Friday, June 30, 2017

Vice Ganda, Vic Sotto movies among official entries in MMFF 2017

After being rejected by the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) committee last year, Vice Ganda and Vic Sotto are back in this year's festival.

The MMFF executive committee on Friday announced the first four (of eight) entries of the annual filmfest.

Of the 26 screenplays submitted for consideration, these four films made the cut:

  • Ang Panday
    Director: Rodel Nacianceno
    Producer: CCM Creative Productions, Inc.
    Lead Actor: Coco Martin

  • Almost Is Not Enough
    Director: Dan Villegas
    Producer: Quantum & MJM Productions
    Lead Actor: Jennylyn Mercado and Jericho Rosales

  • The Revengers
    Director: Joyce A. Bernal
    Producer: Star Cinema and Viva Films
    Lead Actor: Vice Ganda, Daniel Padilla, and Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach

  • Love Traps #FamilyGoals
    Director: Antonio Y. Reyes
    Producer: OctoArts Films
    Lead Actor: Vic Sotto and Dawn Zulueta

In a statement, MMFF executive committee chairman Tim Orbos said the selection committee a hard time choosing given the quality of the films.

"We have to thank them for their exhaustive and thorough deliberation," he said.

The entries were evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • 40 percent artistic excellence
  • 40 percent commercial appeal
  • 10 percent promotion of Filipino cultural and historical values
  • 10 percent global appeal

[Photo: Bandera]

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bulacan massacre: Man high on drugs rapes 2 women, kills 3 children

"Trip trip lang."

These are the words of 26-year-old construction worker Carmelino Ibañez after murdering five members of a family in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News, Ibañez said he and his cohorts, only identified as "Tony" and "Inggo", were under the influence of illegal drugs and alcohol when they killed Auring Carlos, her daughter Estrella, and three grandchildren aged 1, 5, and 11.

"Wala lang po, parang trip-trip lang... Naisipan lang pasukin, ganoon. Hindi naman po sinadya namin na talagang - kusa lang pong pinasok."

Police Chief Superintendent Aaron Aquino, Director of the Police Regional Office 3, said the suspect confessed to the crime in front of his mother and sister.

"On his way home, bigla na lang daw may bumulong sa kanya na pasukin niya bahay ng biktima and since naka-lock yung front door, doon siya sa likod. May nakahambalang daw lang na kahoy kaya madali niyang nabuksan," Aquino said.

The suspect, who lives in the same subdivision, just two blocks away from the victims' house, first killed the grandmother who was sleeping downstairs, then raped her. She obtained 32 stab wounds.

When Estrella heard the commotion, she went downstairs to check.

"Nung nakita niyang nire-rape, tumakbo siya sa likod ng bahay para tumakas siguro. Ang ginawa nung suspect, hinabol niya yung mother and again doon niya sinaksak ulit," Aquino said.

Estrella, who received 45 stab wounds, was also raped.

The suspect also killed the three children who were upstairs. The eldest child sustained 15 stab wounds, his sister was stabbed 19 times, and their 1-year-old brother was stabbed 5 times.

The suspect used a knife found in the victims' kitchen to kill the family.

Dexter Carlos Jr., a bank security guard, was devastated after coming home from work to see his family murdered.

Police are still investigating other persons of interest.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

WATCH: Dog delightfully interrupts news broadcast

A friendly black dog wanted to say hello to a live news broadcast in a television station in Russia.

Anchorwoman Ilona Linarte of Mir21 TV tried her best to continue despite the surprise guest's insistence on being the center of attention, but she was soon forced to acknowledge the breaking news.

"I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" Linarte shouts to someone offscreen before turning to address the audience: "I actually prefer cats. Yeah, I'm a cat lady."

Charmed by the pup, she still gave him a few pets.

The news station explained that the dog belongs to a guest from a different segment, and he somehow got loose.

[via The Dodo]

New 'Darna' chosen

After months of speculations, the newest "Darna" is finally revealed.

According to a Ricky Lo's The Philippine Star report, Kapamilya actress Liza Soberano will be playing as "Darna" in the upcoming movie to be directed by Erik Matti.

The actress is reportedly undergoing intense training and is done in a "secret place so that there would be no leak."

Angel Locsin, who was originally assigned for the role, backed out due to her spine problem.

Other actresses who portrayed the role of the iconic Pinay superhero were Vilma Santos and recently, Marian Rivera.

"Darna" is set to fly this year and will be under the production of Star Cinema and Reality Entertainment.

[Photo: @DARNAofc/Twitter]

Friday, May 19, 2017

Gilas Pilipinas sweeps SEABA, books FIBA Asia Cup ticket

Gilas Pilipinas dominated over Indonesia, 97-64 on Thursday at the Araneta Coliseum to earn its 8th Southeast Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) title, formalizing its entry into the FIBA Asia Cup in August and the Asian Qualifiers in November.

Gilas swept the entire tournament with six wins by an average of 58.6 points, proving again that they are the kings of ASEAN basketball.

Andre Blatche led the charge with a total of 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Jayson Castro added 14 markers, 7 boards, and 4 assists.

June Mar Fajardo scored 13, 4 rebounds, and two blocks for Gilas.

Indonesia's naturalized forward Jamarr Johnson only scored 4 points on 2-of-6 shooting. Arki Wisnu led his team with 11 points off the bench while Mario Wuysang added 10.

The Scores:

PHILIPPINES (97) - Blatche 21, Castro William 14, Fajardo 13, Wright 9, Rosario 9, Aguilar 6, Jalalon 6, Romeo 6, Pogoy 5, Abueva 5, Malicsi 3, Almazan 0

INDONESIA (64) - Wisnu 11, Wuysang 10, Setipu 8, Grahita 8, Pratama 8, Kurniawan 7, Sitorus 4, Johnson 4, Nugroho 2, Dhyaksa 2, Lakudu 0

Quarterscores: 34-14, 51-30, 78-47, 97-64

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dog meat sales to be banned at China's Yulin Festival

Chinese officials are set to ban the notorious Yulin Festival in China, activists have claimed.

In a May 17 press release, Humane Society International and the advocacy group Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project reported that the city is poised "to prohibit restaurants, street vendors and market traders from selling dog meat at the event."

The ban is believed to come into effect on June 15, a week before the Yulin Festival. Traders who break the law will be imposed fines of up to 100,000 yuan ($14,500).

Thousands of animals are slaughtered every year at the event, which started in 2010. It has since sparked global controversy. Animal advocates condemned the event for slaughtering thousands of dogs and cats every year, many of them stolen pets or strays.

"The Yulin dog meat festival is not over just yet," said Peter Li, a China policy specialist at Humane Society International. "But if this news is true as we hope, it is a really big nail in the coffin for a gruesome event that has come to symbolize China’s crime-fueled dog meat trade."

The ban however is not expected to prevent cats and other animals from being sold at the festival.

"Even if this is a temporary ban, we hope this will have a domino effect, leading to the collapse of the dog meat trade," said Andrea Gung, executive director of Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project.

At the height of the festival, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 dogs were killed. The numbers were reduced to 2,000 to 3,000 in recent years. Most of the dogs are stolen pets and strays grabbed from the streets still wearing their collars when they reach the slaughterhouse, where they are typically beaten to death.

Most people in China don't eat dogs, and pet owners and dog thieves have had numerous violent clashes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also warned about the threats to health of eating dog meat.

While many dogs and cats will still be killed for the Yulin festival in advance of the ban, Li said the temporary ban is "a milestone victory and we commend the Yulin authorities for taking this action."

[With reports from National Geographic, Independent, and Daily Mail. Photo: ChinaTopix/AP]

Mocha Uson: 'Hindi fake news ang opinyon'

Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson denied allegations she was spreading "fake news" among netizens, a report from 24 Oras revealed.

"Hindi naman po totoo 'yan. Hindi po ako nagre-repost ng fake news... hindi fake news ang opinyon," Uson said.

"Everytime na tayo ay susulat, social media man o mainstream media, isipin natin 'yung buong bansa at ating mga kabataan. Maganda 'yung constructive criticism. Hindi lang 'yung maninira ka for the sake na maninira ka," she also said.

Uson, who maintains a blog and often criticizes mainstream media, made a blog post in August last year about the rape of a 9-year-old girl, and highlighted the failure of human rights advocates to condemn it.

It turned out that the victim in the picture was a Brazilian girl who was raped and murdered in the municipality of Altamira in Brazil in December 2014. The victim's name was Evelin Nicole da Silva Sousa.

Another "fake news" by Uson was her claim that a corporation owed the government some P96 billion in taxes based on "Article 263" of the Philippine Constitution.

She admitted she had made a mistake in this occasion. "Nag-erratum na po ako diyan. What I meant was yung tax code po," she said in an interview.

She however insisted that majority of her posts were factually accurate.

"Unang-una po hindi po ako nagpapalaganap ng fake news. Dahil nabanggit ko po kanina, I indicate my sources, ma'm. Nandoon po iyon. At karamihan ay galing po sa mainstream media. At, as much as I can, kinukuha ko po directly from government agencies."

Uson was appointed as board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) in January, and elevated as Assistant Secretary at the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) after her appointment last May 9.

[Photo: Mocha Uson's Instagram]

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pastor devoured by crocodiles while trying to walk on water like Jesus

A Zimbabwean pastor who was trying to demonstrate how Jesus Christ walked on water by crossing a river on foot was eaten alive by crocodiles Saturday morning, according to a report from Daily Post.

The pastor, identified as Jonathan Mthethwa, of the Saint of the Last Days Church, brought his congregation to the area known locally as Crocodile River before attempting his biblical recreation.

According to witnesses, the pastor entered the water and waded out approximately 30 meters before attempting to make his way to the surface.

Unfortunately, the cleric drowned as three crocodiles pounced and devoured him, finishing him in a couple of minutes.

The report also said only his sandals and underwear were recovered.

Deacon Nkosi, a member of the church, told The Herald Zimbabwe, "The pastor taught us about faith on Sunday last week."

"He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten by three large crocodiles in front of us."

"We still don't understand how this happened because he fasted and prayed the whole week."

Emergency services arrived 30 minutes after the incident, but the pastor was already dead.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Man stabs live-in partner, lover to death after being caught having sex

A man stabbed to death his live-in partner and her lover after he caught them having sex in Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City Tuesday night.

The suspect, Bernard Tolitol, wanted to surprise his partner, Marilou Bulat-ag, after coming back from the province, but was shocked after seeing the two doing the act.

This triggered Tolitol's emotions as he grabbed some scissors and repeatedly stabbed Bulat-ag and her still unidentified lover, a water delivery boy.

Tolitol and Bulat-ag were living together for 10 years. They have two children. He went to his province in Samar last October but went home to his live-in partner after learning she was having an affair with someone else.

Tolitol, now facing homicide, voluntarily surrendered after doing the crime.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Abu Sayyaf beheads soldier helping in peace efforts

Abu Sayyaf militants have beheaded a kidnapped soldier who was part of the government's peace efforts, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed on Sunday.

The head of Sergeant Anni Siraji of the Army's 32nd Infantry Battalion was found 50 metres away from his body in Patikul town in Sulu, said Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu.

The killing happened just hours after government troops killed three more members of the Islamic State-linked group in a clash in Bohol.

Sobejana said Siraji was probably abducted and executed because of his involvement in peace initiatives in Sulu.

"Itong tao ay gumagawa ng peace efforts. Hindi ito combatant eh. Ginagamit namin to engage the stakeholders dahil kapareho nilang Tausug, at nakikita nilang effective itong tao and he significantly contributed na magiging 'yung community will not give support to ASG," he said.

"Kaya nasasaktan 'yung ASG dahil nawalan silang community support because of the effort nitong Staff Sergeant na hinuli nila at pinugutan nila eventually," he added.

"Talagang we condemn itong barbaric acts na ginagawa ng mga Abu Sayyaf. Ano nila, kapareho nilang Tausug pero... ginawa pa rin nila 'yung karumal dumal na pagpugot," Sobejana said.

[With reports from Reuters, GMA News. Photo: BBC]