Headlines for Sunday, September 21, 2014

Benigno Aquino III, Angela Merkel (right)Aquino-Merkel meet; Philippines, Germany sign 3 agreements
Berlin, Germany — The Philippines and Germany have reaffirmed deep partnership following the signing of three agreements to bolster cooperation on social security, trade, and skills training for Filipino workers. The agreements were forged shortly after President Aquino and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks on efforts to enhance bilateral ties between the two countries at the Federal Chancellery.

Aquino to trumpet good news about PH in 5-day US visit
Boston – President Aquino will tell the world of the “good news about the Philippines” during his five-day working visit to the United States through his speeches in top educational institutions and interviews with various international media organizations. Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr. said Aquino, who arrived here at 8:33 p.m. on Saturday (US time), will once again trumpet the Philippines’ economic gains under his administration in his hope of attracting more investors especially in the manufacturing sector.

Imelda Marcos, kisses the glass case of her late husband Ferdinand Marcos‘No hero’s burial for Ferdinand Marcos’
MANILA, Philippines–President Aquino has not changed his mind about disallowing the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos among heroes at Libingan ng mga Bayani, Malacañang said on Sunday, the 42nd anniversary of Marcos’ declaration of martial law. “The position of the President remains the same,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters in Malacañang. Lacierda said Aquino or any of his officials had never discussed the question of Marcos’ burial at Libingan and this meant that the President’s position had not changed.

Department of Health gears up for RH law implementation
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) will start distributing free artificial contraceptives by the end of November in preparation for the implementation of the Reproductive Health (RH) law, Health Undersecretary Janette Garin said yesterday. Garin said the RH law provides for the distribution of artificial contraceptives to those who will need them. She said the DOH is just awaiting the release of the certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be able to start the distribution.

FrancisPope Francis says religion cannot justify violence
Pope Francis warned during a visit to Albania on Sunday that religion can never be used to justify violence, making apparent reference to the bloodshed wreaked by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. The 77-year-old pontiff said majority-Muslim Albania was an "inspiring example" of religious harmony, as hundreds of thousands thronged the streets of the capital Tirana to greet him.

Stateless in the Philippines: Indonesian descendants feel torn between two lands
KIDAPAWAN – The question is simple: "Where are you from?" But in this rice-milling community in southern Mindanao, the answers are never straightforward. "My parents are from Indonesia. My mother escaped forced marriage and came to the Philippines. My father came to work. I was born in the Philippines," said Merlyn Mandak, a 48-year-old who lives in a mixed community alongside Filipinos in Kidapawan, Cotabato province.

Ramil BuenaventuraUS-based Filipino teacher cited for making algebra cool
NEW YORK, New York — A Filipino mathematics teacher based in Queens recently received praise from a local newspaper for inspiring and engaging students with unconventional but effective teaching methods. The New York Daily News lauded Ramil Buenaventura, a seventh and eighth grade teacher at Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights, for being an engaging educator who “connects with his students by incorporating rapping, dancing and movies in the math curriculum.”

Screenwriter Ricky Lee lived 3 lives in detention
MANILA, Philippines–“It was not a time to put off doing good. What I saw, repeatedly, were people helping others as the need arose—now, this very minute; today, not tomorrow, because we could be dead tonight. That’s how detention during martial law taught me kindness more than anything else.” Ricardo “Ricky” Lee, multi-awarded author, stage and screen playwright and ex-political prisoner, believes he lived “at least three lives” during that crucial time in Philippine history if only because he nearly died twice, once by his own hand.

Hopes dim for return of Philippine troops to Golan
MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III said he's been told security threats on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights are not expected to ease soon, dimming hopes that U.N. peacekeepers can be deployed back to the region in the near future. A group of 244 Philippine peacekeepers flew back to Manila on Friday after being recalled, while 84 more were due home Sunday, ending a five-year presence in the increasingly volatile Golan. There have been no signs suggesting the Philippines will resume its mission in the Golan. Filipino forces continue to help a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

2 nabbed in QC raid on ‘sidewalk casinos’
MANILA, Philippines - Two men were arrested during a raid on one of two “sidewalk casinos” in Cubao, Quezon City Saturday. Rogerlio Almaro, 43, and Josua Marasigan, 32, were cornered by police officers who raided the casino on Pinatubo street at around 7 p.m. Saturday. Three “color game” dice, a betting board, a color game board and P520 were confiscated from the two men, who were charged with illegal gambling before the Quezon City prosecutor’s office. The other sidewalk casino, located on nearby West Point street, shut down when its operators learned of the raid, police said.

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