Category: Inquirer

Fire razes pine forest in Benguet


BAGUIO CITY —- A fire of still undetermined cause has destroyed at least 150 hectares of pine forest in Benguet province, local authorities said on Monday. Colonel Elmer Ragay, Benguet police director, said the blaze started on February 11 and engulfed forested, bushy, and grassy areas in two villages of Kabayan town. Ragay said the fire was initially traced to Barangay Adaoay before spreading to the forested area of Barangay Anchukey. As of Monday afternoon, the raging fire has reached a forested area in Barangay Kabayan Barrio, also in Kabayan. The Bureau of Fire Protection said the blaze was already under control. Ragay said the fire destroyed an old house, but no one…

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Ifugao bans entry of pigs, frozen pork products to prevent ASF


BAGUIO CITY —- The provincial government of Ifugao has banned the entry of live pigs and frozen pork products as a precautionary measure against African swine fever (ASF). Ifugao Governor Jerry Dalipog on Monday said the ban was enforced after ASF contamination was confirmed in some parts of the Cordillera region. The provinces of Kalinga and Benguet had reported ASF cases in some of the backyard piggeries there. James Gopeng, Ifugao provincial veterinarian, said he had asked local communities to report illegal shippers and traders transporting undocumented live pigs or pork products in private vehicles. Edited by Lzb…

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Atienza questions ‘imaginary votes’ in approval of House bill


  MANILA, Philippines — Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Monday questioned the voting process in the approval of a bill at the House of Representatives, particularly on counting the votes of lawmakers not physically present inside the plenary hall. During Monday’s session, Atienza initially questioned why the Secretariat said there are 232 lawmakers in attendance during the session when there are only 127 lawmakers physically present in the gallery. Deputy Majority Leader and Camiguin Rep. Xavier Jesus Romualdo explained that as per House rules, 43 members of the lower chamber are considered to be present despite being physically absent on the floor. According to …

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DOH: Butuanon River in Cebu found positive for poliovirus


CEBU CITY —- Samples collected from the Butuanon River in Cebu tested positive for the poliovirus, the Department of Health (DOH) said. In a press statement, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said the DOH is closely coordinating with the World Health Organization for an appropriate vaccination response. “It is important that we are able to timely detect any acute onset of paralysis in children – especially within our communities. We have evidence that the poliovirus continues to spread. Our aim is to promptly diagnose and treat all possible polio cases,” he said. The Butuanon river, an identified major waterway in Metro Cebu, has a length of over 10 kilometers. Its mo…

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Ex-judge, wife killed in Mandaue fire


CEBU CITY —- A retired trial judge and his wife died in a fire that displaced 45 families in Mandaue City on Monday, February 17. Firemen found the charred bodies of retired Municipal Trial Court Judge Gerardo Gestopa, 65, and wife, Louella, 67, inside their burned house in Barangay Centro, Mandaue City. The couple’s 21-year-old grandson, Gerick, remained missing. Barangay Captain Ignacio Cortes of Centro, Mandaue City said the couple managed to escape when the fire broke out but went back to their house to save their grandson. “The couple was already safe but upon learning that their grandson was still inside their house, they decided to return home,” he said in an intervi…

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First antiviral drug approved to fight COVID-19


BEIJING — Favilavir, formerly known as Fapilavir, an antiviral that has shown efficacy in treating the novel coronavirus, was approved for marketing, the Taizhou government in Zhejiang province announced Sunday. It is the first anti-novel coronavirus drug that has been approved for marketing by the National Medical Products Administration since the outbreak. Developed by Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Company, the drug is expected to play an important role in preventing and treating the epidemic, the government said on its official WeChat account. Favilavir is one of three drugs that have shown significant efficacy in treating the novel coronavirus in clinical trials, the Ministry…

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All-Star weekend, as expected, was about honoring Kobe


CHICAGO — It has become one of the NBA’s most revered traditions: On the morning of the NBA All-Star Game, the league pays tribute to retired players with what is called the Legends Brunch. It brings together about 3,000 guests, and every year a recent retiree with ties to the game’s host city is honored. When the game was in Los Angeles two years ago, the NBA wanted to honor Kobe Bryant. He declined. He couldn’t attend. His reason: his daughter Gianna Bryant had a game that morning. “That said, to us, everything about his priorities,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Sunday as he recalled that conversation with Bryant. This All-Star weekend was Michael Jordan’s longti…

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Youth group contradicts Joma Sison: Duterte can never be greatest president


MANILA, Philippines — A left-leaning youth group has contradicted communist leader Jose Maria Sison’s view that President Rodrigo Duterte can be the country’s greatest president, saying he should not get a free pass for merely implementing the communist demands. According to the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (Spark), Sison might be “losing his touch” with the realities in the Philippines if he believes that Duterte can be considered as such, amid his attacks on workers and activists nationwide. “Could he be losing his touch on the actual social conditions of the Philippines to be making such a statement in light of the recent intensifying fascist attacks of the Duterte regi…

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