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Uson to go to law school this January, but netizens wonder: Did she pass PhiLSAT?

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Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson announced on November 22 that she is going to attend the Arellano University School of Law this January 2018.

Uson said that she will go to law school to broaden her knowledge of the law.

“Starting January po mag-sisimula po tayong mag aral sa Arellano University School of Law upang mas lumawak pa ang ating kaalaman sa batas,” Uson said in a Facebook post.

Her supporters cheered her on and some lawyers, even those who are critics of the administration, welcomed Uson to the field of law.

But some netizens asked whether Uson is even eligible to go to law school when aspiring law students have to pass the Philippine Law School Admission Test (PhiLSAT) first.

Twitter user @maramagutlapig noted how Uson was not one of those who passed the May and September 2017 PhiLSAT exams.

“FYI: Per Legal Education Board Memorandum Order 7 series of 2016,  PhiLSAT is a prerequisite for admission to basic law courses leading to either a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree beginning SY 2017 – 2018. Mocha is not one of the passers for both May & Sept’17 PhiLSAT,” she tweeted.

We checked the lists of passers for the April and September 2017 PhiLSAT tests, but we could not find Uson’s name in those lists.

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When one Twitter user commented on @maramagutlapig’s tweet about the possibility that Uson could still go to law school under conditional admission, she insisted that she already asked around to see if conditional admission still applies to the second semester of the academic year.

But Facebook page PRISM took their inquiries right to the doorstep of the Legal Education Board (LEB) Chairman Emerson Aquende.

In the Facebook Messenger exchange, based on the screenshots provided by PRISM, Aquende clearly said that the “conditional enrolment was allowed only in the 1st Sem.”

Asked about how Uson said she will go to law school this January, the second semester, and how she did was not among the passers in the last two PhiLSATS, Aquende said, “I don’t know about that.”

Pressed as to how LEB handle Uson’s situation, the chairman responded, “So far, nothing of that sort has been communicated to LEB.”

Aquende also remarked, “LEBMO No 7 requires PhiLSAT eligibility.”

He was referring to LEB Memorandum Order No. 7, the same one pointed out by @maramagutlapig in her tweet.

Twitter page @YourLawyerSays welcomed Uson’s plan to go to law school.

“I am thrilled and happy to welcome Mocha to law school! May she learn the concepts of law, the importance of human rights, and the reason behind the rule of law. May she use her knowledge for the people and for what is right and not for her personal or political agenda,” the page tweeted.

Lawyer Jesus Falcis, a Duterte critic, also welcomed Uson’s plan to study law so she will stop spreading fake news and stop saying things without basis while citing that she was only stating her opinion.

“I am happy for Mocha Uson sa plano nyang maging law student sa January. Matututo na syang hindi magpakalat ng fake news at magka basis sa mga pinagsasabi nya! Hindi na sya pwede magtago sa likod ng mga katagang “this is just my opinion,”” Falcis wrote on Facebook.

However, Falcis also raised the question as to how Uson can go to law school when she works full-time as a PCOO assistant secretary, someone who is paid around P130,000 by taxpayers to do her job.

“Pero may tanong ako para kay ASec. Mocha Uson: PAANO KA MAKAKAPAG LAW SCHOOL HABANG MAY FULL-TIME JOB KA DYAN SA PCOO??” he asked.

“P130,000 pesos and more ang binabayad naming taxpayers sayo. Social media and blogging mo ay 24/7 kung titingnan natin pano ka mag post. So paano ka makakapag focus sa law school? Aber?” he added.

“Either masa-sakripisyo mo ang law school OR masa-sakripisyo mo ang TRABAHO MO!”

Falcis then went on to suggest that if Uson wants to push through with a law degree, she should resign from her PCOO post.

“Kaya kung gusto mo talaga mag law school, mag resign ka bilang ASec. Wag mo sayangin ang taxes namin! Hindi biro mag law school. Hindi din biro ang taxes namin,” he said.

But Uson’s post was quite vague as to what she will be specifically studying for at the Arellano University School of Law.

Even @maramagutlapig herself considered the idea that Uson might only be planning on taking a crash course.

After seeing the reactions to her law school plans, Uson addressed her bashers in another Facebook post.

“Mga bashers nga naman o. Sinabihan ka ng bobo tapos nakinig ako at magaaral na ako, ano daw karapatan ko mag aral? Baka bawal na din akong huminga?” she wrote.

Uson’s law school announcement came after House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez announced Uson as one of PDP-Laban’s senatorial bets for the 2019 elections.

Uson clarified that she was surprised by the announcement after having declined Alvarez’s previous offers to make her run for senator. However, she said that she might consider running if President Rodrigo Duterte himself would convince her to do so.

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’

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President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks

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His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

Sources: ( rappler.comphilstar.com )

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show

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Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.

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Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

Sources: ( tnt.abante.com.phphilstar.comrappler.com )

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal

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Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.

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In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

Sources: ( inquirer.netnews.abs-cbn.com , nnphilippines.com )

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