US envoy apologizes to DFA ; Palace says no need to apologize to the President

US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr.

US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr.

After stating that 40% of male tourists visiting the Philippines come only for sex tourism, US ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. sent an aplogy text message to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.

Del Rosario said that he received the text message from Thomas last Friday, October 6, 2011, stating that the US Ambassador is sorry for not backing up with statistics and figures about his statement.

Thomas’ also extended his apologies to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima whose department was tagged as the source of the statistics regarding the sex tourism.

“There are two things involved here: Having no statistics to back it up, we believe that we have confronted… we don’t have a policy of inviting tourists here for sex purposes. Number two, notwithstanding that, we recognize that there are certain people who come here and engage in those services and that’s the reason why we continue to prosecute these people.” Pres. spokesperson Lacierda said.

Sec. Lacierda also pointed out the removal of the Philippines from the Tier 2 watch list in the 2011 State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report released by the US government last June.

“The fact that we were able to remove ourselves from the list shows the effort of this present government to combat all these nefarious acts,” he said.

Malacañang also accepted the apology of Thomas and declared the issue closed.

“I think the statement of Ambassador Thomas clearly showed that he was not able to back up the statistics and hence he apologized to Secretary Del Rosario and to our government.” Lacierda said.

“We, in fact, thanked the ambassador for his statement.” Lacierda said.

Lacierda also said the Ambassador’s remarks did not affect the strong relations between close allies Philippines and the US.

Pacman invites Obama on his Mosley Fight

BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

Congressman Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, eight-division world champion goes to US for a multicity promotion tour of his next fight. He and his wife travelled the roads of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York City to visit the United States President Barack Obama at the White House.

Cong. Pacquiao and U.S. Pres. Obama

Cong. Pacquiao and U.S. Pres. Obama

Manny Pacquiao restrained all the people of Los Angeles, California, New York City and Washington D.C from their works whom waited hours and hours to see him. Fans of the boxer cheered and started yelling the name of the sports icon as he crosses along the streets up to entrance of the White House. All of the people were so busy and thrilled to take photos of the Boxing champ using their phones and camera lens during that time.

Sarangani’s Congressman had an exchange of talk with the US President Obama about basketball and of course boxing and some side talks of business and political matters. After that conversation, the two men took some pictures, on this moment the boxing champ said “this is an unforgettable experience in my life” (Manny); they doing boxing and different poses in the Oval office.

Pacquiao received grocery bags full of bags of blue M&M’s chocolates with the presidential seal and a watch also decked with the presidential seal from the World’s one of the most powerful men, President Obama.

the meeting

the meeting

Also one of the purposes of Manny going to the office of the President Obama is to invite him to watch personal on his upcoming battle against the American fighter Shane Mosley on May 7, 2011 at MGM Grand, Las Vegas. But the president answered this with an “NO” for the reason that he probably be doing so much that day, but then he promised to watch their fight on TV.

This remarkable day meeting of the two of the most influential people is made possible by Sen. Harry Reid, whom Pacquiao helped during his senatorial campaign.

Pacquiao is set to generate over a P600M, which will absolutely get higher based on the amount that will be earned from pay-per-views.

Pacquiao vs Mosley

Pacquiao vs Mosley

PHOTOS: pinoyambisyoso.com, pinoyambisyoso.com, pacquiao-vs-mosley-update.blogspot.com

US, China, Japan congratulate P-Noy

MANILA, Philippines — Led by President Barack Obama
who called on his mobile phone, the leaders of the world’s three biggest economies—the United States, China and Japan—welcomed President-elect Benigno Aquino III’s rise to power, pledging to help a leader facing daunting challenges, from rebellions and massive poverty to a crippling budget deficit.

Aquino Thursday told reporters that Obama invited him to visit the United States “at the appropriate time,” solidifying a previous invitation extended by US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr., who said the incoming Philippine leader should take two trips to the United States.

Regarded by many as a political lightweight after an unimpressive stint in Congress, Aquino—who has said he prefers to be called “P-Noy” rather than by his initials BSA—is inheriting a nation grappling with poverty and debilitated by decades-long communist and Moro insurgencies, military unrest, corruption, violent crime and political strife.

“It was a very pleasant conversation,” Aquino said of his phone conversation with Obama on Wednesday night, which lasted for about 20 minutes.

“I won’t say we’re very close since it’s my first time to talk to him [but] I believe he was very sincere in his words that he really wants to foster stronger relations with our country.”

Parents are champions

In a statement, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Philippines’ successful automated elections “exemplified the vitality of the country’s democratic institutions and should be a point of pride for Filipinos everywhere.”

“The Filipino people now look to President-elect Aquino to carry forward the democratic traditions that his parents did so much to champion,” Clinton said, referring to Aquino’s assassinated father, Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and his late mother, ex-President Corazon “Cory” Aquino.

Clinton said the United States had long stood with the Philippines as a trusted ally and friend and pledged to support the efforts of the Filipinos to build a secure and prosperous country.

Aquino said the Visiting Forces Agreement—a thorny issue in RP-US relations—was not discussed in his talk with Obama.

‘Very strong relationship’

“(Obama) said we had a very strong relationship. He said he has a personal close friendship with the Filipino community in America, one of the biggest immigration groups there.”

Aquino said he told Obama of his recent meeting with Ambassador Thomas and that when he said the Philippines expected to work well with the envoy he had chosen to send to Manila, “he (Obama) was very pleased with that.”

“The ambassador really exuded that drive to make our relationship much, much stronger. Hopefully, they will really be our partners in addressing the problems in the country,” Aquino said.

“Job generation is our first priority. He (Thomas) said they could set up meeting with business leaders in different areas of America. So much so that we might not be able to handle it with one trip. He was suggesting two trips in a part time frame,” Aquino said.

‘Model of transparency’

Aquino said the Americans were “very eager” to invest in the country but “they want to be sure that they have a reasonable chance” of making profit, “otherwise it would be a useless venture.”

“What was emphasized was their eagerness to invest in the country subject to conditions,” Aquino said.

In a statement on the phone conversation between Obama and Aquino, the White House said the US leader “described the May 10 elections as a model of transparency and positive testament to the strength and vitality of democracy in the Philippines.”

Obama “noted the deep historic and people-to-people ties between the United States and the Philippines and our strong cooperation on security and economic issues in the Asia Pacific region and globally,” the statement said.

The White House said the two leaders agreed to take the cooperation between the two countries to a new level and to meeting at a “mutually convenient” time.

China, Japan, Australia

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Vice President Xi Jinping joined other world leaders in congratulating Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Hu said the two countries had maintained frequent exchanges and enhanced mutual trust since the establishment of diplomatic relations 35 years ago.

“Under new historical circumstances, I would like to work with you to carry forward our traditional friendship, expand our mutually beneficial cooperation, advance China-Philippines strategic and cooperative relations to a new level, and make positive contributions to regional peace, stability and development,” Hu said.

Xi said China would be pleased to work with the Aquino administration to carry on the significant progress in China-Philippines relations.

“I would like to work with Your Excellency, proceeding from the fundamental interests of the two peoples, to push forward China-Philippines strategic and cooperative relations in a sound and stable manner, and make joint efforts to promote regional peace, stability and development,” Xi said.

New Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan pledged his country would “do its utmost to cooperate … in efforts toward further stability and progress.”

Alarm at budget deficit

Aquino will take his oath of office on June 30. He has expressed alarm at the ballooning national budget deficit, which he said could surpass $8.7 billion (P400 billion) this year.

Australian Ambassador Rod Smith visited Aquino at Times Street on Thursday and congratulated him on his victory.

Aquino said he looked forward to increasing trade between Australia and the Philippines and also getting inputs from Australia on developing the mining industry without harming the environment.

Jason Ivler was also wanted in U.S.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recieved an information about Jason Ivler having a warrant of arrest in U.S. dated September 9, 2009. This information was sent by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after they requested for a background check on Ivler.

NBI Counter Terrorism Unit, Ricardo Diaz, said the case was about possessing a sedative drug Flunitrazeparm and was wanted by the Nevada Highway Patrol for failure to attend in court hearings. According to Diaz, Ivler appeared at the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and Computerized Criminal History (CCH) database.

Before he face his case in US, Jason Ivler will first face his case here in Philippines and then he will be deported to go to US.Also the US Embassy’s American Citizens Services is looking into the case after an alleged human rights violation committed on Ivler after arresting him.

Ivler was arrestd last Monday on his mothers house in Blue Ridge Subdivision in Quezon City for killing Renato Ebarle Jr., and has a firefight with the authorities. He is now recuperating in Quirino Memorial Medical Hospital after he was wounded.

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Clinton stressed visting forces agreement with Philippines

MANILA, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) — Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday suggested that Washington is not in favor of terminating the Philippines-U.S. Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), stressing that the accord is an “important expression of partnership” between the two countries.

Clinton, who is on a two-day visit to Manila, maintained that the 10-year-old treaty is beneficial to both countries, particularly to the Philippines, by providing disaster relief assistance in times of calamities and helping its cash-strapped military eradicate terrorism.

“Let me say that the U.S. is committed to strong partnership and alliance with the Philippines and I’m here today to reaffirm that commitment. The Visiting Forces Agreement is an important expression of that partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interest,” Clinton told a press conference.

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Elderly Filipino couple battered to death in US

An elderly Filipino couple was found dead inside their home in Rockford, Illinois, Wednesday night.

The Winnebago county coroner’s office said 77-year-old Reynato Cardino and his 74-year-old wife Leticia died of blunt force trauma, indicating that they were battered to death.

The couple was found dead inside their Pleasant View Avenue home in Rockford a few days after returning from their vacation in Zamboanga, Philippines.

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The long arm of the law

The two sons of former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, who is on trial for plunder and has just been convicted of perjury, were arrested Wednesday in the United States. Brothers Juan Paulo and Ian Carl were arrested in Michigan and Las Vegas, respectively, by US authorities.

The brothers, together with a third sibling, Timothy Mark, and their mother Clarita are wanted in the Philippines for plunder on charges that they amassed P303.27 million in ill-gotten wealth.

Juan Paulo and Ian Carl were arrested by US authorities not for the plunder charge, but for smuggling $100,000 through the San Francisco airport in December 2003. When the brothers were questioned by US Customs authorities for their failure to declare the dollars, the mother came to her sons’ rescue. Clarita Garcia executed a written statement wherein she famously declared that the money came from her husband’s earnings as comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. She also indicated that there was more where the money came from.

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Philippines receives $73-million US environment grant

Representatives of both governments yesterday signed an “affirmation of commitment” for the bilateral assistance agreement in Malacañan Palace.

Under the agreement, the United States Agency for International Development will support efforts to conserve biodiversity and sustainably manage natural resources; promote clean and renewable energy; mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change; and improve access to water and sanitation services.

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‘Davao’ brand chocolate launched in the US

The company’s latest product adds to 13 other chocolate brands in its lineup.

For the first time since the mid-’80s, cocoa beans from this city’s Malagos and Calinan districts were exported to the US as the result of efforts of local group Success Alliance, the City Agriculturist Office and Mars Cocoa Development Center of Mars Inc., maker of chocolate brands M&M and Snickers.

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US call center to proceed with provincial opening

APAC kicked off this week its first round of training for 80 agents who will start taking calls when the office opens on March 2.

“It’s going to be a really big opening. We’ve invited President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and some local officials. Our president and Chief Executive Officer Michael Marrow will be here as well,” said Doug Almond, APAC vice-president for international operations.

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