Blog Posts by Rio Rose Ribaya

  • What Senator Binay's camp thinks of 'Black Nazarene' jokes

    As the Black Nazarene feast made headlines, jokes about Nancy Binay made rounds in social media.

    Among these jokes is found in a "Nancy Binay" parody account: "Nakaka trauma talaga dyan sa Quiapo, Naglalakad ako kanina, bigla ba naman akong pinagbabato ng towel," alluding to the tradition of using towels to wipe Quiapo's Black Nazarene.

    But the neophyte Senator, who was the target of many jokes since she ran in the May 2013 elections, doesn't seem to mind.

    Porky Porcalla, Senator Binay’s media relations officer, said his boss laughed with them when they first heard “Nancy jokes."
     
    “We were all happy and amused. We actually appreciate the love that it actually made her laugh,” Porcalla told Yahoo! Philippines.

    Porcalla, who oversees the senator’s tweets in her official account @SenatorBinay, said their camp never felt offended with similar jokes even before Binay won the senatorial elections last May.
     
    “We have nothing against the memes. We love it. We don’t treat this as a form of online

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  • Jinggoy confident of acquittal

    Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada vows to face all charges for his alleged involvement in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
     
    The son of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada also vows not to run away from the plunder charges lodged against him before the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday.
     
    “I am ready to answer and explain everything because I never had or have any intention to ruin the name of my family,” Estrada said.
     
    The veteran senator is confident he would eventually be cleared despite "truckloads" of documents and evidence presented at the Ombudsman.
     
    On Monday afternoon, Justice secretary Leila de Lima filed plunder raps against him, Senate minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile, Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, and Janet Lim-Napoles.
     
    Janet Napoles-Lim has been accused of owning dubious various non-government organizations and foundations that regularly received funding from senators and lawmakers’ pork barrel fund in the last decade.
     
    De Lima also lodged plunder,

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  • Palace hits Tatad claims on Napoles' surrender

    Pure fiction.
     
    This is how Malacañang described the claims of former Senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad about how President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III met Janet Lim Napoles before the announced surrender.
     
    The Aquino administration said Tatad only fabricated column-published details about the president’s alleged six-hour closed-door meeting with Napoles .
     
    “The storyline pushed by Tatad is an obvious fabrication. The President was at two high-profile events at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. with hundreds of attendees,” a Malacanang statement said.
     
    In a statement, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda clarified the chief executive also delivered speeches, which were captured on videos that can be viewed on the President’s Day page.
     
    Lacierda noted President Aquino went to the following public events on August 28:
     
    10:00 a.m. – 8th East Asia Conference on Competition Law and Policy at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza
    1:30 p.m.  - 27th Apolinario Mabini Awarding Ceremony at the Heroes Hall in Malacañan

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  • Korea relaxes visa rules for Filipino tourists

    Tourists pose for photos at the Mount Kumgang international tourist zone in North Korea on September 1, 2011. (AFP photo)

    Are you itching to go back to South Korea but don’t have the time to process another visa?

    Well, you just got lucky as the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) says the South Korean government has decided to relax its visa rules for Filipino tourists.

    In a statement released on Friday, the KTO office in Manila announced that Filipinos who have visited Korea at least once will be eligible for a one-year multiple-entry visa.

    The new rules, which has been implemented since September 1, also makes Filipino travelers who have visited South Korea at least twice eligible for a three-year multiple-entry visa.

    It noted that Filipino visitors, as well as those coming from China and other countries in Southeast Asia who previously held a three-year multiple-entry visa can get a five-year visa.

    Sangyong Zhu, director of KTO in Manila, expects more Filipinos to visit South Korea than ever before with the implementation of new visa rules.

    In this year alone, tourists from Philippines alone increased

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  • Binay drops his P200-million 2014 budget

    The country’s second highest executive official has formally asked for the removal of P200 million budget, which was supposed to fund local projects of the Office of the Vice President (OVP).
     
    In an official letter sent to the Senate Committee on Finance, Vice President Jejomar Binay asked the panel to remove the allocation for OVP from the 2014 national expenditures.
     
    “I made this decision even though authorities have yet to describe the characteristics of this fund to avoid speculation and to stop others from politicizing this matter,” Binay said in a statement.
     
    “I’m hoping that through this decision, we can tell our countrymen that those serving in the government are always listening and that we are ready to serve them honestly,” he added.
     
    Binay is the second elected public official to decline funding for projects with ambiguous descriptions, taking lead from Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto, who did the same last week.
     
    Last Friday, Sotto announced he will forego P600 million of his

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  • Slain advertising executive 'Kae' Davantes 'not raped,' say police

    No sexual assault.
     
    This was what the Cavite Provincial Police confirmed about the death of 25-year old Kristelle “Kae” Davantes, whose body was found in Cavite over the weekend.
     
    In a phone interview, Cavite Provincial Police director, Senior Superintendent Alexander Rafael said investigators don't believe Davantes was molested before she was killed.
     
    “No, there’s nothing like that. Based on our initial investigation, she was not (raped),” Rafael told Yahoo! Philippines.
     
    “There are still no (significant) developments yet that’s why we are here in her house to inquire something from her family. We need to follow up,” he added.
     
    Silang Police Station investigators' autopsy report on Davantes, a senior account manager for a MRM digital marketing agency in Manila, showed there were no signs of sexual assault.
     
    They added her clothes were “intact” when her body was discovered under a bridge by the riverside in Silang, Cavite on Saturday morning.
     
    Police investigators also believed Davantes was

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  • Senator Binay: Allow humanitarian groups in Zamboanga City

    Allow humanitarian groups to enter rebel-controlled villages in Zamboanga City.
     
    This was what Senator Nancy Binay asked the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) if the group still won’t release dozens of its hostages in the on-going stand-off in the province.
     
    Binay urged MNLF chair Nur Misuari to let relief organizations like Philippine Red Cross to deliver food supplies to residents in Sta. Catalina, Sta. Barbara, Rio Hondo, and Talon-Talon.
     
    “I appeal to the leadership of the MNLF, for humanitarian reasons, to allow those residing in the barangays under their control, access to food and other basic necessities,” Binay said.
     
    The neophyte senator issued the statement after hearing reports about of shutdown in vital commercial establishments.

    “Life has literally stopped in Zamboanga City. The national government must immediately ensure that the people of Zamboanga, especially those who have been displaced brought by the political tension, still have access to food and medicines,” Binay

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  • 'Bejeweled' keeps Enrile busy amid Senate inquiry

    What's keeping Senator Juan Ponce Enrile busy since he resigned from his post as Senate President?

    Well, Enrile's new position as Senate minority leader has obviously given him more time to do the things he could not afford to do when he was still busy leading the Senate in the 15th Congress.

    On Wednesday, the Senate minority leader was seen enjoying a popular game, Bejeweled, on his tablet while waiting for his turn to speak before the Senate committee hearing.

    Observers from the Senate saw how Bejeweled entertained Enrile, who had to wait long for his colleague Senator Jose "Jinggoy" to finish asking questions about the sex-for-flight scandals in the Middle East. 

    "I'm now at Level 271," a grinning Enrile later admitted in an interview.

    Enrile explained he enjoys playing Bejeweled more than playing Candy Crush because he doesn't like eating candies. He also confessed he was not into computer games when he was still Senate President.

    "It was only during the campaign when I started

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  • Cayetano to Fort Boni: Transact only with Taguig

    Business as usual.
     
    This is Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano's mantra for now, as Taguig faces an intense battle with Makati City and Pateros for jurisdiction over the booming business district.
     
    Cayetano assured the business community that nothing will change in the way business is done in the tax-rich Bonifacio Global City.
     
    “We want the business community to know that status quo is there. We want them to stay calm. All their transactions will still be done with Taguig,” Cayetano said in a press conference.
     
    “Nothing needs to change because Fort Bonifacio belongs to Taguig and (due) process still has a long way to go,” she told reporters on Wednesday morning.
     
    At the same time, the wife of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano urged Makati City Mayor Jejomar “Jun-jun” Binay Jr. to stop issuing statements that would confuse the public.
     
    Cayetano made the pronouncement after the son of Vice President Jejomar Binay said they will make their presence felt in Fort Bonifacio to ensure a smooth transition

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  • Chito Miranda and Neri Naig's legal options

    If not sympathy, Parokya Ni Edgar vocalist Chito Miranda and his girlfriend deserve justice.   

    This is what lawyer and former Integrated Bar of the Philippines' spokesman Trixie Cruz-Angeles thinks about the controversial Miranda-Neri sex video.
     
    Also a legal counsel for the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts, Cruz-Angeles noted that the issue is not really about making a consensual sex video.
     
    “What two people do in the bedroom is none of our business so long as it’s between consenting adults. If they post a video of it, (that’s a different matter),” Cruz-Angeles said.
     
    “But when someone illegally uploads a video not intended for public consumption, those two people on the video become victims and deserve, if not sympathy, justice,” she explained.
     
    She also noted there’s no need for “victimizing the victims” with comments criticizing Miranda and Naig for the incident.
     
    “They do not need to hear our comments that they were incredibly stupid for making the video in the first

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