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]

Monday, April 17, 2017

Running for an hour could add 7 hours to your life, study reveals

Running for an hour is equivalent to seven hours added to your life, a new study revealed.

The study, which was conducted at the Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas for three years, found that running trumps all other forms of exercise in terms of considerable impact on life span.

The results of the study were published last month in Progress in Cardiovascular Disease, and also looked at findings from other recent studies which focused on relationships between exercise and lifespan.

The results estimated that running adds more time to people's lives than it takes up, even if they smoke, drink and are overweight. The average reported running time was about two hours weekly, Cooper Institute found, which means that over about 40 years, a runner might only run less than six months total.

Study co-author Dr. Duck-chul Lee told The New York Times that the additions are "not infinite" and the added years to longevity are capped at around three extra years.

Researchers also found that other kinds of exercise also help with lengthening lifespans, but not to the same degree as running. Lee said activities like walking and cycling typically lessen the risk of premature death by about 12 percent.

Dr. Lee said it's unfounded why running has such a substantial relationship to lifespan, but that one might point to its effect on lowering high blood pressure and getting rid of extra body fat.

[via London Evening Standard. Photo: LiveStrong]

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Top 10 high-paying jobs according to DOLE

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has released the 10 highest-paying professions in the Philippines, based on the latest published results of the 2014 Occupation Wages Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Is your profession on the list? Find out below.

[Graphics by Jannielyn Ann Bigtas/GMA News]

Monday, April 10, 2017

MRT, LRT, PNR schedules on Holy Week 2017

The rail systems in Metro Manila will suspend operations starting Maundy Thursday, April 13, to Easter Sunday, April 16.

The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3), the Light Rail Transit systems (LRT 1 and 2) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will undergo maintenance works during the said dates.

On April 12, Holy Wednesday, westbound LRT-2 trains from Santolan to Recto will run from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., while eastbound trains from Recto to Santolan will run from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

The MRT, LRT, and PNR will resume operations on April 17, Monday.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Love triangle eyed in Mary Christine Balagtas slay

Police are looking at the possibility that a "love triangle" triggered the killing of former beauty pageant winner Mary Christine Balagtas, who was shot in Bulacan on Wednesday after answering the door to two men who gave her chocolates and flowers.

Plaridel police chief Supt. Julio Lizardo already have leads about the mastermind of the murder, after the victim's mother identified the suspect.

One of the leads include a man who had a romantic relationship with Balagtas.

"She may have more to reveal, it's up to her. But as of today, we already have the name [of the suspect]," said Lizardo on Friday.

Lizardo also said they would file charges against the mastermind after the burial of Balagtas, who won the title of "Miss La Bulakenya" in 2009.

Witnesses said the men, who are believed to be hired assassins, had been seen in the neighborhood before the shooting. Police have found an empty shell from a .45 caliber pistol at the scene.

Balagtas, who went by the nickname 'Tin', was a graduate of hotel and restaurant management course at the University of Regina Carmeli, now La Consolacion University of the Philippines.

Her friends paid tribute to her through social media, and aired their calls for justice.

[Photo: adventuresofabeautyqueen]

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bulacan beauty queen shot dead after receiving flowers, chocolates

A former beauty queen was shot dead on Wednesday soon after receiving a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates at her house in Plaridel, Bulacan.

Mary Christine Balagtas, 23, was rushed to Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in nearby town Pulilan but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Supt. Julio Lizardo, Plaridel chief of police said Balagtas was shot in the head as soon as she received the flowers from two men past 9 a.m. in 1st La Miranda Subdivision, Barangay Banga.

The gunmen fled on a motorcycle, but Lizardo said they already have leads that may help track them.

Balagtas won the title of Lakambini ng Bulacan in 2009.

[With report from Inquirer. Photo: Paulo Salamat de Jesus/Facebook]

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

'It's something that I really regret doing' - Kiefer on photo scandal

Kiefer Ravena on Tuesday publicly apologized to those affected by the photo scandal circulating the Internet for the past month.

Ravena faced a group of reporters after arriving from Singapore, where he played as part of the Alab Pilipinas team, and told them he wanted to apologize with what happened.

"I'm very, very sorry sa nangyari, na sa pag-entertain ko, nauwi siya sa ganitong pangyayari," the former Ateneo de Manila University star said.

He also apologized to his parents, siblings, and to girlfriend Alyssa Valdez, whose name was dragged following the issue.

"Nagso-sorry ako lalo na kay Alyssa," said Ravena. "I have no excuse for what happened. I'm very, very sorry sa nangyari. Sa sobrang bait mong tao, hindi ka dapat nalalagay sa ganitong sitwasyon."

Ravena did not categorically confirm if it was indeed him in the Viber photos, but stressed he was sorry for the incident.

"Yeah, I entertained. I made a mistake, in doing so. I'm very sorry, I'm really sorry for what happened. It's something that I really regret doing," he said.

"It messed a lot of people's lives, not just mine. Mas nahihiya ako sa mga naabala kong tao, more than anything else."

[With report from ABS-CBN News. Photo: @kieferravena15/Instagram]

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Partner of slain young dad Renzo Lopez posts emotional tribute on Facebook

An emotional tribute to Renzo Lopez, the 20-year-old dad who went missing and was later found dead, was posted on Facebook by his partner.

Kate Rachelle Olili on Thursday uploaded a picture of a couple ring which she said her "final gift" to him. She said when Renzo's body was found, he didn't have their couple ring anymore so she bought a new one.

"Yan na ang pinaka huling regalo ko sayo kasi wala ng pagkakataon para mabigay at maenjoy mo pa ang mga gusto kong bilhin at ibigay para sayo," Kate said. "Simple lang yan hon pero sana magustuhan mo. Simpleng regalo ko na ipapabaon ko sayo sa pag alis mo na sana magustuhan mo kasi yan nalang yung kinaya ko."

Kate also said that their dream of becoming married will not happen anymore, but she will accept it because she no longer have a choice.

"Hindi man tayo ikinasal dahil hindi ka naman na makakasagot sa tanong at hindi kana makakapirma okay lang tatanggapin ko dahil wala naman nakong choice e," she posted.

She even recalled how Renzo told her not to get jealous of some girls he used to talk with, because he promised her that she will be the only girl he will marry.

"Ang sabi mo pa 'Wag ka magselos sa mga babaeng nakakasama ko kasi nakakausap ko man sila ikaw parin naman laman ng puso't isip ko saka diba pangako ko sayo na ikaw lang babaeng ihaharap ko sa altar kasi mahal na mahal na mahal kita ikaw at ang anak naten kaya malabo pakong maghanap ng iba."

Kate also said she misses the days they used to daydream about a lot of things, their bonding moments, and their sweetness.

"Sobrang nakakamiss hon. Miss na miss na kita, yung mga panahon na kasama pa kita sobrang miss kuna yung bonding naten, yung pag gising ko gigisingin nadin kita tapos tatanungin ano gusto mo kainin, yung pag matutulog tayo sasabihin ko di ako makatulog hon yakapin moko tapos sa umaga pag gising ko sasabihin mo saken 'Sabi mo saken di ka makatulog e tulog na tulog ka na nga kagabi sa sarap ng tulog mo mahuhulog nako sa kama.' Tawa tlga ako ng tawa pag sinasabi at kinukwento mo to e hinahampas pa kita kasi yung ipagkakalat mo pa kila mama yan e."

"Saka yung ang lakas mo mang-asar saken hanggang sa mapikon ako hindi moko titigilan tapos pag pikon nako sasabihin mo 'Minsan lang maglambing sayo e ayaw mo pa' sabay yayakap ka tapos papatawanin moko ng papatawanin para pambawi mo tapos sasabihin mo 'Yan gusto ko sayo e diba san ka makakahanap ng katulad ko naiiba ako di pako gumagawa ng aksyon nagsasalita pa lang ako napapatawa na kita panis sila saken' hahaha miss kuna marinig yan sayo hon."

"Yung mga araw na katabi kita matulog tapos hndi na tayo magkasya sa kama kasi ang laki muna tapos ang laki kuna din kakalamon nateng dalawa. Yung kulitan naten na naghahabulan kasi gusto kita hampasin tapos mang aasar kapa pipikunin moko ng sobra. Yung kikilitiin kita tapos sasabihin mo 'Pag ako gumanti sayo tignan mo lang hindi ka nanaman makakahinga kakatawa'."

Kate said she has a lot of things to miss about Renzo, and thanked him for everything he had done. She thanked him for the love and respect he gave to her and to their 2-year-old son.

"Salamat dahil kahit hindi tayo nagkaroon ng happy ending hindi ko naramdaman na hindi moko minahal kahit minsan lahat ng ginagawa at iniisip mo para samin ng anak mo," she posted. "Da best ka hon yan ang lagi ko sinasabi sayo na Idol kita sa lahat ng bagay dahil kahit sa simpleng bagay kayang kaya mo kuhain yung kiliti ko kayang kaya moko pasiyahin."

She also said that she will continue their plans and dreams for their son even after he's gone.

"Asahan mong lahat ng pangarap mo para sakanya tutuparin ko para sayo lahat ng gusto mo mabigay sakanya tutuparin ko alang alang sa kagustuhan mo. At lahat ng pagmamahal na binigay mo sameng mag ina ipagpapatuloy ko ibigay sakanya at higitan pa para maramdaman nya na nasa tabi kalang namin palagi," she posted in all caps.

"Nawala ka man sa mundong ibabaw at natapos ng ganito ang relasyon nten hindi ko hahayaang matapos lng to dito dahil gusto ko hindi mtatapos yung relasyon naten kaya palagi ka namin dadalawin at pupuntahan. Ikaw lang ang magiging lakas namin para makabangon ulit."

Kate said she doesn't know how to start again but she knows Renzo will help him move on.

"Hindi ko alam saan ako magsisimula hindi ko alam paano kasi nakasanayan ko na nanjan kalang palagi kasama ko nasa tabi ko sobrang mamimiss kita hindi ko alam kung hanggang kailan ako iiyak hindi ko alam hanggang kailan ako magtatanong pero alam ko hndi moko papabayaan alam ko tutulungan moko makabangon."

"Baunin mo lahat ng pagmamahal ko para sayo dahil hanggang sa huli hindi kita iiwan. Mahal na mahal na mahal kita hon!"

Renzo was abducted on March 14 in Batasan Hills, Quezon City and was found at a funeral parlor last May 26. His body was found in a vacant lot along Quirino Highway in Caloocan City.

[Photo: Kate Rachelle Olili's Facebook account]

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Kiefer Ravena: I was a victim of online extortion

For the first time after his alleged scandal photos surfaced, Kiefer Ravena has spoken up and said he was a victim of online extortion.

In an interview with News5, Ravena said he was scared that some people warned they will release his scandal video if he didn't do what they wanted him to do.

"May mga nagme-message sa akin na kung hindi ko gawin 'yung pinapagawa nila sa akin, may mga ilalabas silang scandal... Siyempre natakot ako sa ganun," he said.

On Wednesday noon, the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) arrested Ateneo de Manila University graduate Kristoffer Ng, 22, in an entrapment operation in Eastwood, Quezon City.

Ng allegedly tried to extort Ravena for P50,000 in exchange for the information regarding the culprit behind the spread of the basketball star's lewd photos.

The ACG however were able to determine that Ng himself pretended to be the woman who was involved in the 'sexting' act with Ravena.

Ng then tried to blackmail Ravena, which prompted the latter to coordinate with the ACG while chatting with the suspect.

Ravena said he neither knew personally nor was he connected to Ng on social media. He also hoped that it would be the last time the suspect tries to blackmail anyone.

Ng denied allegations against him and said that it was his friend, who sold the video, who was blackmailing Ravena.

The Alab Pilipinas star took the incident as a lesson and said people should be vigilant in the world of social media.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Missing 20-year-old father found dead in Caloocan

A 20-year-old father who had been missing since March 14 has been found dead in Caloocan City on Sunday.

Renzo Lopez was last seen along IBP Road in Batasan Hills, Quezon City, wearing shorts and a shirt with red and white stripes.

He was found with several gunshots and was still wearing the same clothes in a funeral parlor in Barangay 178 in Camarin, Caloocan City.

Renzo's mother, Rosario Lopez, said the funeral parlor told her that Renzo's body was brought there last March 15, a day after he went missing, but it is still not clear how he was brought there.

Police allegedly found Renzo's dead body near the trash bins along Quirino Highway, she also said.

According to his 18-year-old partner Kate Olili, after Renzo bought the needed medicine for their 2-year-old son who was sick that time, he told her he would just go out to check on his brother who had been helping him look for work.

She said he was set for a job interview that week before he went missing.

"Nagpaalam lang siya mga bandang 10:30 p.m., pagtapos niya pong maglinis ng bahay, nagpaalam siya na, 'Hon, matulog ka na. Lalabas lang ako saglit, sisilip lang ako kay Kuya Mark sa (basketball) court,'" she said.

After a few minutes after Renzo went out, a friend came rushing to their house exclaiming "Dinampot si Renzo! Dinampot si Renzo!"

Witnesses said Renzo was forced by armed men wearing bonnets into a gray or dirty-white van with no license plate.

The Lopez family set up a Facebook page "Help us Find Renzo" for those who may have relevant information on the case. It has been changed to "Justice for Renzo" after they found him.

Olili on Facebook defended Renzo did not use illegal drugs.

"Para lang malinawan ang lahat. Hindi po nagda-drugs ang asawa ko at sigurado ako dun. Kung nakauwi lang sana siya ng buhay at ligtas sakin sasamahan ko pa siya sa inyo magpa-drug test dahil hindi talaga siya nagda-drugs," she said.

"Kung nagganun siya edi sana malinaw sakin kung bakit siya nawala at kinuha sakin kaya lang hindi eh, hindi siya ganun, hindi siya nagamit kaya nga hanggang ngayon hindi malinaw sakin kung anong naging dahilan nila para patayin ang asawa ko e." she added.

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) earlier dismissed implications that Renzo's abduction was drug-related.

Instead, investigators are looking at the possibility that the incident seemed to be a case of a mistaken identity.

[With report from ABS-CBN News]