in a passenger who departed from Manila raises alarming questions - is the variant now in the country, and have others been already infected if she got it from someone else here? Do they already test for the new variant and have they done the necessary contact tracing?

Philippine Star
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said inoculation against COVID-19 will be based on the list of priorities as she urged local officials to work with the national government for a unified procurement and distribution. LGUs Can’t Buy COVID-19 Vaccines On Their Own, Can Pool Resources With National Gov’t – Palace, DOH -January 5

News Report: Duterte-Carpio tops Pulse Asia 2022 presidential poll.
Davao City mayor Sara Duterte Carpio led the Pulse Asia survey with 26%. She was followed by Bongbong Marcos and Grace Poe with 14%, Manila mayor Francisco "Isko" Domagoso with 12%, and Sen. Manny Pacquiao with 10%. The leading senatorial candidates included Sen. Pacquiao, mayor Domagoso, Rep. Loren Legarda, Senators Ping Lacson, Migs Zubiri and Risa Hontiveros. A prominent non-plolitician who figured in the senatorial survey was broadcaster Raffy Tulfo, who placed second after Sen. Pacquiao.

MANILA BULLETIN
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has enjoined the youth to continue believing in the system that the government has established, “as what our national heroes would probably tell us if only they are alive.” Mayor Isko encourages the youth to 'continue believing in the system' -November 30, 2020
INQUIRER.net
Mayor Isko Moreno: “I would rather focus on Manila and focus on the pandemic." No to presidential bid in 2022, says Manila mayor -January 2

gmanetwork.com/news/lite/story/770091 Sara Duterte wants name off lists of choices in presidential bet polls -January 2

 

December 31, 2020

News Report: PSG, officials reportedly vaccinated.
Despite the absence of FDA authorization for any vaccine, and the fact that no vaccine has officially arrived so far, members of the Presidential Security Group have been reported vaccinated with smuggled Sinopharm vaccines from China. A PSG spokesman said this was done to protect the president, though without his knowledge. Cabinet members were also reportedly vaccinated. Sinopharm manufacturers claim 50% effectivity, though this has been disputed in the UK. Manila mayor Francisco Domagoso and the PNP have urged people who have been vaccinated to report this but no one has so far.

MANILA BULLETIN
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana admits COVID-19 vaccines administered to select soldiers were smuggled, contradicting claims of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that they were donated. -December 30
Philstar.com
Doctors illegally administering unregistered COVID-19 vaccines face sanctions including revocation of license, the Department of Health and Food and Drug Administration warned on Thursday. philstar.com/headlines/2021/01/02/2067600

 

December 28, 2020

News Report: COVID-19 positives fall below 1,000.
China virus cases reached only 900 despite the holidays, though Prof. Guido David of UP OPTA Research said this could have been because testing centers were closed. Meanwhile Sen. Ping Lacson said Pres. Duterte's threat to cancel the Visiting Forces Agreement if 70 million doses of Pfizer were not given by the Americans was blackmail.
Sen. Franklin Drilon questioned vaccine czar Galvez's approval of Sinovac despite only a 50% success rate (they claim 91%, though tests in Brazil gave only 50%).

Who gave lead role to Chinese vaccine? POSTSCRIPT - By Federico D. Pascual Jr. December 20, 2020 philstar.com/opinion/2020/12/20/2065025
Give him the slingshot SKETCHES - By Ana Marie Pamintuan December 18, 2020 - Live with it: we still have many more months of waiting for a reliable COVID vaccine to arrive in our poor country.
Duterte claims Philippine military, others received Sinopharm vaccine
gmanetwork.com/news/story/769523
Lacson on Duterte VFA threat: We can ask US for vaccine help without sounding like we’re blackmailing gmanetwork.com/news/story/769538

 

December 22, 2020

News Report: Calls for death penalty following shooting.
Proposals to revive the death penalty were made by officials after a policeman shot to death a mother and her adult son in Paniqui, Tarlac. Legislators revived bills on capital punishment in both Houses. A significant turnaround was that of Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who had opposed the death penalty ever since he became a born-again Christian, but changed his position following the shooting.

News Report: Leading presidential bets listed.
A commentator from a leading radio station known for his extensive contacts has released the ten leading bets for the presidency in 2022:
• 1) VP Leni Robredo
• 2) Senate Pres. Tito Sotto
• 3) Sen. Grace Poe
• 4) Sen. Bong Go
• 5) Sen. Manny Pacquiao
• 6) Sen. Cynthia Villar
• 7) Former Sen. Bongbong Marcos
• 8) Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte
• 9) Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso
• 10) Businessman Ramon Ang

News Report: Locsin, Lacson attack saboteurs of Pfizer agreement.
Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr. criticized an unnamed government official for causing a delay in the planned transfer to the country of 10 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Sen. Panfilo Lacson also criticized DOH officials for undermining the health concerns of Filipinos, including delaying a vaccine. No official was named initially, but sources point to DOH Sec. Francisco Duque. Other sources said the reason was the preference for a vaccine from China, which would be facilitated by delays in the release of the Pfizer vaccine.

INQUIRER.net
Sen. Kiko Pangilinan said some government officials may be held liable for graft over the government’s failure to secure a deal for 10 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had helped to arrange for the Philippines. Lawmakers: Missed Pfizer deal smells of ‘kickvac’

News Report: President warns against mutant virus.
President Rodrigo Duterte warned against a new strain of COVID-19 virus, and said that people are suffering enough, and cannot endure this new trial. He absolved Sec. Duque who is accused of delays in the acquisition of the Pfizer vaccine, saying he is not guilty of serious lapses. Meanwhile Sec. Galvez announced that according to talks with China's ambassador, the China-made vaccine to the China virus can be delivered on March, or later than the Pfizer vaccine if problems had not delayed it.

Lacson: Duque's failure cost Philippines Pfizer vaccines by January gmanetwork.com/news/story/768331

 

December 15, 2020

News Report: FDA approves 2 vaccines for testing.
The Food and Drug Administration approved two China-made vaccines against the China virus, Sinovac and Clover Biotech. Sinovac will have priority next year, according to presdential spokesman Harry Roque, as it is trusted by President Duterte. It has been reported that Manila mayor Francisco Domagoso and Quezon City mayor Joy Belmonte have declared that they want to be the first to be vaccinated because they want to inspire trust in the COVID vaccine. Neither Belmonte nor Moreno, however, indicated a preference for China-made China virus vaccines.

INQUIRER.net
Dr. Anthony Leachon questioned the government's decision to supposedly prioritize coronavirus vaccines from firms that have yet to produce enough efficacy and safety data. inq.news/Palacenotfond

News Report: Roque twits Leachon re Duterte speech.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque criticized Dr. Tony Leachon, former consultant for the IATF. He said the president uttered expletives each time Leachon was mentioned, saying he was seeking a government post. Leachon who in the past wanted stricter anti-COVID measures has more recently been critical of the government's inordinate preference for unreliable vaccines from China and Russia.

News Report: Leachon defends himself vs. Roque raps.
Former IATF consultant Dr. Tony Leachon took exception to presidential spokesman Harry Roque's remarks. He said he does not intend to enter government as he makes a good living with his medical practice. He said China's Sinovac is just in the second stage of clinical trials and has not received authorization documents. It is more expensive, costing $60 per dose as shown in the Senate hearing as compared to $4-40 for others.

News Report: Mayor orders probe into illegal vaccination.
Manila mayor Francisco Domagoso ordered an investigation of reports that COVID-19 vaccinations are being done in Binondo. No vaccine has so far been authorized. China nationals are reported to be having themselves injected with China-made China virus vaccines.

 

December 11, 2020

Leonen impeachment set for next year
The impeachment for Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen has been set for next year because the 18th Congress is about to end its sessions. Earlier, the camp of former senator Bongbong Marcos denied being behind the impeachment despite its being filed by Ilocos Norte 2nd district representative Angelo Marcos Barba on behalf of a constituent. Marcos sought earlier to disqualify Leonen from hearing his VP electoral protest for allegedly being biased.

News Report: New COVID cases fall below 2,000 for 10th straight day.
In an encouraging development, China virus additions have not reached the 2,000 mark for ten days. The other day's new cases numbered 1,300. Four places were declared areas of concern by the UP OCTA Research Group: Baguio; Mankayan, Benguet where hospital rates have reached 100%; Makati; and Davao City.

News Report: Senator calls for probe on LGU narco list killings.
Senator Panfilo Lacson asked that the killing of local officials in the administration narcotics list be investigated. This comes after the murder of local officials in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao accused of being involved in drugs. The latest, just a few days ago was that of Los Banos mayor Caesar Perez. He echoes VP Robredo's statement expressing alarm over this.
Lacson described the killings as 'gangland style'. The shooting of Mayor Perez was near the municipal hall, where many CCTVs are located, yet according to police, none captured the shooting. He has not had control over the police force since he was put on the narco list in 2017.

News Report: Hontiveros warns against 3rd telco.
Senator Risa Hontiveros warns against Dito Telecom, in which China Telecom is a major investor, saying that it could be used for spying. Dito has requested cell towers inside military camps. China's companies are required under Chinese law to assist the PRC communist government in spying. The Senate is conducting hearings about the national security implications of a Pekingese telecom company in the Philippines.
In other news, the Bureau of Immigration has prohibited its employees from using TIktok and other social media while in uniform. Tiktok is a China company and as such, is also instructed to spy, which has led to its banning in the US and India.

 

December 8, 2020

News Report: High radioactive iodine levels found in corals in West Philippine Sea.
Elevated radioactive iodine 129 levels were found in corals from the West Philippine Sea. In a radio interview, Dr. Carlo Arcilla of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute said this could have come from nuclear-powered vessels of China or North Korea passing the West Philippine Sea. He did not discount the possibility of nuclear plants in China-occupied islands. There have been other reports of increased Chinese naval activity, including against Philippine fishing vessels, since the pandemic began.

Philstar.com
Researchers from the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute have found high radiation levels in the waters of the West Philippine Sea. philstar.com/headlines/2020/12/08/2062237

Media, and social media, which earlier were fuming against the unsubstantiated requirement for face shields, are now railing against another COVID imposition, foot pads. One prominent media personality complained about nearly losing his balance upon slipping on foot pads.
Many have narrowly missed slipping on these, and it was reported that two of his friends were seriously injured, one sustaining fractured legs and necessitating surgery. People talk of lawsuits against establishment owners, and raising questions whether these were required by the IATF. Face shields too are questioned for being superfluous and unnecessary since face masks are required anyway.

Philippine Star
“Those who are doing activities like running or jogging must use their face shield...” UP Diliman wrote in its guidelines. UP Diliman reopens Academic Oval to walkers, joggers -November 11, 2020
CDN Digital
“We have to remember that this new normal comes with little sacrifices like always wearing a mask, face shield,...” Vergeire said. -October 15, 2020
The Wall Street Journal
Frequent use of disinfecting cleansers, wipes and aerosol sprays during the Covid-19 pandemic has some people worried about possible health risks. Here’s what doctors and others advise about the proper use of disinfectants.
What Are the Health Risks of Disinfectants? -December 7

 

December 5, 2020

News Report: PDP-Laban elects Pacquiao president.
The party of President Duterte, PDP-Laban, has elected Senator Manny Pacquiao president. He takes over Senator Koko Pimentel, son of founder Aquilino Pimentel. Does this mean that the President will now endorse Pacquiao? Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Harry Roque denied that he plans to run for senator in 2022. He said he wants to regain his privacy, and be able to criticize the president. Does this mean that he expects VP Leni Robredo, who has become a favorite subject of criticism of Roque and the Duterte administration, to be the next president?

Sen. Manny Pacquiao was sworn in as the new president of PDP-Laban inq.news/pacquiaopdplaban
Manny Pacquiao says most PH politicians are corrupt - philstarlife.com, December 3

Philstar.com
98 House lawmakers and employees test positive for COVID-19, House Secretary General confirms, December 1

News Report: 98 test positive for COVID in Congress.
Following an RT-PCR swab on all congressmen and employees, 98 have tested positive according to the House secretary. This represents 5% of officials and employees in the Lower House. Meanwhile, vaccine czar Galvez announced that four vaccines will be ordered: Sinovac, Pfizer, Sputnik V and Astra-Zeneca, for which the government has reportedly alloted 135 billion pesos.

 

December 1, 2020

News Report: Sinovac first to pass initial screening. It was announced by retired general, IATF head and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. that the Pekingese vaccine was the first of the vaccines against the China virus given initial approval by experts of those lined up for their scrutiny. Like Sputnik 5, it is also among the cheapest.
One efficacious vaccine, that can also be produced cheaply is Oxford by Astra-Zeneca, which has arranged to have it produced in India by a reputable Indian company.

 

November 25, 2020

News Report: Philippines COVID risk improves from Serious to Moderate. New cases have been below 2,000 for weeks. So many countries, which once barred travel from the Philippines, have relaxed restrictions. Meanwhile, the country is preparing to buy vaccines, and is securing funds for it, ranging from an international assistance fund for the purpose to loans. An epidemiologist interviewed said that all vaccines should be considered but the UK's Astra-Zeneca, which can be stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, has an advantage over that of Pfizer, stored at -70 Celsius, requiring special storage facilities.

 

November 22, 2020

News Report: Number of COVID-19 cases fall below 2,000 for 11th day. New China virus cases are less than 2,000 for the 11th straight day, a tribute to the way authorities and people are dealing with the pandemic. One source of concern is Davao City, which has had among the top new cases recently, bringing it to the attention of UP virus watchers, and causing mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to oppose a more liberal quarantine regime.
Internationally, Astra-Zeneca in the UK has developed a successful vaccine, matching Pfizer and Moderna in the US. With this, hundreds of millions of doses are promised in months.
In local news, Manila mayor Francisco 'Isko Moreno' Domagoso is continuing free virus testing and extending it to nearby areas. In Makati, mayor Abby Binay is having the city subsidize RT-PCR testing for Makati companies, and it costs about P2,000, versus P5,000-9,000 elsewhere. In Los Banos, Laguna, free laminated QR codes have been made available for residents for contact tracing, provided by the municipal government.

Education News: Student commits suicide in Nueva Ecija. A 12th grade student hanged himself in Guimba, Nueva Ecija. According to his father, this was not because of family problems. Chats with classmates revealed difficulties with DepEd modules. This was compounded by poor Internet connections, which caused him to leave the house to get better signals. This left him overtaxed and exhausted each day according to his father.

radyonatin.com/story.php?storyid=41740

MANILA BULLETIN
A federation of teachers on Monday alleged that the recommended academic ease measures by the DepEd are not happening in schools, thus, there might be a need to “rethink” the whole distance learning design currently implemented this school year. Teachers’ group says academic ease is not real - mb.com.ph

 

November 18, 2020

The following is from Globe. It's not only in English and not in the subdialect, but is a laudable contribution in the wake of the disaster caused by the typhoon in many regions:
Hi! We hope you are safe and well. To help you connect with your loved ones during this time, we've given you unli calls to Globe/TM and unli allnet texts for 3 days. Take care.

Word war between top leaders.
In his speech yesterday, President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at Vice President Leni Robredo, accusing her of being behind the posts which went viral on social media carrying the hashtag 'Nasaan ang Pangulo' (Where is the President), asking her where she was. He hinted that he would reveal more when she runs for president. The anti-Duterte hashtag implied that he was doing nothing in the wake of the supertyphoon, which brought extensive damage, injury and loss of life.
This fueled speculation on whom he would endorse. Current opinion favors his preference for either former Senator Bongbong Marcos or Davao mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

News Report: New vaccines ready, await US FDA approval. Vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna against the China virus have been shown to be safe and effective in tests. They await approval by the US Food and Drug Administration. 50 million doses can be released this year.

 

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