Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Congress Employees Infected with H1N1 Flu Virus Climbs to 5, Latest Infected Was Exposed to the First Filipino and Asian Fatality, June 30, 2009

30 June 2009

The number of employees of the House of Representatives who have tested positive for the H1N1 virus has gone up to five (5) with the addition of the case of a young female employee who was exposed to the 49-year-old woman who died on June 19 shortly after contracting the virus. The subject employee is almost fully recovered.

This development is likely to renew criticisms of DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III's failure to inform the House leadership in timely fashion of the information regarding the first fatality. It will be recalled that the entire Batasan Complex had to be shut down for several days last week and up to the weekend to decontaminate the entire facility.

More on this story in this brief News on Q report by Ivan Mayrina courtesy of GMANews.tv:


Filipino Crew Member Among 153 People Aboard Crashed Yemen Airways (Yemenia) Airbus A310 in the Indian Ocean Off Comoros; 5-Year-Old Child Rescued -

30 June 2009

A Filipino crew member of Yemen Airways is among the 153 people aboard the ill-fated Airbus A310 which crashed into the Indian Ocean off the nation island of Comoros.  The jetliner was trying to land into Comoros amidst very bad weather when it crashed into the sea.

This is the second time that an Airbus plane has crashed into the sea.  On May 31, an Air France Airbus A330-200 with 228 people on board crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after leaving Rio de Janeiro, Brazil bound for Paris, France.

The Associated Press reported that French aviation inspectors found a "number of faults" on the downed plane during a 2007 inspection.  Questions were also raised as to "why passengers were put on another jet in the Yemeni capital of San'a."  

These are video clips from CNN:

1 July 2009

An ABS-CBN article (based on an Agence France Presse report) entitled DFA checking Filipino casualty in Yemeni plane crash says this:
Reports said authorities in Yemen fear that only a 14-year-old girl passenger of the Yemeni Airbus jet survived the crash. The plane had 153 passengers.

"The girl, aged 14, has arrived at the El Maarouf hospital. We were told that her condition is not worrisome," Red Cross spokeswoman Ramulati Ben Ali said. 
There appears to be a conflict between what Associated Press originally reported and what the CNN video interview with the Chairman of Yemenia appeared to confirm — that the sole survivor was a 5-year-old boy and this newer piece of news which says that the only survivor is a 14-year-old girl.  For now, while we lack authoritative confirmation,  let's hope that both of them survived.

On the matter of whether a Pinay crew person was aboard the ill-fated plane, this Agence France-Presse report carried by ABS-CBN, Pinay among crew of crashed Yemeni plane, seemed to indicate that the report may not be true after all.  Sana nga! 

UPDATE (13-Year-Old Girl, Bahia Bakari, is the Lone Survivor)
2 July 2009

It's been confirmed that a 13-year-old teenager and not a 5-year-old boy is the lone survivor of the Yemenia jet crash two days ago. Bahia Bakari, who was  traveling on the flight with her mother was fetched from the sea while hanging on to debris.  Bahia who sustained cuts to her face and a fractured collar bone is now recovering well in a hospital in Moroni, the capital of the Comoros.

Bahia's father, Kassim Bakari, who also received early news that a 5-year-old child had been rescued, was jubilant about her daughter's rescue although he could hardly believe it.  

More on this amazing story of survival and of hope beyond despair from David McKenzie of CNN reporting from Nairobi, Kenya:


Senator Loren Legarda on the Imperiled Poll Automation, the Torture of Fil-Am Melissa Roxas and the Murder of Jonathan Fetalvero

30 June 2009

Senator Loren Legarda is still out of the country — I know many people wanted her back as early as last week, I understand she's coming back on July 2 — but she has released this press statement on three important issues of the day:

Press Release
June 30, 2009

Press statement of Senator Loren Legarda

On imperiled poll automation

There may be merit in allowing the other bidders in the Comelec's poll automation project to complete their deficiencies so that they may contend for the project, a possibility pointed out by Comelec Chairman Jose Melo.

True, there may not be enough time to start a new bidding for the poll automation project. But with this statement by Chairman Melo, who said the bidding has to be started from scratch, by all means, Comelec must look at this possibility or some legally feasible alternatives, instead of altogether shutting the door on a computerized election.

Without any honest-to-goodness effort by the Comelec to push poll automation, the people may be justified in thinking that they had been taken for a ride by some parties whose interests would be served by the status quo - that of holding a manual election which is more vulnerable to fraud.

On Fil-Am's torture

The account of torture by Filipino-activist Melissa Roxas at the hands of purported military men in the Philippines is most troubling and deplorable. This administration cannot just brush it aside because the account was, more or less, congruent with its pockmarked human rights track record.

While the Commission on Human Rights wants Ms. Roxas to come back to the Philippines, I would understand if she would refuse to do so having been traumatized by her experience and knowing that she had made some very powerful enemies here.

CHR should consider to instead meet with Ms. Roxas in the United States so that her deposition can be taken in order to pinpoint those responsible for the reprehensible crime which she said had been committed against her.

On killing of yet another media practitioner

The killing of Jonathan Fetalvero, a hard-hitting radio broadcaster, underscored once more the culture of violence against media practitioners that had marked this administration.

The sixth media man to have been killed in the country since January and the 67th under the Arroyo administration, Fetalvero had been added to the long list of journalists who had been silenced permanently, probably by people who do not like their hard-hitting ways of exposing corruption and other wrongdoings in society.

Justice has been elusive to the other victims of violence against Fetalvero, and we can but urge our law enforcement authorities to do their duty with utmost dedication so that these crimes can be solved.

This is the affidavit of Melissa Roxas, and the following video clips show Roxas making her allegations against the AFP and AFP spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner denying AFP involvement in the abduction and torture, all courtesy of GMANews.tv: 

I wish Senator Legarda will speak out openly and clearly on the raging H1N1 menace.  We need her leadership on this issue, she being the Chairman of the Senate's Committee on Health and Demography.  The prima donna attitude of the DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III is simply unacceptable.  

Dra. Vicki Belo Decries "Harassment" by the NBI Led by Agent Palmer Mallari

30 June 2009

The camp of Dra. Vicki Belo is protesting what they see as harassment from the NBI when three of its agents led by Palmer Mallari went to the house of the lady cosmetic surgeon in Dasmariñas Village, Makati last Tuesday, June 23, and started asking the guards questions and even attempted to get the guard's logbook according to the report by ABS-CBN's RG Cruz.

More on this story in this report by ABS-CBN's RG Cruz via kyte.tv:


Monday, June 29, 2009

Smartmatic Local Partner TIM Withdraws from Joint Venture, Cites "Irreconcilable Differences" — 2010 Poll Automation in Grave Peril

29 June 2009

In a shocking turn of events, Total Information Management Corp. pulled out of its joint venture with Smartmatic for the 2010 poll automation project.  The jolting development threw into serious jeopardy the automation of next year's presidential polls.

According to Cesar Flores Zavarce, the International Sales Director for Smartmatic, they answered the concerns raised by TIM but that they themselves were surprised when "they went directly to Chairman Melo and they announced that they're pulling out from the project."

The backlash was instant and tremendous. Comelec Chairman Jose Melo warned that TIM could be subjected to criminal prosecution if the bid's failure becomes final. Senator Richard Gordon termed it as "parang inestafa nila ang bayan." 

More on this story in this News on Q report by Pia Arcangel courtesy of GMANews.tv:

And in this 24 Oras report by Mike Enriquez:


More on Diether Ocampo's Seizure — Diether Has Arrhythmia Says Claudine Barretto — SNN, June 29, 2009

29 June 2009

"Diether has arrhythmia."  That's what Star Magic colleague and friend Claudine Barretto disclosed tonight at SNN (Showbiz News Ngayon).  Claudine was present when Diether Ocampo collapsed during early morning rehearsals two days ago for their Star Magic Concert in California, USA.

"Yung heart niya, lumalaki yung muscle yata tumatama sa artery parang ganun, tapos plus meron siyang arrhythmia so yun ang naging problema talaga nag-cause nung pag-collapse niya," Claudine said.  Claudine added that Diether is now doing well and is able to speak.

Arrhythmia is defined and described as follows in this article from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the United States:
An arrhythmia (ah-RITH-me-ah) is a problem with the speed or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. A heartbeat that is too fast is called tachycardia. A heartbeat that is too slow is called bradycardia.

Most arrhythmias are harmless, but some can be serious or even life threatening. When the heart rate is too slow, too fast, or irregular, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body. Lack of blood flow can damage the brain, heart, and other organs.

Diether sent his message of thanksgiving through Claudine for his fans and supporters who continue to pray for him during this ordeal.

30 June 2009

We now have the TV Patrol report by Ginger Conejero on the successful start of the Star Magic World Concert Tour and the latest on Diether Ocampo.  

It was the at the San Antonio Community Hospital where Diether was rushed following his sudden collapse. 



Comelec Suspends Signing of P11.2B Poll Automation Contract — Corporate Papers of Joint Venture of Smartmatic & TIM Not Yet Submitted to Comelec

29 June 2009

The signing of the P11.2 Billion poll automation contract between the Comelec and the Smartmatic-TIM joint venture has been suspended.  The reason?  The corporate papers of the joint venture between Smartmatic Corp. and Total Information Mgt. Inc. (TIM) have not yet been submitted to the Comelec.  This was disclosed by Comelec Chairman Jose Melo today.

More on this story in this flash report by Lala Roque courtesy of GMANews.tv:

Smartmatic was reportedly given until Friday to submit the joint venture's incorporation documents otherwise they risk losing the poll automation contract. 

By way of review, here is another flash report by Lala Roque, dated June 10, 2009, wherein the Comelec formally announced the award to Smartmatic Tim of the winning bid for the 2010 poll automation contract.  Comelec Chairman Jose Melo, Jr. is even shown congratulating the officials of the joint venture:

The Smartmatic - TIM joint venture is expected to put up a paid-up capital of P1.2B to give it a reasonable chance of successfully completing the massive and unprecedented poll automation project.

June 29, 2009 - H1N1-infected Navy Personnel Climbs to 7; The DOH Will Reportedly Publicize the Number of H1N1 Infections on a Weekly Basis

29 June 2009

The number of Philippine Navy personnel infected by the H1N1 flu virus has gone up to 7 with 5 new additions today to the 2 officers infected during the weekend.  This was the disclosure made by Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Col. Romeo Brawner.

More on this story in this Balitanghali report by Marisol Abdurahman courtesy of GMANews.tv:

Meanwhile, I looked at the DOH website and this is what I found as 4:20pm today, June 29, 2009, Monday (please click on the image to enlarge):

At first, I was wondering why no updates for June 27, June 28 and June 29 were indicated and then my son, Mark Justin, told me  that the DOH announced on TV yesterday that they would start making weekly instead of daily updates of the number of H1N1 infections.  

I believe that the public's right to know especially in this all-important issue of public health and the true state of H1N1 is far superior to every other consideration. We need a DOH that empowers us instead of treating us like a nation of 92 million impotent individuals.  

I will repeat what I wrote here in another post — secrecy will not protect us from an unseen H1N1 viral enemy! 

Sooner or later, we're going to pay a heavy price if we allow Dr. Francisco Duque III to play God over our lives!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Diether Ocampo Suffers Seizure in Calif., Was Unconscious for a While But He's Conscious Now and in Stable Condition — The Buzz, June 28, 2009, 5:04pm

28 June 2009  5:10pm

It's been confirmed by The Buzz co-host Boy Abunda just a few minutes ago that ABS-CBN star Diether Ocampo has suffered a seizure in California.  Diether was reportedly unconscious for a while but he has regained consciousness, is in stable condition and is under observation.  

28 June 5009 7:20pm

According to this brief article posted at the ABS-CBN website, Diether suffered the seizure during morning rehearsals for the 17th anniversary concert of Star Magic in Ontario and San Francisco, California.

It's not clear where exactly in California Diether Ocampo is right now.  Downtown Los Angeles lies within 60 kms. west of Ontario, California but San Francisco is literally hundreds of kilometers away northwest. 

Fourth Congress Employee Has Been Infected with H1N1 Flu Virus

28 June 2009

Another employee of the House of Representatives has been infected with the H1N1 flu virus. According to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, the employee reportedly occupies the position of "Director" although he says he still has to confirm this tomorrow, Monday.

This brings to four (4) the number of employees of Congress who have tested positive for H1N1 including the 49-year-old woman who became the first H1N1-related fatality in the Philippines and in Asia last week. 

The first H1N1 death of a Congress employee triggered the closure of the entire Batasan Complex for several days to give way to general cleaning and sanitation. Tomorrow will the reopening of the Batasan Complex and the normal operations of the House of Representatives. 

More on this story in GMA Weekend Report by Dan Tincungco courtesy of GMANews.tv:


People should not be denied access to life-saving interventions for unfair reasons, including an inability to pay — Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO

28 June 2009

This speech should be read by all of our policymakers especially DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III and Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  It was delivered by one of the world's top medical doctors, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization.   

Dr. Chan delivered the address at the high-level dialogue on maximizing positive synergies between health systems and global health initiatives in Venice, Italy on June 22, 2009.

This single sentence just about sums up one the central message of Dr Chan address: "People should not be denied access to life-saving interventions for unfair reasons, including an inability to pay."

This is what will happen if we agree to the DOH's plan to give free Tamiflu or Oseltamivir only to selected people and not to everyone that needs it.  In this brewing H1N1 crisis, government has a duty to provide all its citizens, especially the poor ones, with access to adequate medical care and free or low-cost anti-viral drugs like Tamiflu.  Huwag po tayong pumayag na basta pababayaan na lang tayo ng ating gobyerno habang talamak ang graft and corruption na sumisipsip sa lakas at yaman ng ating bansa.  Concerned Philippine government officials should promptly resign if they fail to protect the Filipino's health and well-being in the face of the H1N1 crisis.  

Why the world needs global health initiatives

Dr Margaret Chan
Director-General of the World Health Organization

Honourable Mayor of Venice, honourable President of the Veneto Region, honourable ministers, colleagues from the United Nations system, representatives of global health initiatives, researchers and academics, civil society, ladies and gentlemen,

First, let me thank the city of Venice for hosting this event, and thank the government of Italy for its support .Let me thank the many contributors from around the world who have so generously given their time, their findings, and their thoughtful insights.

I think we can now let a long-standing and divisive debate die down. This is the debate that pits single-disease initiatives against the agenda for strengthening health systems.

As I have stated since taking office, the two approaches are not mutually exclusive. They are not in conflict. They do not represent a set of either-or options. It is the opposite. They can and should be mutually reinforcing. We need both.

This is one of the jobs, I believe, of this high-level dialogue: to craft policies and best practice that help the two approaches work together, in harmony, in ways that reduce waste and duplication, and improve efficiency.

We need them to work together to facilitate what I believe we all agree is the most important goal: to save lives and improve health outcomes. The Positive Synergies report has its limitations, which the co-authors readily admit. But it does give us the most solid ground yet for taking stock of where we stand today and establishing informed policies for the future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Global health initiatives were established with a strong sense of purpose and great ambition. They set out to save lives, on an emergency basis, even though not everything was known at the start about everything that needed to be done, or the best way to do it.

There were risks, and there were missed opportunities, which better planning might have prevented. But there was also courage, or to use words from the report, “an invigorating sense of ambition and purpose.”

And there was a clear moral imperative to act. The AIDS epidemic demonstrated the relevance of equity and universal access in a substantial way. With the advent of antiretroviral therapy, an ability to access medicines and services became equivalent to an ability to survive for many millions of people.

This is the essence of the equity argument: people should not be denied access to life-saving interventions for unfair reasons, including an inability to pay.

These global health initiatives have gathered knowledge along the way, and in so doing, they have shed light on a cause of much ill health in this world: weak and inequitable health systems.

Weak health systems are wasteful. They waste money, and dilute the return on investments. They waste money when regulatory systems fail to control the price and quality of medicine.

They waste training when workers are lured away by better working conditions or better pay. They waste efficiency when needless procedures are performed, or when essential procedures are precluded by interruptions in the supply chain.

They waste opportunities for poverty reduction when poor people are driven even deeper into poverty by the costs of care or by the failure of preventive services.

Above all, weak health systems waste lives.

Weak health systems are almost certainly the greatest impediment to better health in the world today. They are the central obstacle that blunts the power of global health initiatives.

The tuberculosis community clearly states the problem. The emergence of drug-resistant TB represents not just a failure of the control programme, but a failure of the entire health system in which that control programme operates.

In looking for ways to get beyond this impasse, we can take lessons not just from the evidence set out in the report, but also from history.

One reason for the success of smallpox eradication was a constant use of research to guide increasingly refined strategic operations. The smallpox campaign had a built-in capacity to respond, adapt, and shift gears as new evidence emerged.

The campaign to eradicate malaria did not. Of the many reasons put forward for the failure of this campaign, one is particularly relevant to today’s high-level dialogue. It is this: even the best-funded and managed initiatives will fail in the absence of basic infrastructures and services needed to sustain routine case detection and treatment.

The history of the onchocerciasis control programme provides another instructive example. At its start, this was the most vertical control programme imaginable: helicopters dropping insecticides from the sky.

As the burden of disease came down, the programme evolved. It brought us the strategy of community-directed distribution of a broadened range of interventions. This strategy is now an important tool for extending primary health care.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is time to start listening to the evidence, and not to anecdotal reports or to praises or criticisms founded on ideology rather than on evidence. Let me highlight four points that I personally find important.

First, these initiatives have unquestionably done great good. They have saved or prolonged millions of lives. This was the overarching purpose. I do not need to say more.

Second, it is wrong to conclude, categorically, that these initiatives have weakened health systems. They were launched at a time when health systems were already weak, sometimes on the verge of collapse, following decades of neglect. The global initiatives may have exacerbated some specific pre-existing weaknesses, but they did not cause them.

The report identifies some problems. Better planning could have prevented the establishment of parallel systems for information and for the procurement and distribution of supplies. As we know, these parallel systems have contributed to duplication, higher costs, and the undermining of national capacities.

The mixed picture revealed by the report is often a function of differences in the capacity of health systems. Stronger health systems have been better positioned to maximize gains from support by these initiatives and to counteract potentially negative effects.

In reality, the momentum and drive of these initiatives have made specific weaknesses in health systems much more visible. This, in turn, has allowed a more precise definition of problems and a more targeted approach to solutions.

My third point is closely related. For me, some of the best news from the report is evidence that global health initiatives can be flexible and responsive.

Part of their “invigorating sense of ambition and purpose” is an ability to solve problems, often in highly innovative ways.

In their drive for results, they are devising solutions to the very problems they have revealed. As the report states quite simply: they are constantly adapting and improving.

My fourth point is a straightforward request to you. The report cites abundant examples of deliberate and successful innovations.

These innovations are helping to bring health staff to rural areas and keep them there, to change legislation so that nurses can prescribe drugs, and to fully engage community health workers and civil society organizations. They are reducing drug prices, rationalizing the switch to second-line treatments, and exploiting advances in information and communication technologies with a speed and efficiency that have defied the sceptics.

Pay close attention to these innovations. They have unquestionably streamlined operations, saved money, and led to great efficiency gains.

They have also improved the quality of care for patients. And this has been a distinctive shared feature of these initiatives: they have upgraded the quality of care with quality-assured interventions and standardized treatment protocols, setting a new benchmark for global health.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are meeting at a time when the world faces multiple crises on multiple fronts. Global crises like the economic downturn and climate change will hit developing countries the hardest.

As these countries have the greatest vulnerability, they will bear the brunt of the consequences. As these countries have the least resilience, they will take the longest to recover.

As announced earlier this month, the world is at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic. I firmly believe that this pandemic will reveal, in a highly visible, measurable, and tragic way, exactly what it means, in life-and-death terms, when health needs and health systems have been neglected, for decades, in large parts of the world.

The gaps and inequalities that we are all trying so hard to address are likely to grow even greater. The price of failure will keep getting higher.

We simply cannot afford to be distracted from our central purpose. We cannot let the momentum, the drive, stumble for a moment. We must pursue every possible opportunity to improve efficiency and reduce waste. We are learning as we keep moving on, with an appropriate sense of urgency.

We faced some challenges early on, but we are moving forward, learning, adapting, pulling together, saving lives.

WHO values all its partners in global health, and values their clear contributions to better health. I am proud of these partnerships, and greatly encouraged by the attention being given to health systems.

This is not easy work. This is not glamorous work. But it absolutely must be done.

Thank you.


Malaysia Orders Students Returning from the US, UK, Australia and the Philippines to Perform H1N1 Self-Quarantine at Home for 7 Days

28 June 2009

According to a report from The Star Online, the Malaysian Health Ministry has ordered that students returning from the United States, Britain, Australia and the Philippines should observe a 7-day self-quarantine at home to prevent possible spread of the H1N1 flu virus.  The Malaysians obviously view the four countries as virtual H1N1 spots frequented by Malaysian students.

More on this story in this courtesy of GMANews.tv:


Charice Stages First Solo Concert "The Journey Begins" at SMX, Pays Tribute to Michael Jackson, Regine Got Sick and Was Unable to Come, June 27, 2009

28 June 2009

Charice Pempengco staged her first solo concert yesterday at the SMX Center at the SM MOA Complex on Saturday night, June 27.  Thousands of people including many celebrities attended the concert.  Asia's Songbird and Charice's guest, Regine Velasquez, was unable to come because she reportedly got sick and was brought to the hospital.  Kuh Ledesma was there to take her place.

Charice did a duet of "You and Me Against the World" with her mom.  One of the show's highlight was Charice's tribute to fallen idol Michael Jackson.  Charice sang "You are Not Alone" and "Billie Jean" to the delight of her fans.  Charice disclosed in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN's Karen Davila that she was supposed to guest in Michael Jackson's comeback performance in July; please see this earlier post, Charice Pempengco Was Supposed to Moonwalk, Sing Billie Jean with Michael Jackson Who Reportedly Said, "I Want this Kid" After Seeing Her on Youtube.

More on this story in this ABS-CBN report by Gretchen Malalad via kyte.tv: 


Congress to Grill Secretary Duque on Secrecy in the Case of the First H1N1 Fatality and in the Philippine H1N1 Situation on Monday, June 29, 2009

28 June 2009

The Committee on Health of Congress will quiz DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III on pressing issues related to the rampaging H1N1 menace in the Philippines.  The hearing will take place tomorrow, Monday, June 29.  (As of 12:04pm today, the Congress website has no listing of the Committee hearing; the last hearing on H1N1 took place on June 22, 2009 at 1:30pm at the Ramon V. Mitra Building, Conference Rooms 7 & 8.

Secretary Duque has received flak from Congressmen for reportedly not informing the House leadership early enough regarding the case of 49 year old lady employee of Congress who became the first Philippine and Asian fatality linked to H1N1.  The DOH will also be asked about the country's general readiness in responding to the H1N1 crisis.

From where I sit, I believe the Philippines will face tremendous problems once the H1N1 crisis gets worse in the coming days and weeks.  Poor Filipinos, especially those who don't have money to seek medical care and buy expensive anti-viral drugs, will be especially hard-hit. Let's join hands to ask government to provide us with greater access to medical care and free or low-cost anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) which currently sells for P150.50 per capsule at selected Mercury Drugstore outlets.  Napakamahal po niyan!  Pwede pong manghingi ng libreng Tamiflu ang ating gobyerno mula sa WHO at sa Roche (maker of Tamiflu) imbes na pagbayarin tayo.

More on this story in this flash report by Mariz Umali courtesy of GMANews.tv:


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Charice Pempengco Was Supposed to Moonwalk, Sing Billie Jean with Michael Jackson Who Reportedly Said, "I Want this Kid" After Seeing Her on Youtube

27 June 2009

In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN's Karen Davila, Charice disclosed that she was supposed to sing and dance with Michael Jackson in the King of Pop's series of comeback concert performances starting on July 13 at the O2 Arena in London.  

This is the transcript of that interview:

Karen: Isa sa nalungkot sa pagkamatay ni Michael Jackson ay ang Pinay international singer na si Charice Pempengco. Ibinunyag ni Charice ang kanyang matagal nang sikreto tungkol sa pinaplanong showdown nilang dalawa ni Michael Jackson.

Karen: Ilang araw nang pinapraktis ni Charice ang paborito niyang sayaw na moonwalk sa awiting Billie Jean dahil sa susunod na linggo, magri-rehearse na sana sila ni Michael Jackson para sa kaniyang comeback world tour ngayong Hulyo kaya't na-shock siya nang mapanood sa TV ang balitang pumanaw na ang pop icon.

Charice: Nakita ko na lang kanina na 'Jackson patay na!' Sinong Jackson? Baka mali naman Nakita ko na siya yung nagsasayaw and parang, nanghina po ako kasi si Michael Jackson po, kahit hindi niya ko nami-meet, dun ko po na-feel na talagang mabait po siya kasi po  ako po nag-uumpisa pa lang naman po ako so, siya po legend ... legendary singer po siya.

Karen: Ayon kay Charice, nasa private party raw siya ng Warner Brothers nang biglang lapitan siya ng abogado ni Michael Jackson.

Charice: Nagpakilala po siya na, 'I'm the lawyer of Michael Jackson.' So, "Hi, Sir!  Ginulat lang po niya ko na parang ... 'We want Mike ...' parang 'Michael Jackson chose you to be his special guest for his tour, world tour' ... parang napatigil po 'ko. 

Karen: Napapanood raw siya ni Michael sa Oprah pero pinili siya nitong maka-duet nang mapanood niya itong nagmu-moonwalk sa kantang Billie Jean sa youtube.

Karen: Anong song dapat ang idu-duet n'yo?

Charice: Supposed to be po yun po kasing dream ko yung Billie Jean po, parang showdown po na sayaw namin.

Karen:  Ano daw sinabi ni Michael about you?

Charice: Right away po kasi, nung makita niya po yung video, right away, 'I want this kid.'

Karen: Matapos maka-duet si Celine Dion, si Michael Jackson na sana ang pinakamatindi niyang makakatapat niya sa entablado. Kahit hindi ito natuloy, laking pasasalamat pa rin ni Charice  at napili siya nitong makasama. At sa kanyang first solo concert bukas, isang tribute ang iaalay niya sa King of Pop.

Charice: (singing 'I am here with you  For you're far away  I am here to stay For you are not alone ...)

Karen:  Abangan n'yo po ang kabuuang interview kay Charice ...

Here is the ABS-CBN video clip of Karen Davila's interview with Charice Pempengco via kyte.tv:

I don't know if this the video that Michael Jackson saw at youtube but it does show Charice singing Billie Jean and doing some moonwalk moves:

This is believed to be Michael Jackson's first ever moonwalk with Billie Jean. This happened on March 25, 1983 when Michael performed "Billie Jean" to critical and popular acclaim.  The event was the Motown 25: Today, Yesterday, Forever, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Motown at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

This is billed as the best moonwalk ever by Michael Jackson:


Two Navy Personnel Are the First AFP H1N1 Infectees, According to Col. Romeo Brawner, June 27, 2009

27 June 2009

AFP spokesman Col. Romeo Brawner disclosed today that the Armed Forces of the Philippines has registered its first two cases of H1N1 infection.  The subjects are personnel of the Navy who are now quarantined for treatment.  Other Navy personnel who have had close contact with the patients have also been quarantined.

More on this story in this flash report by Tina Panganiban Perez courtesy of GMANews.tv:


June 26, 2009 — 24 Students in Banilad Elementary School, Nasugbu, Batangas Test Positive for H1N1

26 June 2009

Twenty-four (24) students of Banilad Elementary School, in Nasugbu, Batangas have tested positive for the H1N1 flu virus.  Classes has been suspended in the school for ten days because of the sudden outbreak.

Meanwhile at Chiang Kai Shek College in Manila, one high school student tested H1N1 positive. This brings to 154 the total number of students infected in 42 schools in the country. 

More on this story in this report by James Velasquez for QTV's Balitanghali courtesy of GMANews.tv:

Bureau of Immigration Employee Shot Dead Inside His Garage, Assailants Got Away By Taking His Ford Expedition

27 June 2009

A Bureau of Immigration employee was shot dead inside his garage in his house in Barangay Bahay Toro at Project 8, Quezon City at around 1:40am today.

The victim, Douglas Duane Lim, 34, was aboard his Ford Expedition as he approached his house and must have alit from the vehicle after parking it inside the garage when the gunmen fired on him. 

His father, Dr. Diampo Lim, said that they were awakened by the sound of the approaching vehicle and the ensuing gunfire and that he did not even hear his son cry out for help. The assailants took the victim's Ford Expedition with plate no. XCS 568 when they left the crime scene.  In their haste to get away, the Ford Expedition bumped into a Toyota Camry parked in the innermost portion of the victim's garage.

The guard on duty said that he did not see any vehicle entering the village other than the victim's Ford Expedition. By the time it returned from Lim's house, the assailants were already the ones driving it. The guard noticed the vehicle leaving at a fast speed but said he did not notice if the rear window of the Ford Expedition was shattered.  

The victim was rushed to the Capitol Medical Center where he later died because of multiple gunshot wounds.

More on this story in this report by Ian Cruz for QTV's Balitanghali courtesy of GMANews.tv:


Friday, June 26, 2009

Manuel Montero Tags Third in the Murder of Ruby Rose — Says Manuel Jimenez III Promised Spike Discalzo a Bonus Because "Ayos Na ang Problema Niya"

26 June 2009

Manuel Montero, in a supplemental affidavit submitted early this afternoon to the DOJ panel probing the murder of the Ruby Rose Barrameda, has implicated Third, the nickname of Ruby Rose's estranged husband, Manuel Jimenez III, in the brutal slay.

He did this by relating a brief conversation with one of the suspects Spike Discalzo wherein he asked the latter whom he was talking with on the cellphone and Spike allegedly said: "... bibigyan daw ako ng bonus ni Third dahil ayos na ang problema niya."

More on this story in this TV Patrol report by Marieton Pacheco via kyte.tv:

And in this 24 Oras report by Carlo Lorenzo courtesy of GMANews.tv:


The Volcano, Ronnie Alcano, Beats The Magician, Efren "Bata" Reyes in the Challenge of the Legend

26 June 2009

Ronnie Alcano, dubbed as The Volcano conquered the Philippines' billiards living legend, The Magician, Efren "Bata" Reyes in their one-on-one rotation match at the SM North Edsa this afternoon.

More on this story in this News on Q report by Chino Trinidad courtesy of GMANews.tv:

And, in this ABS-CBN report by Dyan Castillejo via kyte.tv:


We Join GMA News in a Salute to the DepEd's Mobile Teachers

26 June 2009

The DepEd does have many people it can be proud of.  Among them are the DepEd's mobile teachers.

GMA News pays tribute to these unsung heroes of the DepEd in this special report by Rhea Santos wherein she joins Catalina Ibarra at a typical day in a mobile teacher's life: 

If the DepEd's higher-ranking officials approach their jobs with the same devotion to public service as these mobile teachers, then the DepEd would not have been associated with a number of scandals over the years. 

David and Gloriath Fight Shapes Up in Pampanga in 2010 as Randy David Considers Running Against PGMA

26 June 2009

Political observer Prof. Randy David is considering to run as representative of the second district of Pampanga in the event that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo makes a bid for the same position in 2010.  

This scenario has many ifs one of which is the success of the Con-Ass in effecting a change from the present presidential form of government to parliamentary.  The presumption is that PGMA's allies in Congress will pave the way for a parliamentary shift and that all the President has to do is to secure a district seat so she can have a chance at becoming Prime Minister.  This scenario is the "Gloria Forever" Constitution that Con-Ass opponents have been protesting against.

More on this story in these reports courtesy of GMANews.tv:


June 26, 2009 — 861 Total, 134 New Cases of H1N1 Including 24 Students in Batangas

26 June 2009

The number of H1N1 confirmed cases in the Philippines has risen to 861 with 134 new cases including that of 24 students in Batangas.

This is DOH Update No. 52 from the DOH website:

Update No. 52 - Duque: Country's Mild A (H1N1) Patients Responding Positively to Treatment

26 June 2009

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III today reported 134 more mild cases of A (H1N1), noting that all are responding positively to their treatments. These additional cases bring the total count of confirmed cases of the novel virus to 861.

The total sum, on the other hand, of fully recovered patients still stands at 634 or 74% of the total number of confirmed cases reported since May 21.

“The number of fully recovered patients is the same as the previous update because the present reported cases are still getting treatment and recuperating either in hospitals or their homes,” Duque explained.

The additional 134 cases involved 60 males and 74 females. The age range of these cases is 2-58 years old, with 16 as median age. One hundred eighteen (118) of the new cases are Filipinos, the remaining 16 are foreigners. Twenty (20) of these cases have a history of travel to a country affected by A (H1N1).

Meanwhile, as of June 24, the World Health Organization reported 55,867 cases with 238 deaths from 102 reporting countries.


Ruby Rose Barrameda Murder Witness Manuel Montero Surfaces in Preliminary Hearing at the DOJ, Says Lope Jimenez Wanted Ruby Rose Raped, June 26, 2009

26 June 2009

The man who revived the Ruby Rose Barrameda case by leading police authorities to the location of the body of the slain mother of two surfaced in today's preliminary investigation of the sensational murder case.  

Witness Manuel Montero, sporting long hair and wearing a cap, white polo shirt and maong pants, the bespectacled star witness subscribed to his affidavit before the DOJ panel. 

The suspects in this case were not present during the hearing but Atty. Mario Aguinaldo, lawyer of Atty. Manuel Jimenez II, asked for 20 days to submit their counter-affidavit to the DOJ.  The next hearing of the case is set for July 13.

More on this story in this flash report by Lala Roque courtesy of GMANews.tv:

26 June 2009 7:20pm

In TV Patrol a few minutes ago, Manuel Montero reportedly alleged in his supplemental affidavit that suspect Lope Jimenez wanted Ruby Rose Barrameda to be raped but that he (Montero) intervened thus sparing the victim from a worse fate. This allegation further enraged Rochelle Barrameda considering the monumentally brutal murder of her younger sister.

I'll post the video report here as soon as it's posted at kyte.tv.



June 26, 2009 — Atty. Manuel Jimenez II Will Not Attend Today's Prelim Investigation of Ruby Rose Murder at DOJ Saying He's Not Received Any Subpoena

26 June 2009

The DOJ will start today the preliminary investigation into the gruesome murder of the Ruby Rose Barrameda.  In spite of this, the lawyer for the Jimenez family, Atty. Mario Aguinaldo said that his client, Atty. Manuel Jimenez II, will not attend today's hearing claiming they have not received any subpoena.

More on this story in this One-on-One with Igan between Atty. Mario Aguinaldo and Arnold Clavio, courtesy of GMANews.tv: 

Also, in this Arnold Clavio interview with Rochelle Barrameda, older sister of Ruby Rose:

It is not known whether star witness Manuel Montero who pinpointed to police and the Barrameda family the location of Ruby Rose's body will appear in today's preliminary investigation.  Rochelle expressed full confidence in the reliability of witness Montero in establishing the culpability of the suspects in this case. 
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