13 bits of Local News – Thursday Thirteen #16

All these news items are from (Philippine Daily) Inquirer.net:

1 – Senate ratifies JPEPA –

This one’s hot off the press as the senators just finished their long discussions and the voting for this very controversial piece of legislation. JPEPA or the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement has been ratified by the Philippine Senate just this evening. It has been drafted, discussed, disputed, and defended by all sides for a very long time. One of the biggest concerns of those against this agreement is how prone it is to being abused, with the Philippines being on the losing end.

Since I don’t have comprehensive information on this issue, I will reserve my comments for a later time.

2 – Milk product positive for melamine–DoH – 

A third product has been added to the list of milk that has been found tainted with melamine. Apparently, it is not at all unusual for traces of melamine to seep into food products but there is an allowable limit. JollyCow Slender High Calcium Low Fat Milk has been found to have about 7 times more than the allowable amount of 0.5 parts per million (ppm).

According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque, a 50-kg person can take only as much as 25mL of melamine a day. Babies in China have become ill because they are small and all they have is milk all day, their bodies are no longer able to fend off the toxicity of melamine. 

3 – BBC producers defiant over racist slur –
Filipino expats in the UK were outraged by a recent episode of the comedy series “Harry and Paul” for depicting Filipina maids in a bad light. Though the Philippine Government has yet to issue a formal complaint against the BBC and the producers of the show, our ambassador to the UK has already released a statement regarding the issue.

Although the production house that makes the show maintains that the scene was in no way intended to demean or upset any viewer – it has offended many Filipinos.

During the sketch, Enfield’s character urges his neighbor to have sex with another neighbor’s Filipina maid, saying he is trying to see if “we could mate their Filipina maid with our Northerner, but he’s not having any of it”.

He then says, “Come on Clyde, mount her” and addressing the maid, says: “You, you, present your rear.”

4 –  Teehankee release hit

Claudio Teehankee Jr’s father and namesake was a former Supreme Court Chief Justice. His brother is currently the Philippine Representative to the World Trade Organization, and a known ally of the President. 

In 1992, he was sentenced to life imprisonment (and two more lesser sentences) for the brutal killing (shooting) of 16-year-old Maureen Hultman and her friend. Another person was also seriously injured.

Last Friday, just before midnight, he was released from the New Bilibid Prisons – having been granted an executive clemency. He is now back under public scrutiny.

Seems that due process was not followed for his pardon. The family, and the prosecutor who put him in jail were unaware that he had even applied for amnesty.

5 – Hultmans ‘shocked’ at Teehankee release – I’d say the whole country’s in shock.

6 – No proof Teehankee reformed – Right, how can there be restorative justice when there’s no real rehabilitation/treatment plan for convicted felons? 


7 – Ayala, GSIS interested in Philamlife – 

They say there may be up to ten corporations interested in buying. I hope it goes not just to the highest bidder, but also to the company that will be most able to take care of our interests. Hmp. 

The Yuchengco Group of Companies has also expressed interest. But many may not feel safe with their term life insurance in the hands of the company that still has pending complaints after the fall of their previous pre-need plans venture. Already, former policy owners from a Yuchengco subsidiary are making noise against any move for this company to take over PhilamLife. 

8 – Philamlife’s suitors – In a way, knowing that many corporations are interested in acquiring PhilAm makes it easier to be confident that our savings are safe.

9 – NBI raids suspected cybersex den – Ugh. Disgusting.

10 – UP employees to get salary hike – The UP workers are among the lowest paid University workers, the deserved a pay increase. 

11 – Cough syrup not for use in kids under 4 – The article doesn’t specifically say why though.

12 – Hundreds join walk vs. breast cancer (Cebu) – Which reminds me, to click daily for Breast Cancer research (thebreastcancersite.com)

13 – ‘Lean, mean’ budget pushed in House – Hmm. I’m not sure they’re going about it the right way. Scrutinized the budget, there may be more double entries there.

What’s happening in your city/country?

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