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

At least 43 officers of the National Capital Region Police Office were summoned to an “initial screening process” as part of the effort to rid the Philippine National Police, (PNP), from members who are in alliance with drug traffickers. 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 Inspection and Enforcement, said that the contraband cargo was found in five shipping containers on January 11. Layug claimed that the shipment was labelled as insulators. The shipment had been held at the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, (PDEA), Customs Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force(CAIDTF), Bureau of Plant Industry and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Servicess (CIIS) and was inspected last November 29. 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 approves of foreign business executives

FOREIGN business leaders from the Philippines agree that the Maharlika Wealth Fund is a good idea if implemented properly. Lorens Ziller, the Executive Director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, believes that the country will become a popular destination for foreign 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 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 with Ziller and Nelson at the roundtable, agreed that the wealth fund can bring the country benefits. 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 is trying to find out why eggs retail prices have risen as high as P10 per piece. 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.

Churches still at risk from red-tagging

According to a Church official RED Tagging is still a threat for missionaries of The Church. This is despite the fact that a local court cleared a Catholic priest and several human rights activists from perjury charges, which were brought by a former national security advisor 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, also the executive secretary of the Conference of Major Superiors in the Philippines, stated that the Church has a clear desire to help the poor. But they face red tagging, as well as allegations of belonging to a rebel group.

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. P252,698,531 is the damage to agriculture and P165,745,496 is for infrastructure. 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. According to the report, there were 17 deaths: five in Bicol and four each in Zamboanga or Northern Mindanao; three in Eastern Visayas, one in Davao, and five in Bicol.

BBM requests private sector assistance on Natl ID

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., President of the Philippines, has asked the private sector for help in “get the National Identification out,” stating that it has the technology and capability to create 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: The key role of PH 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. The Philippines’ central position makes it a natural gateway to the north and Pacific.

SPORTS – Dindin inks for Akari Chargers in PVL

The Akari Chargers have signed Aleona Denise Santiago Manabat, an ex-Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Crossovers volleyball player, to a contract. On Friday, January 13, the Akari Chargers announced 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 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 Generation, Erika Rapagas, Lycha Embon, Michelle Cobb Jaja Maraguinot and Dani Ravena. Myla Pablo is now heading to F2 Logistics Cargo Movers.

Opinion and editorial

Today’s top columnists are Antonio Contreras and Yen Makabenta. 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 claims that President Marcos confronting the controversial sovereign wealth fund for the country at the World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland) sends a false message. 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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