KUWTT: Leonen impeach case starts rolling Mar 29, 2021

Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Monday, March 29, 2021.

READ: Leonen impeach case starts rolling

The House of Representatives has set the wheels of the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor Leonen in motion. Speaker Lord Allan Velasco sent a letter last March 25 to Majority Floor Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez asking that the impeachment complaint be included in the chamber’s order of business. Velasco endorsed the copies of the complaint, which was filed last year by journalist Edwin Cordevilla.

READ: Positive swab tests highest ever – Gordon

Almost one out of four swab tests for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) conducted by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) yielded positive. PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said the 23-percent positivity rate in tests taken last week was the “highest we have ever seen at the PRC since the start of the pandemic, and it tells us that the virus is spreading unabated.” In a statement, he said from April 2020 to March this year, the rate was in single digits, the highest being 9 percent last August. The humanitarian organization has conducted more than two million tests, or 24 percent of the country’s testing output, and 37 percent of all tests in Metro Manila.

READ: Concepcion backs ECQ in Metro, other provinces

Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion 3rd backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to place the National Capital Region (NCR) and four nearby provinces under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to curb the increasing number of Covid-19 cases. Concepcion, also founder of Go Negosyo, said the implementation of ECQ in Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal from March 29 to April 4 “will give the already burdened healthcare system a welcome break.”

READ: Filipinos to watch Holy Week rites online

Just like last year, devout Filipinos will again observe Holy Week inside their homes as the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Sunday announced that beginning on March 29, all religious activities to mark the passion and death of Jesus Christ will be done online. The Church earlier said that it will do away with the washing of the feet, a tradition performed by priests on Maundy Thursday.

READ: Go: Covid-19 vaccine shipments arriving

New shipments of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines are arriving as the government continues to build up its vaccine stockpile, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go announced. He reassured the public there will be continued deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines into the country. In a radio interview on Friday, he said if the supplies arrive on time, the government could fulfill its target to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos by the end of 2021.

READ: PACC to tap villages in fight vs corruption

The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) plans to tap villages to help in the administration’s campaign against corruption, its chairman said over the weekend. In an interview with The Manila Times, Greco Belgica said the commission would strengthen its campaign against corruption by deputizing barangay (village) officials to help investigate government officials involved in corruption.

READ: Manila orders use of quarantine passes

All village heads in the city of Manila were directed to issue new quarantine passes to be used by residents during the week-long enhanced community quarantine. In a memorandum, Manila Barangay Bureau Director Romeo Bagay ordered all village chairmen in 896 villages to issue quarantine passes to be used by those who will go out of their homes during the lockdown. One quarantine pass will be issued for each family. The city will adopt the odd-even scheme on quarantine passes.

READ: Miss USA crowned Miss Grand International 2020

Abena Appiah of the US was crowned Miss Grand International while the Philippines’ bet Samantha Bernardo finished 1st runner-up. Guatemala’s Ivana Batchelor placed 2nd runner-up, Indonesia’s Aurra Kharishma was 3rd runner-up and Brazil’s Lalae Guedes 4th runner-up. The ceremony originally set for October 2020 was staged on Saturday night at the Show DC Hall in Bangkok, Thailand.

BUSINESS: Govt gross borrowings, debt payments up

Topping business, the national government borrowed more from external and domestic creditors in January, but its debt servicing also surged during the month. Data released by the Bureau of the Treasury showed over the weekend that the actual P710.31 billion gross borrowings in the first month of 2021 soared by 185.49 percent from P248.79 billion a year ago.

SPORTS: Eumir Marcial completes Covid-19 vaccination in US

In sports, Olympic-bound boxer Eumir Marcial got his needed protection from the dreaded coronavirus disease (Covid-19) after completing the second shot of Covid-19 vaccine administered in the United States on Sunday (Monday in Manila). The Filipino pride Marcial was inoculated with a Pfizer vaccine, less than four months before his much-awaited stint in the rescheduled Olympiad, which is set to finally blast off on July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo, Japan.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Rigoberto Tiglao and Fr. Ranhilio Aquino are today’s front page columnists. Tiglao discusses a bill filed by Senator Franklin Drilon that criminalizes red-tagging, while Fr. Aquino talks about this coming holy week.

Today’s editorial discusses a World Bank report saying reliance on prolonged lockdowns major factor in the country’s economic slide. Read a full version on the paper’s opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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With Dafort Villaseran, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting. May you have a safe week ahead.