Category Archives: death

Retired SC Justice Serafin Cuevas dies at 85

Serafin Cuevas, former Supreme Court magistrate and justice secretary, has passed away. He was 85.

The Supreme Court Public Information Office noted in a statement released Monday morning that Cuevas died Sunday night. The cause remains unspecified.

Serafin Cuevas (1928 to 2014)

Serafin Cuevas (1928 to 2014)

“Former SC Justice Serafin Cuevas passed away last night, February 9, 2014. Details to follow. Flag at SC quadrangle at half mast,” said the SC PIO

A Bacoor, Cavite native, Cuevas served as a magistrate during the term of former President Ferdinand Marcos. He left his position shortly after the dictator’s ouster. He resurfaced a decade later when then-President Joseph Estrada appointed him as justice secretary.

More recently, he stood as the spokesperson of resigned Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez (her impeachment trial did not proceed because of her resignation). Cuevas also notably served as the lead defense lawyer of ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona.


2Go Group on MV St Thomas Aquinas sea tragedy

Alongside 2GO Group’s ongoing search and rescue operations, the company is also addressing and containing the oil spill coming from the sunken m/v St. Thomas Aquinas by flying in global oil spill experts to professionally handle the situation in the Lawis Ledge in Talisay, Cebu as part of the company’s commitment to the environment.

On Aug. 17, the day after the ship sank, 2GO Group deployed two Malayan towage tugboats at the site to contain an anticipated oil spill. One of the tugboats is properly equipped with machineries, materials and supplies against oil spills such as the 400 meter oil spill boom, including oil skimmer; solvent boom pads to absorb oils from the water surface; 4 bales of booms and pads and drums of chemical dispersants. In short, 2GO is taking all steps to contain any possible oil spills from the ship’s sinking.

MV St Thomas  Aquinas

2GO Group has released a statement about the sea mishap involving their vessel MV ST Thomas Aquinas (Credits: Flickr)

The company is also flying in four Japanese technical divers to augment its own complement and local divers from the Philippine Navy and the Coast Guard. A Japanese salvage master is being flown in to help expertly contain the spill. This Japanese salvage master has helped in massive global oil spills.  In addition, an expert from the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF) will also be flying in to Cebu to help assess the situation.

2GO is taking this pro-active stance to ensure that the St. Thomas Aquinas’ sinking will not aggravate in any way the marine ecosystem of Talisay and other water bodies in Cebu.

The ferry had 20,000 liters of diesel fuel and 120,000 liters of bunker or crude fuel in the ship’s fuel tank and 20,000 liters of lube oil that were being used by the engines when it was running.

M/V St. Thomas Aquinas carried mostly agricultural products from Mindanao since the vessel came from Surigao and Nasipit port. There were no cargos marked as “Dangerous Goods.”

(This is a press release sent by the company to The Filipino Scribe.)


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Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin on Margaret Thatcher’s death

Margaret Thatcher, British prime minister from 1979 to 1990, died Monday of lingering illness. She was 87. Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Condoleezza Rica, three leading American conservative politicians, expressed their tributes to the “Iron Lady” via Facebook.

Mitt Romney, 2012 United States presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor

History will enshrine Margaret Thatcher as a transformational leader who helped defeat communism, promote freedom, and bring hope to the oppressed. Her penetrating words and compelling vision will last for generations.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 1925 to 2013 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sarah Palin, 2008 United States vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor

We’re deeply saddened at the loss of Margaret Thatcher. While the Iron Lady is sadly gone, her iron will, her unfailing trust in what is right and just, and her lessons to all of us will live on forever. She was a trailblazer like no other. We lost an icon, but her legacy, as solid as iron, will live on in perpetuity.

Condoleezza Rice, United States secretary of state, 2005 to 2009

I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Baroness Thatcher. There was no more potent force in the defense of freedom than this remarkable woman. Her unshakable belief in the universal appeal of liberty helped to steer the free world through treacherous times until communism was defeated and Europe emerged whole, free and a peace. I was honored to know her and to be inspired by her. Baroness Thatcher will be missed but generations will draw strength from the memory of her passion for freedom.

To PhilStar: Malabon’s Vice Mayor is actually a MAN

Tito Oreta, Malabon Mayor, dies at 73

Malabon City Mayor Canuto “Tito” Oreta died of lung cancer Monday morning at the St. Luke’s Medical Center. Oreta, 73, has battled the disease since 2007. He is on his third and last term as mayor. His nephew, Vice Mayor Antolin “Len-len” Oreta III, will officially succeed him in the coming days.

The younger Oreta, who will turn 41 on September 16, has served as the acting mayor of the flood-prone city since his now-deceased uncle went on a medical leave early this year. He is the son of former Senator (and presidential aunt) Tessie Aquino-Oreta.

Philippine Star’s epic fail

The Philippine Star published the story of Oreta’s death at 10:50 AM, 37 minutes ahead of GMA News Online did and over an hour ahead of its rival Philippine Daily Inquirer. However, the Philippine Star’s article carries at least three factual inaccuracies. Curiously, the writer of the brief article is not identified.  (Corrections had not been made even after three hours. – TFS)

First, they initially misspelled the late mayor’s surname as “Ureta” before belatedly correcting it.

The PhilStar initially misspelled the surname of Mayor Tito Oreta (click image to enlarge)

Secondly, the story says that the Vice Mayor is a woman and that he is a daughter of the elder Oreta. If the article writer and his or her editor bothered to check out the website of the Malabon city government, they would have found out that the Vice Mayor is actually a man (despite his ‘feminine’ nickname) and that he is a nephew of the deceased mayor.

philippine star tito oreta

To PhilStar: Vice Mayor Lenlen Oreta is a man, and he is not a “daughter” of the late mayor. (click to enlarge)

It is a given that media outlets will do all they can to get ahead of others in running a story (e.g. “You got it here first!”). The competition had become fiercer nowadays because of the social media, where sites such as Twitter are used extensively for disseminating breaking news.

Nevertheless, a very brief article with three glaring factual lapses as in this case is unforgivable especially since information verification can easily be done online. As humor blogger Professional Heckler once wrote, “Naimbento na po ang Google. Libre po ito. Gamitin n’yo.”


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Jesse Robredo, Luis Villafuerte, and Jejomar Binay

Prior to serving in the cabinet of President Benigno Aquino III, the late interior secretary Jesse Robredo earned national and international recognition for his leadership of Naga City, the capital of Camarines Sur province. Robredo served as mayor for six non-consecutive terms, or a total of 19 years. His stint in public office, however, has not been free from controversy.

Two weeks before the May 2007 elections, elements identified with the camp of Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte tried to have then-Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo disqualified from seeking reelection because of citizenship issues. Tributes for the late secretary will certainly dominate the headlines in the days to come, but this is one event that should not be forgotten.

Villafuerte served as president of Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI) until it merged with LAKAS-CMD (the other dominant administration party at that time) in May 2009.  Then-Senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo formed KAMPI in 1997 as a launching pad for a potential 1998 presidential bid (she ran and won as the running made of LAKAS-NUCD standard-bearer Jose de Venecia instead).

Jesse Robredo Naga City Mayor

Then-Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo (Credits: Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism)

Robredo was so convinced that the Commission on Elections will rule against him that he persuaded his wife to run for mayor as well. The other candidate for the position is Jojo Villafuerte, a nephew of the elder Villafuerte. The move to have Robredo disqualified from the race gained greater national attention after former president Corazon Aquino and erstwhile members of the Arroyo cabinet announced their support for him.

Aquino went on to describe Robredo as “one of the best mayors (the Philippines) has ever had,” adding that all mayors should be like him. Despite the citizenship issue, Robredo handily won reelection that year, winning by more than 40000 votes. Same as in 1998 when he first became term-limited, Robredo did not field a relative to succeed him as mayor.

In 2007, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism’s Alecks Pabico quoted Robredo to have said: “Not a relative, not my wife, not anyone who has blood relations with us (will take over my post).” At age 42, Robredo received the coveted Ramon Magsaysay Award for government service in August 2000.

Robredo was awarded Asia’s Nobel Prize for “giving credence to the promise of democracy by demonstrating that effective city management is compatible with yielding power to the people.” Robredo, the citation also states, “demonstrated that democratic government can also be good government.” Looking back now, the attempt to engage an outstanding public servant like Robredo in political trickery definitely looks silly. The ones behind it should be ashamed of themselves.

jejomar binay funny picture

Jesse Robredo and Vice President Jejomar Binay had a minor dispute in 2010 over the interior secretary post

Robredo vs. Binay

Robredo got embroiled in another controversy in 2010. Shortly after being proclaimed as the Vice President, Jejomar Binay expressed his interest to be the interior secretary. Several individuals, most notably Solita “Mareng Winnie” Monsod, publicly dissuaded Aquino from appointing Binay.

The outgoing Naga City mayor eventually landed the job, while Binay largely settled for the positions previously handled by Noli de Castro, his predecessor. Robredo is affiliated with the Liberal Party (or the Balay faction) while Binay is supported by the Samar group.

Robredo and Binay have been able to co-exist peacefully the past two years. However, sometime last year, a public word war erupted between the secretary and Binay’s son Junjun (who succeeded his father as Makati Mayor) after the violent demolition of slums in Guadalupe Viejo, Makati.

Noynoy Aquino on Dolphy’s death

President Benigno Aquino III has made the following statement regarding the death of Comedy King Dolphy, or Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr. in real life:

Dolphy was a good man who embodied the common Filipino: he loved deeply, knew the value of humor, respected his fellowmen, and was always ready to face any challenge life threw at him. He came from a generation that went through a lot of trials—and the struggle taught him to be humble, honest, and helpful. He never turned his back on his peers; he never turned his back on the people who had propelled him toward success.

Throughout his life, Dolphy showed that hope and happiness always lie at the other side of adversity; he knew that any problem can be overcome through a positive outlook. He did not only revolutionize the entertainment industry; he also changed our national consciousness for the better: through his art, he extended our worldviews, and gave us the ability to reflect on, value, and find joy in the daily realities of Filipino life.

dolphy for manny villar

Dolphy endorsed Manny Villar, Aquino’s main rival during the 2010 presidential elections

I, along with my family and the rest of our administration, join the Quizon family in mourning. The passing of Rodolfo Quizon Sr.—our King of Comedy—is a truly sorrowful moment for a nation that, for so long, found happiness in his work.

(Originally posted in www.Gov.PH)

PS: President Aquino and Dolphy have had an interesting relationship the past two years. In 2010, Dolphy endorsed Senator Manny Villar, Aquino’s main rival for the presidency. The former even appeared in two television campaign ads for Villar. A few months after assuming office, Aquino bestowed on the Comedy King the Order of the Golden Heart.

As Dolphy’s condition worsened in recent weeks, many personalities publicly called on Aquino to give the former the National Artist Awards, but presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda emphasized that it cannot be done because of the pending TRO against the conferment of such awards (this will be discussed at length in a future post).


Dolphy dead at 83

Fidel Jimenez, Amanda Fernandez, and Amanda Lago filed this report for GMA News Online:

Comedy King Dolphy dies, 83.

Dolphy, or Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr., passed away Tuesday at 8:40 p.m., at the Makati Medical Center, thus ending one of the longest and most colorful lives and careers in Philippine show business history. He was 83 and about to turn 84 on July 25.

This was confirmed by a close family member Tuesday evening. Dolphy died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He also suffered from kidney ailments.

Dolphy was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit on Saturday, June 9, after complaining of difficulty in breathing.  His potassium level had also dropped.


Dolphy did this commercial for Dolfenal back in 2005. 

The Philippines’ Comedy King underwent several dialysis treatments while in the hospital. He also had at least two bouts of pneumonia, with the last one occurring only recently.

In an earlier report GMA News’ “24 Oras,” a son of the actor-comedian, Ronnie Quizon, said his father was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition which limits the amount of air that enters the lungs.

“Simple phlegm can kill him. Kasi nga, nagbabara sa lungs niya. Basically that’s what COPD does to you,” he explained.

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