Pres. NoyNoy won’t meddle in Kris’ marital problems

June 18, 2010

PRESIDENT-ELECT Noynoy Aquino said he will not interfere in his youngest sister’s latest marital problem.

He, however, promised to give advice to Kris Aquino-Yap and her husband, professional basketball star James Yap, if they ask him.

“Sabi ng tatay ko, ’di ka gumigitna sa problema kung may problema [ang] mag-asawa. So hanggang ’di ka hahanapan ng payo o abiso, ’di ako maghihimasok,” he said.

Earlier in the week, Kris said on her Twitter account that she and Yap have a still-unresolved “big misunderstanding” that developed over the campaign period.

“We went through a difficult time during the campaign — stress and long hours led to a big misunderstanding. I have never lied to all of you until now hindi pa completely napi-fix. That’s why I’ve just chosen to keep quiet since it’s something very private,” Kris tweeted.

Noynoy once came to his sister’s rescue when some people called for Kris’ self-extradition following his success in the presidential elections.

The president-elect pointed out that Kris has every right to stay in the Philippines because she is a citizen and has not committed any crime.

Gretchen Barretto tinalbugan na si Claudine Barretto

June 18, 2010

TALK of the town pa rin si Gretchen Barretto, kahit sabihin pang may prior notice sa presscon ng Magkaribal, na mapapanood na sa June 28, na huwag na siyang magsalita about her issue with Angelica Panganiban. Matatandaang noong nakaraang ilang linggo ay nagkaroon ng word war sina Greta at Angelica dahil sa pagiging vocal ni Gretchen na mamimi-miss niya ang leading man niyang si Derek Ramsay, kapag nagbakasyon ito kasama ang nobya.

Natural na agad namang nag-react si Angelica, as in, hindi napigilan ng aktres na magtaray at tumaas ang kilay!

In fairness, behave na si La Greta sa presscon at talagang sinikap niyang tumahimik na lang tungkol sa mga isyung ipinupukol sa kanya.

Aniya, na-realize raw niyang sa sobrang pagiging playful at naughty niya, may mga nasasaktan na pala raw siya. Mas gusto na lang daw ni Gretchen ang tumahimik ngayon.

Hmmm… ganoon? Hindi kami sanay, huh!

Isang fashion-serye ang Magkaribal, na tatalakay sa buhay ng magkapatid na nagkahiwalay na eventually, nagtagpong muli para lang maging magkaribal sa career at pag-ibig.

Tinanong agad si Gretchen kung sa tingin ba niya ay may masasabi siyang kari-bal sa totoong buhay?

“I’d rather see people as an inspiration and not as a competition,” parang beauty queen pang sagot ni Gretchen.

Dahil unang fashion-serye ito ng ABS-CBN, aminado ang direktor na si Nuel Naval na malaki ang budget na kinailangan nila for this project.

Aniya, very expensive raw ang production cost nito. Siyempre, pati damit, sapatos, bags ay kaila-ngang mamahalin ang ga-gamitin. Plus the fact na bigatin pa ang mga artistang kasama sa cast tulad nina Erich Gonzalez, Enchong De, Mark Gil , Robert Arevalo, Angel Aquino at iba pa.

Pero bongga si Greta, talagang sarili raw niyang mga gamit ang suot niya all throughout the taping.

“Wala namang pinapagamit sa akin ang production, eh,” say ni Greta.

Dahil rarampa sa runway si La Greta, puro signature at mamahaling gowns ang kanyang suot. Natural, hindi naman mapakali ang mga interesado kung sino ang designer ng suot na gowns ni Gretchen. Alangan man, pero inamin din niyang Prada at Balenciaga ang suot niyang gowns na paborito niya. Pero hindi ibig sabihin nito, hindi na siya tumatangkilik ng gawang Pinoy. Say ni Greta, may Pinoy designers din siyang type, tulad nina Inno Sotto at Joji Lloren, na hinahangaan niya ang talent.

Usap-usapan din na ta-lagang tinalbugan na ni Gretchen ang kapatid ni-yang si Claudine Barretto na balitang hindi raw nag-rate ang show sa GMA7? Kalokah!

Ito kasi ang seryeng da-pat ay pagsasamahan nilang magkapatid, kaso lumipat si Clau sa Siyete, pero itinuloy pa rin ni Greta ang soap at si Bea nga ang kapalit. Abangan ang agawan, harapan at labanan nina Greta at Bea sa Magkari-bal on June 28, sa Primetime Bida ng Dos.

* * *

BACK to work na si Jomari Yllana kahit sabihin pang nagluluksa pa pa rin sila sa pagkamatay ng Kuya Robbie niya dahil sa kumplikasyon sa diabetes, a month ago. He keeps himself busy at heto nga, ibina-lita sa amin ng aktor na kasama siya sa Immortal at gaganap bilang ama ni John Lloyd Cruz. Lalabas daw si Jom sa dalawang unang linggo ng teleserye at isang linggo lang raw silang nag-taping sa Daranak Falls nu’ng kasagsagan ng summer. Bampira ang role dito ni Jom.

At bukod sa teleseryeng ito, lasama rin siya sa pelikula ni Direk Marilou Diaz-Abaya na Ina ( Virgin of Peñafrancia).

Sa panayam namin kay Jom, diretsahang sinabi ng aktor na hindi siya kukuha ng TF (talent fee) sa pelikula ni Direk Marilou dahil devotee ang pamilya nila ng Birhen ng Peñafrancia. Oo nga naman, may punto si Jom.

Siyempre, walang kupas pa rin ang pagiging concert producer ni Jomari kung saan ang sikat na singer na si Usher susunod na mapapanood sa Mall of Asia Concert Grounds on July 9.

Wala mang pagkakataon si Usher na mag-promote ng concert, sina Jom na ang bahala sa bagay na ito. Mag-kakaroon lang daw pala ng isang special para kay Usher sa Party Pilipinas ng GMA7, ang media partner nila. Big-time na talaga sina Jom at kaibigang Ronald Singson kasi bigating mga artista ang dinadala nila sa ’Pinas para mag-concert, huh!

Nabanggit din ng aktor na isa sa maipagmamalaki niya ay ‘yung naging episode nila ni Gretchen sa MMK kasi mataas daw ang naging rating nito.

Speaking of La Greta, na talagang dyosa ang dating sa kalalakihan, tinanong si Jom kung minsan ba ay nag-attempt siyang ligawan si Gretchen?

“May respeto ako sa Kuya ko!” maliksing sagot ni Jomari.

‘De la Hoya misquoted on Pacquiao-Mayweather bout’

June 18, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – Golden Boy Promotions (GBP), which represents Floyd Mayweather Jr., claims that Oscar dela Hoya was misinterpreted when he disclosed that negotiations between Floyd and 7-division world champion Manny Pacquiao were nearly done.

Dela Hoya was earlier quoted as saying that GBP and Pacquiao handler Top Rank Promotions are very close to finalizing the contracts between the Filipino boxing star and the undefeated American boxer.

However, GBP CEO Richard Schaefer said in a report by FanHouse.com on Friday, that De la Hoya was merely misquoted.

“I spoke to Oscar and I wanted to know where that came from and he said that he was misquoted,” said Schaefer.

“I saw those quotes as well, and I had no idea what Oscar was talking about. And I called him up and asked him about them,” he added.

Schaefer said he “really cannot comment” on the status of the negotiations.

Boxing website TheBoxingTruth.com earlier quoted GBP president de la Hoya as saying the negotiations for the mega fight is close to getting done.

“I think right now we are very, very close in finalizing the contracts. I can’t talk right now in detail about the negotiations but I will say that we are very close,” de la Hoya reportedly said.

Pacquiao and Mayweather were supposed to face off last March 13 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. But the talks for the fight collapsed because the boxers disagreed on the drug testing protocol

Pacquiao refused to undergo Olympic-style drug testing procedure, but later reversed his stand as long as the blood test would be conducted 14 days before the fight.

Top Rank chief Bob Arum is optimistic that the Pacquiao-Mayweather blockbuster bout can still be arranged.

Arum is quietly striving to reach an agreement with GBP, and has promised to honor their self-imposed gag order with negotiators.

“There is nothing to say. This falls under the heading of no news is good news,” he told Examiner.com.

Pinay in textbook scam nabbed in the US

June 18, 2010

Mary Ann Maslog, the woman who delivered a P3-million bribe in Malacanang 11 years ago in connection with a P200-million textbook contract and was on the run for a string of swindling cases in the Philippines and the United States, has finally been arrested.

A newspaper in the state of Virginia reported the arrest last week of Maslog, now known as Mary Ann Smith, in Seattle, Washington in connection with an immigration scam she operated out of Henrico, a county in Virginia.

“Mary Ann Smith, 41, was arrested in Seattle last week and is awaiting extradition to Memphis, Tenn., where she will stand trial for her role in a Virginia company operating as the International Business Network Inc. (IBN),” the Richmond Times Dispatch said in its June 16 issue. There is still no trial date.

Maslog, who is married to Michael Lee of Virginia, is charged with six counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud in connection with IBN’s receipt of money to facilitate the processing of students in the US.

IBN, which was located at Paragon Place off Glenside Drive in Henrico, charged as much as $6,480 per student to gain access to visas when, according to a federal indictment issued in Memphis, “visa ‘fixers’ or ‘brokers’ had no special access to the United States government that could enable such individuals, agencies or companies to arrange for a student visa,” the news report said.

Maslog’s company also offered permanent resident status or green cards, with victims losing about $34,000, the report, quoting the April federal indictment, said.

The Richmond Times Dispatch reported that the Central Virginia Better Business Bureau learned of numerous Virginia victims and worked with federal agents for months to unravel IBN operations throughout last year.

It cited the case of a Chesterfield County businessman, Tany Roth, who lost as much as $45,000 to IBN in an effort to bring three relatives to Richmond county from Cambodia for study and to facilitate an adoption.

Roth said he sent the company checks but never received any services, and that Smith canceled meetings and disappeared. Roth’s experience is not part of the federal indictment.

The report said that even after receiving more than $40,000, IBN demanded payment of additional fees to cover such things as health insurance.

A Filipina based in the United States wrote VERA Files to say she met Maslog and her husband last December and was one of their victims.

“She (Maslog) posed as someone from Grant USA and they gave us seminars on grant writing where about 10 of us paid $50 each for a one-day seminar,” said the woman, who asked that her identity be withheld. “They claimed to have an office in Makati. We later found out about a month after our seminar that they’re not connected with Grant USA.”

The woman added, “I just want to attest that she’s been going in and out of the Philippines, and I am certain that she and Michael Smith have been victimizing Filipinos through their lies because that’s what they did to us.”

VERA Files reported earlier this week that Maslog is also facing charges of grand theft amounting to more than $100,000 and scheme to defraud in the amount of $50,000.

Maslog, then married to Rommel Maslog, now vice mayor of Talisayan, Misnamis Oriental, first gained notoriety in the Philippines when she was summoned in 1999 by the Senate Blue Ribbon and Education, Arts and Culture Committees probing corruption in the purchase of the textbooks for public schools. She had delivered P3 million to the office of then Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, who asked National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the matter.

Diokno said he had testified in a Manila court in a case filed aqainst Maslog but has lost track of the case.

The Sandiganbayan has a standing warrant of arrest for Maslog in connection with a P24-million textbook scam in which Maslog, as an agent of Esteem Enterprises in February 1998, allegedly conspired with budget and education officials in Eastern Visayas to collect money from the government using falsified Sub-Allotment Release orders (SARO). SAROs are documents required by the DBM for the release of payments to contractors.

James Katarungan, who had helped investigate Maslog in the US, said Maslog jumped bail the first time she was arrested. Following her arrest last week, he said, “I highly doubt they will let her out on bail this time.”

“It looks like she’s facing some very serious federal charges. The US government is going to throw the book at her,” he said.

LP to tap ‘natural allies’ for Senate presidency

June 18, 2010

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is confident that the Liberal Party would get the numbers to secure the Senate presidency.

In a phone interview with ANC’s Headstart on Friday, Pangilinan said the “natural allies” would be key to the LP securing the spot.

He would need at least 13 to clinch the top post in the Senate.

“If we are able to succeed in convincing the natural allies, we’ll have a minimum of 10. I think we can convince 3 more. [Thus], we do have a strong chance of being able to secure the presidency…,” he said.

The natural allies include incumbent Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and colleagues Francis Escudero, Vicente Sotto III, Gregorio Honasan, Sergio Osmeña III and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Jr.

Pangilinan, however, has to contend with former Senate President Franklin Drilon, who got a fresh mandate in the May 2010 polls.

He said the Liberal Party has yet to decide who between them would be the bet for the Senate presidency.

“That’s the other issue. We have yet to finalize this although we have a standing agreement and we have reached a consensus among the four of us [including incoming senators Ralph Recto and Teofisto “TG” Guingona III] that we will only have one candidate. We’re in the process of resolving,” he added.

He characterized the competition between him and Drilon as a “friendly fight.”

“He [former Senate President] deserves the post. He is more than qualified,” he said.

He noted, however, that his almost 10 years in the Senate would also place him at par with those who have led the institution.

He said he will give way to Drilon if the Liberals vote in the latter’s favor.

“If the party decides to support me, I think he will support me too,” he said.

Piolo turns down offer to host ‘Wowowee’

June 18, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – Hunk actor Piolo Pascual confirmed that he was offered to host ABS-CBN’s hit afternoon show “Wowowee.”

Pascual who is now busy taping and promoting his upcoming series “Noah,” said that he turned down the offer because of his busy schedule. The actor said they really tried to find a way to squeeze the show in his schedule but it just can’t fit.

“I couldn’t because of Mr. M. He asked me to do it. We checked our schedule. Hindi pwede, hindi talaga kaya ng schedule,” Pascual told abs-cbnNEWS.com during a pocket press conference for “Noah” at Congo Grill in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

Pascual, one of the big stars who refused to host “Wowowee,” said if he will just have some free time, he will surely do the hosting job.

“Otherwise I will be more than willing to do it,” Pascual said.

“Wowowee” is still in search of a new male host after its main man, Willie Revillame, took an indefinite break from the show.

Revillame went on indefinite break following his outburst in his show. Revillame blew his top after radio and television host and entertainment columnist Jobert Sucaldito purportedly insulted the contestants of “Wowowee.”

Sucaldito has denied Revillame’s allegations.

For two weeks, action star Robin Padilla hosted “Wowowee.” He was replaced by Billy Crawford, Luis Manzano and John Lloyd Cruz.

Cesar Montano is also expected to sub for Revillame.

Montano earlier revealed that the network’s bosses offered him the job, but he said he was still thinking about it.

But during a star-studded exhibit featuring a collection of celebrity paintings in Cubao, Quezon City, Montano said he is just waiting for the go-signal from the network’s bosses.

Ogie Alcasid composes P.Noy’s inaugural song

June 18, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – Musician-singer Ogie Alcasid was commissioned by the inaugural committee to compose a song for the much-awaited inauguration of President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III this June 30.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Alcasid said that he openly accepted the request to write the song entitled “Bagong Pilipinas” to give a new hope for the country and to encourage all Filipinos to unite.

“The message of the song is tapos na ang dilaw, pula, orange. Tayo’y iisang bahaghari na! It’s time for us to work together,” Alcasid said during the election for the new officers of the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM). Alcasid won a seat in the OPM board.

The “Bagong Pilipinas” song will be played on the morning of June 30 before the President-elect’s oath taking at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.

Some of the artists who will perform “Bagong Pilipinas” are Diamond Soul Siren Nina, Noel Cabangon, singing champion Jed Madela, Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano, Asian Balladeer Christian Bautista and Alcasid’s real life sweetheart Regine Velasquez.

The artists said they’re just honored and proud to be part of the song, the message of which is simply — unity.

“It’s more than a feeling of being proud to be onstage with fellow artists under a new leadership that carries so much promise,” Bautista said.

“Sometimes songs can pierce hearts more than a 30-minute speech. Hopefully this song will really do that,” Madela said.

Alcasid who composed P.Noy’s campaign song “Di Ka Nag-iisa,” also reacted to reports saying that he might be given a Cabinet post.

“No, wala akong alam dyan. Dito na muna ako sa alam ko. Tulungan muna natin ang [mga] kapatid sa music industry,” Alcasid said.

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