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

Good morning. Here are the stories of The Manila Times, Saturday January 14, 2023.

BANNER – 43 policemen are questioned as ‘cleansing begins’

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 Director MGen called them. Versola stated that Jonnel Estomo was taken to Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City to allow them to clear their names. The Metro Manila police force screening is expected to clear any doubts, particularly regarding its anti-narcotics team.

Manila port seizes P19-M smuggled sweets

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 the contraband cargo had been discovered in five shipping containers on Jan 11. Layug claimed that the shipment contained insulators, surge-arresters, slippers and styrenebutadiene rubber. 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 stated that DA was preparing charges against Burias Jang Consumer Goods Trading for violating the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016 and misdeclaration.

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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 executive director and trustee of the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines highlighted the benefits of institutionalizing the proposed MWF at the roundtable. The event was hosted by Dante “Klink”, CEO of The Manila Times. Nelson said that many wealth funds are well managed and have delivered positive results. Jesper Svenningsen from the Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, who was joined in the roundtable by Nelson and Ziller, agreed that the wealth funds can bring about benefits for the country. Svenningsen stated that President Marcos should also raise the issue of climate change in Davos.

DA would like to know why egg prices have risen

THE Department of Agriculture is trying to find out why eggs retail prices have soared to as high at P10 per pound. Kristine Evangelista (Agriculture Assistant Secretary) said on Friday that the department was conducting an investigation after Gregorio San Diego of the Philippine Egg Board stated that the farmgate prices remain low, at P6.70 to PH7.20 per piece.

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. Fr. 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 combination the shearline phenomenon and a low pressure area (LPA), since January 2. The amount of damage to agriculture is estimated at P252,698,531 while the infrastructure damage is P165,745,496. According to the National Irrigation Administration, (NIA), there was a total of P25,610,000 in damage. It also stated that 17 deaths had occurred. The report stated that five of the deaths occurred in Bicol, four in Northern Mindanao and Zamboanga, and three each in Eastern Visayas. One in Davao was also among them.

BBM requests private sector assistance on Natl ID

Ferdinand “Bongbong”, Marcos Jr. asked the private industry to assist in “getting the National Identification out,” claiming that it has the technology necessary 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

The Akari Chargers have signed Aleona Denise Santiago Manabat, an ex-Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Crossovers volleyball player, to a deal in sports. The Akari Chargers team announced her signing Friday, January 13. 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 played last year in Thailand 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 Gen, Erika Raagas Lycha Ebon Michelle Cobb, Jaja Martaguinot, Janine Marciano, Janine Marciano, Janine Marciano, Janine Marciano, Janine Marciano, 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 gives his opinion on the political situation in America, Contreras continues with his series on the country as an onion, while Remoto discusses 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. You can read the entire article in the opinion section of the paper, or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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This is Peter Steven Llevares reporting.