Month: April 2017

CBC’s Adrienne Arsenault reports on the Philippines

‘Democracy as we know it is dead’: Filipino journalists fight fake news Filipinos spend more time on social media than anyone else in the world By Adrienne Arsenault, CBC Posted: Apr 27, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 27, 2017 7:36 AM ET   About The Author Adrienne Arsenault Senior Correspondent Based in Toronto, Adrienne Arsenault was previously CBC-TV’s London correspondent, a position she took up in the fall of 2006 after having spent three and a half years in Jerusalem. More by Adrienne Arsenault Follow Adrienne Arsenault on Twitter Related Stories ‘I won’t be quiet,’ says jailed Philippine senator, vocal critic of President Duterte Rodrigo Duterte’s harsh critic Leila de Lima arrested in Philippines Human Rights Watch says it has documented crimes against humanity in Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs How one woman’s death illustrates the brutality of Philippines drug war Like much of our connected world, the Philippines has a problem with fake news. But it faces some unique challenges in trying to fight it. The bogus stories that pollute the internet in the Philippines are startling in their venom, frequency and sometimes clumsy attempts to look like the real thing. For example, a number of the stories say Senator Antonio Trillanes, a critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, was arrested for drugs and accepted massive bribes. Trillanes’s team maintains they are all made up. Some of the...

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Breaking: ‘Balita’ loses appeal to reduce $350,000 libel award

Toronto, Ontario Breaking: Appeals Court denies Cusipag appeal By Ted Alcuitas In another setback for the beleaguered Balita and its publisher Tess Cusipag, the Ontario Court of Appeals dismissed Cusipag’s motion to reduce the amount of damages awarded to Senator Tobias Enverga, Jr. The ruling on April 12, 2017 came after a hearing on April 6, 2017 in which Cusipag sought to reduce the $350,000 damages awarded by Justice Sidney N. Lederman against Balita Newspaper, Balita Media Inc., Tess Cusipag, Romeo P. Marquez and Carlos Padilla. The damage award is one of the largest in Canadian libel history. The Appeals court stated “on the facts as found by the trial judge, deterrence could only be adequately served by a significant award of punitive damages.” In rejecting the appeal, the Court said that the case of Senator Enverga was a “personal one” rather than “political” as argued by Cusipag. The Court also ordered the appellants to pay $16,000 to Senator Enverga for costs, bringing the total to $366,000. “I am grateful that this matter is now over and that justice has been served. I look forward to continuing to serve our community in the Senate of Canada,” the senator said in a statement. Senator Enverga was represented by lawyers Howard Winkler and Eryn Pond who issued the following statement: “It has been clear from the beginning of this proceeding that...

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“We must reject violence” : Syjuco

The Opinion Pages | CONTRIBUTING OP-ED WRITER The New York Times     The Injustice System Miguel Syjuco April 26, 2017 MANILA — In one jail here, 91 men share a cell so small they take turns sitting down. It’s dizzyingly hot, and there are only two buckets for personal hygiene. And not one of the detainees has been convicted of a crime. The 93 men packed into the cell next door are also not guilty — at least not yet. Nobody in this city jail has been tried. Each awaits his time in court. One inmate tells me his case has already stretched nearly five years. Many others have been here several months, since President Rodrigo Duterte began his war on drugs a little less than a year ago. The jails continue to overflow. “For every one person processed out,” an inmate told me, “five new ones arrive.” All Filipinos know that there’s little justice to be had from our criminal justice system. It is toothless and glacial. And its longtime failure is at the root of broad acceptance of Mr. Duterte’s draconian drug war, which has led to more than 4,000 confirmed deaths, with nearly 3,800 more awaiting investigation. Like most institutions in this country, the systems of law and order are thoroughly dysfunctional. The abuses can only ever be rectified by addressing each in turn. But what...

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A tribute to my Mother

Remembering ‘Mama’ A Woman of Faith By Ted Alcuitas It was significant that we buried Mama on Pentecost Sunday (Feast of the Holy Trinity), for the mystery of this Feast perhaps embodies my faith in God, the way Mama accepted and lived it. Her’s was the simple faith of a child that often combined the animist nature of Filipino culture and the western mores of the Christuan faith. As a young child, I grew up with the belief in the existence of “spirits” as Mama did, while at the same time accepting the existence of God. I can remember when my older brother got sick, Mama thought it was because some ‘spirit’ got angry. Yet, she was as devout a Catholic as one can be – practising her religion with the intensity and devotion that baffled my young mind then. Mama made us pray 9-day novenas that seemed never to end, for as soon as one novena for San Antonio was completed, another for San Agustin or Our Lady of Fatima began. Although I used to resent the endless novenas, preferring to play than pray, I can now look back and say that it was Mama’s way of inculcating in her children the faith that she herself embraced. In one of my visits to the Philippines, I brought back the icon of San Antonio (her patron saint) with me....

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Fixed! A new film by Joella Cabalu

Filipina filmmaker Joella Cabalu debuts new film By Ted Alcuitas Award-winning filmmaker Joella Cabalu is debuting a new film – FIXED! , this time as a producer. FIXED! will have its world premier at DOXA documentary Film Festival in Vancouver on May 8. Screenings will be at 9:30 PM at the Pacific Cinematheque, 1131 Howe St. A repeat screening is scheduled for May 11 at 3:00 PM at The Orpheum Annex, 823 Seymour St. Producer Joella Cabalu will be in attendance. Joella Cabalu is a Filipino-Canadian Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with an Art History degree from the University of British...

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