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Celebrity doctor Joel Mendez arrested in CDO

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Celebrity doctor Joel Mendez was arrested in Cagayan de Oro City over rape charges, police said Tuesday.

Mendez, a 60-year-old cosmetic surgeon, was arrested around 2 p.m. Sunday, inside a mall in Brgy. Lapasan according to Brig. Gen. Rolando Anduyan, Northern Mindanao regional police director.

He was apprehended by members of the Regional Special Operations Unit and Regional Intelligence Unit on a warrant for conviction on a case of two counts of rape and attempted rape.

The warrant was issued by a court in Mandaluyong City last February 4.

Shortly after his arrest, Mendez was detained at city police’s Maharlika detention cell and is set to be brought to Metro Manila.

Mendez, a resident of Quezon City and owner of Skinology Spa and Wellness Center, was first arrested for the same cases on 12 July 2018 in Mandaluyong.

He posted bail for his temporary liberty.

The cases stemmed from complaints of a 17-year-old girl and a model of the Mendez Medical Group who he allegedly molested inside his clinic in 2015.

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Food wars! wraps up fifth season

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Well-loved anime Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Souma ends with its fifth and last season over a year after the manga ended.

In the official Twitter of the series, a special illustration of all the characters was posted with a message from Director Yoshitomo Yonetani.

“The final episode of the anime “Food Wars! Shoku” is specially cooked in space-time. May the academy life of Soshin continue forever. Please enjoy the future of “Shokugeki no Soma” that you envision.” Yonetani wrote.

While fans were hoping for a sixth season, its ending was anticipated after the manga concluded in 2019.

 The manga sold more than 20 million copies as of this writing and the anime adaptation remains to be one of the top-grossing series according to Crunchyroll.

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BLACKPINK members prep up Spotify playlist for ‘The Album’

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Days before the official release of ‘The Album’, BLACKPINK members Jennie, Lisa, Rose, and Jisoo curated an exclusive playlist on Spotify for their fans to freak out on. Each member had to pick 10 favorite songs for the playlist.

Just as how versatile they are, the range of the list goes from acoustic, pop, and lo-fi. Artists such as Ariana Grande, Daft Punk, Justin Beiber, and Post Malone are among the girls’ favorites.

While waiting for The Album, BLINKs are not that parched with a new surge of information about the quartet’s collaboration with PUBG Mobile.

Their pre-release song How You Like That will be the background music in the game’s lobby. Players will also have an experience of a special video prepared by the girls to celebrate the collab from 24 September to 8 October.

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COVID-19 cases in Phl breach 300,000-mark

Gabbie Parlade

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The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines has breached the 300,000-mark as 2,747 new infections were posted on Saturday.

The Department of Health said the total number of cases is now at 301,256.

Health experts from the University of the Philippines have earlier predicted that COVID-19 cases would breach the 300,000-mark by the end of September.

Metro Manila—the country’s epicenter of the virus—still has the most number of cases among the regions at over 100,000.  A total of 1,115 were added to the statistics.

Negros Occidental has also reported a surge in its tally of new cases followed by areas in CALABARZON and Cebu.

Out of the 63,066 total active cases, a majority of the patients are those experiencing mild to no symptoms at all.

There was an increase also in the percentage of severe and critical cases.

The total number of recoveries is now at 232,906 with 707 additional survivors while the death toll has jumped to 5,284 with a significant increase of 88 more.

Worldwide over 32 million people have been infected with the disease.

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PNPA goes distance learning

Kristina Maralit

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The Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) recently announced it will be adopting a distance learning approach for cadets in compliance with the government’s policy barring face-to-face sessions amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

In a statement, PNPA director Maj. Gen. Gilbert Cruz also pointed to the recent virus outbreak in the academy that infected 243 cadets and personnel as a reason for the shift.

“Head-on classes with the cadets are prohibited until a vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 becomes available,” Cruz said in the advisory released late Friday.

“I made it clear with the Dean of Academics to secure all professors’ alignment on this matter. Every lecturer must be virtually present during classes and all lessons shall be embedded in online modalities to make sure that interactions are achieved,” he added.

To ensure the smooth transition to the flexible blended learning modality, the PNPA has purchased LED televisions and sound reinforcement systems which will be installed in different learning areas inside the camp in Silang, Cavite.

Internet connectivity has also been established inside the academy.

The following areas were designated as blended learning venues: dormitories for the first-class cadets, a new mess hall for second class cadets, an existing mess hall for third class cadets, and the academic building for fourth-class cadets.

The PNPA had been on lockdown since 14 September as swab tests conducted on 232 trainees and 11 personnel resulted in positive results for the virus.

Another swab testing will be done on the infected patients on 30 September to see if they have all recovered from the viral respiratory ailment after undergoing quarantine in the five buildings within the premises that have been temporarily converted into isolation facilities.

As an added layer of protection, Cruz ordered for 6,500 face shields, 16,000 masks, and 1,100 bottles of alcohol to be distributed among the trainees and personnel who did not contract the virus to ensure there will be no more transmissions within the PNPA’s walls.

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Marino urges DFA to waive 9 (c) Visa for foreign seafarers

Raffy Ayeng

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THE seafarer’s lone representation at the Lower House, MARINO Party-list, has asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to waive the 9(C) visa of foreign nationals performing crew change in the country’s designated ports.

MARINO Partylist Representative Macnell Lusotan, in a statement, asked the DFA to revisit its implementing guidelines when it comes to disembarking foreign seafarers in the country, as it is deemed to be “counterproductive” to the Philippines’ ambition to be an international hub for a crew change.

Lusotan explained that the measure was enjoyed by Filipino seafarers performing crew change in two Asian countries – namely Singapore and India – and said the two had become lenient as to disembarkation of foreign nationals on their home turf.

“The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore enhanced their crew change by considering compassionate grounds for allowing seafarers to disembark, while India allowed disembarkation as long as the seafarer presents a temporary landing permit,” according to Lusotan.

Based on the current DFA guidelines, the foreign seafarer must possess a valid 9(C) Philippine-issued visa upon arrival in the country. Acquiring this Visa requires stringent requirements.

Lusotan said the current measure is impossible to comply, given the situation that some ship owners decide to divert their ships to Philippine waters for a crew change on abrupt notices.

Lusotan added the arrival of foreign seafarers will as well open employment opportunities to Filipino seafarers and will be a win-win for both the seafarer and the country’s economy.

“The advantage of this is when the foreign seafarers disembark, it will give way for Filipino seafarers to replace the posts of foreign seafarers. In addition, crew change will give the Philippines the much-needed revenue. For 90 ships per month to be diverted to our country, for example, Japan, it will generate at least P 67.9M in regulatory fees alone, so it will help our economy grapple with the effects of the COVID-19,” the lawmaker added.

Lusotan, MARINO’s 2nd nominee, expressed hope that his request will be pondered and considered by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, as the country’s economy will be benefited from the measure’s retweaking.

“Sana maconsider natin ito lalo na at nangangailangan tayo ng revenue at tsaka ‘yung employment [ng mga marinong Pilipino] at ‘yung remittances,” Lusotan averred.

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SoKor demands Pyongyang further probe killing of official

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Seoul says it will demand further investigation by Pyongyang into the killing of a South Korean official after a rare public apology from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Yahoo)

Seoul said Saturday it will demand further investigation by Pyongyang into the killing of a South Korean official after a rare public apology from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The fisheries official was shot dead by North Korean soldiers on Tuesday, the first such killing of a South Korean civilian in a decade.

In a surprise move, Kim said he was “very sorry” for the “unexpected and disgraceful event”, but South Korea announced it would ask for further investigation.

“We have decided to demand the North carry out a further probe and request a joint investigation if necessary,” the Blue House, South Korea’s presidential office, said in a statement.

It added that South Korea’s own investigation will continue because of “discrepancies” in the accounts of the shooting.

South Korean military officials say the man was interrogated while in the water for several hours and expressed a desire to defect, but was killed after an “order from superior authority”.

They also said North Koreans poured oil over his body and burnt it, calling it an “outrageous act”.

In contrast, Pyongyang said in a letter sent Friday — which contained Kim’s apology — that the official had “illegally entered our waters” and refused to properly identify himself.

It acknowledged that around 10 rounds were fired at the man and that he was not visible after the shooting.

Troops then set the official’s flotation device — which was covered in blood — on fire in accordance with North Korea’s emergency coronavirus regulations, the letter added.

Apologies from North Korea — let alone attributed to Kim personally — are extremely unusual, and the message came with inter-Korean ties in a deep freeze, and nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington deadlocked.

There have been no North Korean media reports on the contents of the letter.

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DOH cautions gradual opening of tourism sites

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Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergerie urged the government to exercise caution when it allows the gradual opening of tourism sites as the coronavirus pandemic remains a grave threat.

In a forum held on Friday, Vergeire said that ample analysis of such initiatives should first be established in order to prevent any possible surge of cases.

“We are slowly trying to study it so that we can assert and or determine if opening up in fall will not compromise the safety of our population,” she said.

The health official also explained the importance of striking a balance between health and economy through establishing initial developments before shifting on a wider scale.

“We have to check first, we have to start slow and small before we can fully implement and try to see if really we can go on and open up these kinds of sectors without compromising the safety, or course the transmission risk for people within that community,” Veregerie said.

The national government recently said it is planning to open both Baguio City and Boracay to tourists beginning the first week of October in order to help localities to jump-start the economy.

The Department of Tourism said that among the policies to be implemented include the ‘test before travel rule’ where all visitors are required to have a negative RT-PCR test 48 to 72 hours prior to traveling to the island.

The strict quarantine will be imposed after the test to ensure the travelers’ safety before the set travel date.

Travelers who are aged 21 years old and below as well as those 60 years old and above will be permitted provided that they have no existing comorbidities.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city will initially accept visitors from Region I as part of its pilot testing.

The idea was welcomed by other local government officials in the Ilocos region who are also considering doing the same thing to their respective provinces.

Although more areas are willing to receive tourists, Magalong—who also serves as the national tracing czar—said that only guided tours will be allowed in the meantime to prevent a possible outbreak of the disease.

Meanwhile, the DOH said it will soon be releasing a complete document of guidelines which includes provision for pathways, tests, and management of cases for domestic travelers.

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Celtics stay alive in NBA playoffs

With their season hanging in the balance, the Celtics exploded for 41 points in the third quarter.

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Miami, United States — The Boston Celtics roared back in the second half to beat the Miami Heat 121-108 on Friday to stay alive in the NBA playoffs.

Jayson Tatum scored 31 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and Jaylen Brown added 28 points as six Celtics players scored in double figures and Boston cut the deficit in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals to three games to two.

Goran Dragic led the Heat with 23 points and Duncan Robinson added 20 for Miami, who are trying to reach the NBA finals for the first time since 2014.

With their season hanging in the balance, the Celtics exploded for 41 points in the third quarter to turn the tide in a game dominated early by Miami.

Under solid pressure from the Heat defense, the Celtics had made just one of their first 12 shots and connected on just five of 20 from the field in the first quarter.

Boston trailed by as many as 12 in the opening period, which ended with the Heat leading 26-18.

Miami again built the lead to 12 in the second period and finished the first half with a 58-51 lead.

But Boston was beginning to see some shots fall, and as they turned up the intensity on both ends of the floor after the interval Miami had no answer.

The Celtics opened the second half with a 20-5 scoring run.

Marcus Smart’s three-pointer tied it up at 60-60 and Boston took the lead for the first time in the contest, 62-60, on Brown’s layup off a feed from Kemba Walker.

They wouldn’t trail again.

Walker’s three-pointer with 4:26 left in the third gave Boston a 10-point lead and the Celtics took a nine-point edge into the final frame when they continued to pour it on.

Tatum scored 17 in the third and the Celtics out-rebounded the Heat 16-5 in the quarter.

“We got back to playing Celtics basketball,” Walker said. “I felt like early in the game we were a little frustrated, bickering at each other at the refs. We got out of it, and just let the game come to us.”

The Celtics will try to build on their momentum against a Heat team determined to put them away in game six on Sunday.

The winners of the series take on either the Los Angeles Lakers or Denver Nuggets for the NBA title in the quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.

The Lakers lead the Nuggets three games to one in the Western Conference finals.

Boston’s German center Daniel Theis contributed a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds, Smart finished with 12 points and Gordon Hayward chipped in 10.

“Boston played great in that second half, they deserved and earned what they got,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

“We did not compete hard enough defensively and we paid the price for that. But you do have to credit Boston, they played with great force particularly off the dribble.”

Spoelstra noted that the Celtics scored just four points in the paint in the first quarter but added: “It was just a deluge to the rim after that.”

Boston scored 30 points in the paint in the second half and had 13 fastbreak points to Miami’s zero after the break.

“We didn’t defend as well as we could in the first half and that’s what got our offense going in the second half,” Tatum said. “We just locked in, we were all on the same page.”

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Go: Pinoys deserve a decent home

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The office of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go continues its mission to reach out and help fire victims even in the provinces in line with the senator’s campaign promise of extending assistance to those who need it.

In line with this, the senator’s staff collaborated with the National Housing Authority (NHA) in delivering government housing assistance to fire victims during an aid distribution activity in Barangay San Roque Gym in Cebu City on 23 September.

In a virtual message, Go stressed that the NHA is ready to provide financial assistant under its Emergency Housing Assistance Program to families whose houses were partially and totally damaged which is under the national government’s program as he stressed that all Filipinos deserve a decent home.

Representatives of the NHA conducted the distribution of assistance in strict compliance with health protocols.

 

 

To recall, the senator filed Senate Bill No. 203 – or the National Housing Development, Production and Financing Bill — last July 2019 which seeks to generate and mobilize funds to increase low-cost housing production; provide support mechanisms to improve access to housing options; guarantee the development of a strong, sustainable, accessible and affordable housing finance system; and increase private sector participation, among others.

In December 2019, Go filed another bill seeking to provide more assistance. SBN 1227 or the Rental Housing Subsidy Program Act intends to provide families displaced by natural and man-made disasters with improved access to the formal housing market by offering a rental subsidy.

During the distribution in Cebu, Go’s team also extended help to 105 out of 402 families affected by a fire incident that happened on 3 November 2019 in Brgy. San Roque.

Affected families were provided with food packs and meals, masks, face shields, vitamins and basic medicines. Bicycles were also given to those who need them most. These fire victims were also previously provided food packs and cash assistance last 8 November 2019 during the senator’s visit.

Go also noted that the first Malasakit Center that was opened in the country is at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City. Other Malasakit Centers in Cebu province are located at St. Anthony Mother and Child Hospital in Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital in Lapu-Lapu City, Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital in Mandaue City, and Talisay District Hospital in Talisay City.

The senator also reassured the public that he and President Rodrigo Duterte will continue to serve the nation, provide the needs of the Filipinos and address the health crisis at full extent.

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