PHILIPPINES

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Mario Maurer invites Filipinos to visit Thailand

Published August 16, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Mario-Maurer-invites-Filipinos-to-visit-Thailand-30292428.html

PHILIPPINES

MANILA – Actor Mario Maurer is the new tourism ambassador of Thailand and he’s inviting his Filipino fans to visit his country.

Thai superstar Mario Maurer has extended an invitation to his Filipino fans to visit his home country Thailand as its new tourism ambassador.

In a press event on Saturday, the Thai actor made his pitch on why should Filipinos visit Thailand.

“I will do my job to introduce Thailand to my Filipino fans. Thailand is a place where you have many beautiful destinations and a local experience and I will offer Thai hospitality to my Filipino fans,” Maurer said.

The actor, who has endeared himself to Filipino fans by starring in the 2012 film “Suddenly It’s Magic,” said that Thailand can be the go-to destination of Filipinos all-year round.

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“Thailand can be visited all-year round. If it’s your first time there, I recommend that you visit the major city such as Bangkok. Because in Bangkok, you have many places to explore—old temples, the food, the people. If you have free time, you can go to Chiang Mai. And of course, they have a lot of elephants there. We have Thai nature which is very beautiful. If you want to go the sea and the beaches, we have Pattya,” he said.

Aside from offering a glimpse of the beautiful destinations that can be seen in his country, Maurer also said that Filipinos will be able to experience the brand of hospitality that made Thailand one of the most-visited countries in Asia.

“Thailand for one, which is common to my Filipino fans, is that they smile. [They are] very happy. They are very ready to show you guys where you go. They are very friendly people. Have you heard that Thailand is the ’Land of Smiles’?” he said.

Maurer is on a promotional tour in Asia to encourage more tourists to visit the “Land of the Free.”

He has already visited Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Guangzhou in China for his tour.

In 2015, around 360,000 Filipinos travelled to Thailand and the Tourism Authority of Thailand believes that more Filipinos will visit the Philippines’ Southeast Asian neighbour this year.

 

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Transgender politician celebrates historic win

Published May 16, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Transgender-politician-celebrates-historic-win-30285643.html

PHILIPPINES

Photo : Geraldine Roman//AFP

Photo : Geraldine Roman//AFP

Manila – Geraldine Roman on Tuesday celebrated overcoming “bigotry, hatred and discrimination” as results showed she had become the first transgender politician to win a congressional seat in the predominantly Catholic Philippines.

After her victory in Monday’s election, Roman, 49, is being seen by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as a source of hope in a country where Church influence means divorce, abortion and same-sex marriage are banned.

“The politics of bigotry, hatred and discrimination did not triumph. What triumphed was the politics of love, acceptance and respect,” Roman told AFP after her victory for a seat in Congress representing the farming province of Bataan just northwest of Manila.

Roman, a Catholic, said she was looking forward to becoming a lawmaker so she could respond to critics who dismissed her as a one-issue politician not to be taken seriously.

“I’m elated, very, very happy. I’m also excited to work. I realise that the burden is bigger because the stereotype of people about the LGBT is we are frivolous, that we have nothing substantial to say, so I have to prove them wrong,” she said.

Roman will be the highest-ranking openly LGBT politician in the Philippines, where other lawmakers have refused to come out for fear of losing support from the Catholic Church and other religious groups.

A political neophyte, Roman will succeed her mother as representative of Bataan, where her family has been a political force for three generations. Her mother had to stand down after serving the maximum number of three terms.

Roman’s father was a former congressman whose death in 2014 prompted her to consider continuing the family legacy.

Political families dominate Philippine politics, from the local to the national level, and belonging to such a dynasty was widely regarded as being crucial to Roman’s success.

– ’We all have rights’ –

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Still the constituents of Bataan overwhelmingly endorsed Roman, with the vote count showing she had secured 62 per cent support.

“She is also a human being. We all have rights. It’s not an issue to me that she is transgender,” farmer Bern Salenga, 49, told AFP during a campaign sortie in Roman’s home town before the election.

Roman has been living as a woman for two decades, and proudly wore a pearl necklace and pink lipstick while campaigning.

She had a successful career as senior editor at the Spanish News Agency. She speaks Spanish, French and Italian and won a scholarship to study in Spain, where she met her partner of 18 years.

She underwent sex reassignment surgery, and legally changed her name and gender, in the 1990s — a recognition she wants other transgender people to have.

In 2001, a law was passed making it impossible for transgender Filipinos to change their name and sex.

Roman has vowed to campaign to lift those restrictions, and to push for an anti-discrimination bill that ensures equal treatment in the workplace, schools, commercial establishments and government offices.

Despite the focus on her gender, Roman said her priority was the people of Bataan, and to help more poor students nationwide get scholarships.

“Equality (is) not only in terms of gender but also in terms of socio-economic status. To be rich or poor should not matter. Whether educated or not, people should have the same opportunities so I’m going beyond gender to include more issues,” she said.

With her historic victory, Roman said she hoped more LGBT Filipinos would be inspired to join government.

“I want to inspire everybody. There are many factors for discrimination: on the basis of gender, age, educational attainment, creed. So to all people who experience discrimination, I want to inspire them.”//AFP

Duterte claims presidency, vows crime crackdown

Published May 16, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Duterte-claims-presidency-vows-crime-crackdown-30285637.html

PHILIPPINES

Davao, Philippines – Incendiary Philippine politician Rodrigo Duterte vowed Tuesday a relentless crackdown on crime after claiming a landslide presidential victory built on foul-mouthed populist tirades that exposed deep voter anger at the establishment.

The 71-year-old firebrand stormed to victory in Monday’s election, securing an insurmountable lead of nearly six million votes over his nearest rival, as a growing global howl for strong, populist leaders swept across the Southeast Asian nation.

Duterte, the longtime mayor of the southern city of Davao, captivated Filipinos with vows of brutal but quick solutions to crime and poverty, while offering himself as a decisive strongman capable of resolving a host of other deeply entrenched problems in society.

“It’s with humility, extreme humility, that I accept this, the mandate of the people,” Duterte told AFP in Davao early on Tuesday morning as the results came in.

“I feel a sense of gratitude to the Filipino people.”

In other comments to reporters who had converged on Davao, Duterte offered an olive branch to his rivals following a deeply divisive campaign that had seen President Benigno Aquino brand him a dictator in the making who would bring terror to the nation.

“I want to reach out my hand and let us begin the healing now,” said Duterte, whose campaigning style and ability to upend conventional political wisdom have drawn comparisons with US Republican Donald Trump.

However Duterte vowed to push through on the central plank of his campaign platform — ending crime across the nation within six months and eliminating corruption.

On the campaign trail he had enraged critics but hypnotised fans with profanity-laced promises to kill tens of thousands of criminals, forget human rights laws and pardon himself for mass murder.

– ’ Kill threats’ –

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While avoiding such extreme inflammatory remarks, Duterte said a law-and-order crackdown that particularly targeted drugs would be one of his top priorities when he became president, and he was prepared to kill.

“I will do it (fight drugs), even if they say I am an executioner,” said Duterte, who rights groups accuse of running vigilante death squads in Davao that have killed more than 1,000 people.

“Look what I did to Davao. I will not let down the people.”

Duterte, who on the campaign trail boasted of being behind the death squads, also had a warning for corrupt police.

“If you are a policeman and stick to your racket, choose: either you kill me or I kill you,” he said.

The election commission was not expected to officially proclaim Duterte as the winner of Monday’s vote for more than a week.

However it had authorised the PPCRV, a Catholic Church-run poll monitor, to tally the votes, and they showed on Tuesday morning with almost 90 per cent of the total counted that Duterte could not lose.

Duterte had 38.65 per cent of the vote, with administration candidate Mar Roxas on 23.16 per cent and Senator Grace Poe in third with 21.71 per cent, according to PPCRV.

In the Philippines, a winner is decided simply by whoever gets the most votes. The next president will be sworn in on June 30.

– Rival concedes –

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Poe, the adopted daughter of movie stars, conceded just after midnight on Tuesday.

“I congratulate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and pledge my support in working to heal our land and to unite our people toward the continued development of our country,” Poe told reporters in Manila.

Roxas’s aides said he would give a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, but refused to disclose whether he planned to concede.

Duterte had during the campaign dominated local media coverage and generated international headlines with relentless gutter talk, including branding the pope a “son of a whore”.

He also boasted repeatedly about his Viagra-fuelled affairs.

Duterte caused further disgust in international diplomatic circles with a joke that he wanted to rape a “beautiful” Australian missionary who was killed in a 1989 Philippine prison riot.

Duterte was enraged by the reaction to the rape comments, which included criticism from the US and Australian ambassadors, insisting they were taken out of context.

Despite all the rhetoric, analysts said Duterte is expected to moderate his inflammatory comments from now on and unlikely to unleash a killing spree.

“Extrajudicial killings and forgetting human rights, he cannot do that because it will create more instability and chaos, which is what he wants to prevent,” Earl Parreno, an analyst from the Manila-based Institute for Political and Economic Reform, told AFP.

“During the campaign he was stage acting, he was exaggerating to get across a message.”//AFP

Elections underway with fiery mayor poised for presidency

Published May 16, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Elections-underway-with-fiery-mayor-poised-for-pre-30285566.html

PHILIPPINES

Photo : EPA

Photo : EPA

Photo : EPA

Photo : EPA

Photo : EPA

Photo : EPA

Photo : EPA

Photo : EPA

Photo : EPA

Photo : EPA

Manila – Voting was underway in the Philippines on Monday to elect a new president, with anti-establishment firebrand Rodrigo Duterte the shock favourite after an incendiary campaign in which he vowed to butcher criminals.

Polls opened at 6am and voting was to continue until 5pm, election officials said.

Duterte, the longtime mayor of the southern city of Davao, has held a commanding lead over other presidential rivals in recent surveys as he hypnotised millions with profanity-laced tirades promising brutal but quick solutions to the nation’s twin plagues of crime and poverty.

He has rocked the political establishment with cuss-filled vows to kill tens of thousands of criminals, threats to establish one-man rule if lawmakers disobey him, and promises to embrace communist rebels.

However Duterte’s critics have warned he will plunge the country into another dark period of dictatorship and turmoil, three decades after a “People Power” revolution ended the regime of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

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Departing President Benigno Aquino, whose mother led the democracy movement that ousted Marcos then led the nation for six years, has warned repeatedly the nation is at risk of succumbing to another dictatorship.

Aquino, who is limited by the constitution to a single term of six years, has overseen average annual economic growth of six percent and won international plaudits for trying to tackle corruption.

However his critics say he has done little to change an economic model that favours an extraordinarily small number of families that control nearly all key industries, and has led to one of Asia’s biggest rich-poor divides.

His handpicked successor, former interior secretary and fellow Liberal Party stalwart Mar Roxas, also a scion of a prominent political family, is tied in second place, behind Duterte in surveys.

Senator Grace Poe, the adopted daughter of a late movie star, is in equal second place, having seen her popularity slide after critics pointed to her taking US citizenship then later giving it up.

In an intriguing sub-plot, Marcos’s son and namesake is equal favourite to be elected vice president, which would cement a remarkable political comeback for his family.

The fierce presidential contest has further contributed to political tensions in a country where cheating and election violence are a recurring problem.

The police have reported 15 dead in confirmed election-related violence this year although many others have been killed or hurt in incidents that are merely suspected of being linked to politics.//AFP

 

‘It’ll be hotter on Monday’

Published May 16, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Itll-be-hotter-on-Monday-30285517.html

PHILIPPINES

Both the temperature and the elections will definitely be hot on Monday, election day, after a new heat index record was reached last Friday.

The heat index, or the human discomfort index, is the actual temperature felt by a body when humidity is factored in with air temperature. It reached the “extreme danger” level of 55.8 degrees Celsius in Pangasinan on May 6, or three days before the national elections.

Temperatures are expected to get even hotter this month, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said yesterday.

The Dagupan City weather station said the maximum air temperature of 36.4 degrees Celsius on Friday felt like 55.8 degrees due to the high relative humidity of 70 percent.

“This may go higher,” Pagasa weather division chief Rene Paciente said, adding that historically the highest air temperatures were recorded in May.

Pagasa issues a danger warning due to the threat of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke when the heat index hits the 41-54 degrees Celsius range.

When the heat index breaches 54 degrees Celsius, the weather bureau warns of “extreme danger” from “imminent” heat stroke with continued exposure under the sun.

According to the weather bureau, the maximum heat index will range in “extreme danger” level in various parts of the country on May 9.

Go get Canadian’s killers, Aquino tells police, military

Published May 15, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Go-get-Canadians-killers-Aquino-tells-police-milit-30284715.html

PHILIPPINES

Manila -President Benigno Aquino has ordered the Philippines Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police to apply the full force of the law and bring the members of the Abu Sayyaf group to justice.

The pronouncement of the President came after the beheading of Canadian John Ridsdel on Monday.

“The President has directed the security forces to apply the full force of the law to bring these criminals to justice,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement on Tuesday.

Coloma echoed the promise of the military and the police, saying that there would be no letup in their operations against the bandit group.

“There will be no letup in the resolute efforts of the joint task group in pursuing intensive and wide-ranging military and law enforcement operations to neutralise these lawless elements and thwart further threats to peace and security,” he said.

The Palace official said the Aquino government condoles with the Ridsdel family and the Canadian government on the death of the 68-year-old victim.

“We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Canadian government and to the family of Mr. John Ridsdel who died in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf bandits,” he said.

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that Ridsdel was killed by the terrorists.

Police said two men on a motorcycle left Ridsdel’s head, placed inside a plastic bag, on a street in Jolo, Sulu, before fleeing.

Ridsdel was one of four tourists kidnapped by the militants from Samal Island in September last year.

The Abu Sayyaf had earlier demanded 300 million pesos (RM25mil) for each of the victims by April 25.

Filipino kids given first vaccine for dengue fever

Published April 10, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Filipino-kids-given-first-vaccine-for-dengue-fever-30283298.html

PHILIPPINES

Manila – The world’s first public vaccination campaign against dengue fever kicked off yesterday at Parang Elementary School in Marikina, near Manila in the Philippines.

The move was hailed as a big step toward controlling the potentially fatal disease.

The Philippine Health Department said one million nine-year-olds in 6,000 public schools in areas deemed at-risk would be the first group get injections with Dengvaxia, which could prevent up to 93 per cent of severe dengue cases among those immunised.

Dr Rose Capeding, researcher at Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, said the vaccine could immunise a person against all four types of dengue for about two years.

“No vaccine can 100 per cent prevent the infection. However, this dengue vaccine is very effective. It can boost dengue immunity for two years and after that, until five years, the immunity level will be still high enough to prevent the infection.” The vaccine can prevent eight out of 10 people, who immunised, from infected with dengue, she said.

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Vincent Belizario, the Philippines’ under-secretary of health, said there was a small chance that vaccinated children could suffer a low fever and headaches as side-effects.

However, the Health Department’s press release said it had established a strict monitoring and surveillance system for adverse reactions.

The vaccine was also licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, so it was safe for public consumption, it said.

Ten fourth graders received the vaccine during the “Dengue School-Based Immunisation” opening ceremony. The vaccines will be given to the rest of the targeted students by June.

Capeding said that to complete the regime, students would have to receive three doses of the vaccine. The second dose will be given from October to December and the last dose from April to June next year.

Vaccination a health ‘milestone’

Health Secretary Janette Garin said at the ceremony that the programme was a milestone for the Philippines’ public health drive. It showed the country was shifting from a curative to a preventive approach to fight infectious diseases.

“We are the first country to introduce, adopt and implement the first-ever dengue vaccine through the public health system and under public school settings.

“With this breakthrough, we can now expand our immunisation services to address diseases that are of public health importance,” she said.

“Our country invests much in healthcare to develop and distribute vaccines, not only for dengue but other infectious diseases, as we placed the preventive approach on the national agenda.

“This is because we know that a healthy population is the key to success in other aspects of development,” she said.

Soon everyone in the Philippines will gain access to the vaccine from hospitals near their home, she said.

Dengvaxia was developed by Sanofi Pasteur. It has already been registered in four countries – the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil and El Salvador. The regulatory review process for the vaccine is continuing in many countries where people get dengue including Thailand.

Sanofi Pasteur said its production site in France has the capacity to make up to 100 million doses annually, so the supply would be sufficient for the world market, when other countries start dengue vaccination schemes.

 

‘Sexiest doctor alive’ confirms dating Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach

Published April 7, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Sexiest-doctor-alive-confirms-dating-Miss-Universe-30282109.html

PHILIPPINES

Manila – A US celebrity news site on Sunday reported that Mikhail Varshavski, who is known as “Dr Mike” on Instagram, has confirmed that he is indeed dating Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.

According to a report from Wonderwall.com, Varshavski said: “I am dating Pia. It’s a fairly new relationship but I’m really excited to see where it can go!”

Wurtzbach has yet to react on the doctor’s admission.

Rumours on the relationship of the Filipina beauty queen and the “sexiest doctor alive” started when the doctor posted a photo of him with Wurtzbach on Instagram last month.

Wurtzbach later posted a photo of her with Varshavski after a boxing workout.

Snaps from Wurtzbach’s and Varshavski’s Snapchant accounts which showed the two of them together have since been making the rounds online.

During a Facebook live interview last March 12, the beauty queen said that her reign as Miss Universe 2015 remains her top priority.

“No, there’s no specific someone in my life. This is the specific someone,” Wurtzbach said while showing her sash. “This is the priority.”

Meanwhile, in a BuzzFeed Philippines video, Wurtzbach only laughed when an indirect reference to Varshavski was made.

She then said that if she had to pick between love and career, she would choose the latter.

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