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Catholic Church prepares to help those hit by Typhoon Ompong


TYPHOON OMPONG. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle mobilizes help for Filipinos to be affected by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut). File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Church is preparing to help Filipinos who might be affected by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut), which entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility at 3 pm on Wednesday, September 12. 

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle mobilized the disaster response arm of the Archdiocese of Manila to prepare to assist people affected by Ompong.

"Sabi niya maghanda na kami (He told us to prepare)," said Father Ricardo Valencia Jr, disaster response head of the Archdiocese of Manila, in a phone interview with Rappler on Wednesday.

Batanes Bishop Danilo Ulep, whose jurisdiction is in the path of Ompong, said the Catholic Church and the local government "are preparing for the worst that could happen," according to church-run Radio Veritas

Valencia urged Filipinos, especially those relatively unaffected by Ompong, to help those to be hit by the typhoon.

"Ang lahat ine-encourage na magbigay. Pero isang malaking pasasalamat din natin, kung 'yung ating lugar ay hindi nasalanta, hindi tayo masyadong naabala at naapektuhan, ibig sabihin tayo naman ang pinagpapala, in a way, na iadya sa kalamidad, kaya tayo rin ang may responsibilidad na tumulong doon sa mga natamaan," Valencia said.

(Everyone is encouraged to give. But if our area was not devastated, if we were not much affected by the typhoon, if we were blessed in a way to be spared from calamity, then we have the responsibility to help those who were hit.) – Rappler.com

DILG raises alert levels for local gov't units in Typhoon Ompong's path


CHARLIE. Areas within a 125-kilometer radius from the center of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) are expected to experience heavy to occasionally intense rains. Photo from DILG-CODIX

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) raised alert levels for local government units (LGUs) on Wednesday, September 12, in areas to be affected by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut).

The alert levels from the DILG are determined based on the proximity of an area to the center of the typhoon.

Alert Level Charlie, the highest, was raised in Abra, Apayao, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, and Kalinga. Heavy to intense rain is expected. Ompong's potential landfall is also in Cagayan, possibly on Saturday, September 15.

Alert Level Bravo was raised in Aurora, Batanes, Benguet, Ifugao, La Union, Mountain Province, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino. Moderate to heavy rain is expected.

Alert Level Alpha, the lowest, is up for Bataan, Bulacan, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, La Union, Laguna, Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Rizal, Tarlac, and Zambales. Moderate to heavy rain is expected, too.

LGUs under alert levels should conduct the following:

  • Secure power, water supply, and communications
  • Start preemptive evacuation
  • Announce forced evacuation
  • Prepare a list of evacuees
  • Distribute relief packs and conduct mass feeding
  • Stop traffic in landslide-prone areas

The 1991 Local Government Code and the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 mandate LGUs to be on the frontline of emergency operations during disasters.

The alert levels are part of Oplan Listo (Operation Plan Alert), a disaster preparedness manual that gives mayors and local disaster management units a checklist of what should be done before, during, and after typhoons.



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In a bulletin released past 5 pm on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ompong is already 1,145 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes, still moving west at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The typhoon continues to have maximum winds of 205 km/h and gustiness of up to 255 km/h.

Aside from heavy rain, Ompong may trigger storm surges in coastal areas and very strong winds. – Rappler.com


[Right of Way] Caught on cam: A motorist's Makati mishap


MANILA, Philippines – Over the past year, motorists have been sharing with the Right of Way team photos and videos of faulty signs, flawed road markings, and not-so-good practices on the road.

In this episode, we feature a dashcam video sent to us by Andrew, a motorist who had an unfortunate experience while driving in Makati City. – Rappler.com

WATCH: What can you do about plastic pollution


MANILA, Philippines – Would you eat plastic?

It may sound absurd, but plastic waste is slowly crawling its way into our food chain.

As convenient as they are to produce and use, plastics, like your straws and grocery bags, don’t biodegrade and instead break down into microplastics. 

Small fragments of plastic easily make it to oceans where they are eaten by fish and other wildlife, polluting our food resource with harmful chemicals. 

This is just one of the many problems that our reliance on plastics is bringing to our environment, and ultimately, to our own health and safety.

Despite this risk,  the United Nations says we we're still producing 400 million tons of plastics every year – most of which are plastic packagings that are discarded after just one use. 

What can you do about plastic pollution? Watch this video and share your thoughts on Rappler X! – Rappler.com

Script by Don Kevin Hapal | Animation by Janina Malinis

#ReliefPH: Help victims of Typhoon Ompong


Bookmark and refresh this page for updates

MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) made landfall early Saturday morning, September 15, affecting parts of northern Luzon.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council earlier estimated that at least 5.2 million people are in the path of the typhoon.

As of Saturday morning, at least 31,631 families, or 126,751 individuals, have felt the effects of Ompong so far. Affected individuals live in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, the Cordillera Administrative Region, and the National Capital Region.

Here's a list of relief operations for victims of Typhoon Ompong:

Tulong Kabataan

The group is accepting water, ready-to-eat food, blankets, tarpaulins, and other relief items at the following drop-off points:

  • 25C Mabuhay St. Bgy. Central, Quezon City
  • 1139 P. Guevarra St., Sta. Cruz, Manila

Cash donations can also be made via paypal.me/TulongKabataan or through bank deposit via the following details:

Bank of the Philippine Islands
Account name: Raainah T. Punzalan
Account number: 4599 0176 53 


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TulongKabataan?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TulongKabataan</a> network is doing a relief opts for the casualties of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TyphoonOmpong?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TyphoonOmpong</a>.<br><br>Initial drop-off points for water, ready-to-eat food, blankets, tarpaulins and other relief items:<br>QC - 25C Mabuhay St. Bgy. Central, Quezon City<br>MANILA - 1139 P. Guevarra St., Sta. Cruz, Manila <a href="https://t.co/D7qCfeMgLX">pic.twitter.com/D7qCfeMgLX</a></p>&mdash; Jose Mari Callueng (@thejoncallueng) <a href="https://twitter.com/thejoncallueng/status/1040790432446275584?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 15, 2018</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>




The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Calabarzon is calling for volunteers for their relief and rescue operations. Tasks may include clearing roads and packing relief goods.

They are also calling on people to lend portable generators and water tanks that they can use to help areas affected by power outage and water disruption.

Interested parties can contact the DENR regional office through their hotline numbers 09202068610 and 09553912684, via email at denr4a.ord@gmail.com, or through their Facebook page.

{source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FDENR4AOfficial%2Fposts%2F298515010734132&width=500" width="500" height="651" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}


Gawad Kalinga

The organization is raising funds for their relief operations under Oplan Walang Iwanan. Donations can be made on their website or through bank deposit. Bank details are as follows:

  • Gawad Kalinga PHP Current Account # 3101 0977 56 BPI EDSA Greenhills
  • Gawad Kalinga US$ Savings Account # 3104 0162 34 BPI EDSA Greenhills (Swift code: BOPIPHMM)

For donations via bank deposit, email transaction details to partnerships@gawadkalinga.com, along with the name of the donor as well as the date, amount, and branch of deposit. Indicate that the donation is for Operation Walang Iwanan: Typhoon Ompong. 


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OperationWalangIwanan?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OperationWalangIwanan</a>: Help us raise funds for the evacuees of Typhoon <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OmpongPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OmpongPH</a>. For ₱15, you can share hope for the families and communities braving the storm. Give NOW: <a href="https://t.co/jU7QASNscW">https://t.co/jU7QASNscW</a>. <a href="https://t.co/eGAD52Ykhs">pic.twitter.com/eGAD52Ykhs</a></p>&mdash; Gawad Kalinga (@GawadKalingaHQ) <a href="https://twitter.com/GawadKalingaHQ/status/1040480599796928514?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 14, 2018</a></blockquote>
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JCI Philippines

Junior Chamber International Philippines is accepting relief goods at their drop-off point at the JCI Philippines Headquarters at 14 Don A. Roces Ave. Quezon City.

They specified clothes, diapers, slippers, biscuits, blankets, medicines, canned goods, and drinking water as urgent needs.

Cash donations may also be made via bank deposit with the following details:

Banco De Oro (Heroes Hills Branch)
Account number: 0020 1025 6324


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OplanTulongCagayan?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OplanTulongCagayan</a><br><br>Let us help our brothers and sisters who are affected by typhoon Ompong.<br><br>GOODS DONATIONS<br>Drop-off point is at the JCI Philippines HQ, Quezon City<br><br>CASH DONATIONS<br>Oplan Kaagapay bank account is Banco de Oro (Heroes Hills Branch)<br>SA No. 0020 1025 6324 <a href="https://t.co/F6ZszOGpYm">pic.twitter.com/F6ZszOGpYm</a></p>&mdash; JCI PHILIPPINES (@jciphilofficial) <a href="https://twitter.com/jciphilofficial/status/1040623046015373312?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 14, 2018</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>



Gabriela Youth

The group is calling for donations of food, water, toiletries, clothes or cash.

For more information, contact their chapters through the following numbers:

  • Polytechnic University of the Philippines - 0906 287 5098
  • University of the Philippines Manila - 0916 472 9179
  • St. Scholastica’s College - 0906 467 2357
  • University of the Philippines Diliman - 0977 430 0421

They can also be reached via email at gabrielayouthPH@gmail.com

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">CALL FOR DONATIONS<br>for all the victims of Typhoon Ompong!<br>Please refer to the photo below for contact details.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TyphoonOmpong?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TyphoonOmpong</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LingapGabriela?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LingapGabriela</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ReliefPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ReliefPH</a> <a href="https://t.co/20aKPiinfL">pic.twitter.com/20aKPiinfL</a></p>&mdash; Gabriela Youth (@gabrielayouthph) <a href="https://twitter.com/gabrielayouthph/status/1040870062851207168?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 15, 2018</a></blockquote>
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The National Food Authority (NFA) has released 4,812 bags of rice to be distributed by relief agencies and local government units to affected areas in Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, MIMAROPA, and Bicol Region. An additional 6,000 bags were released from NFA-NCR to boost supplies in Cagayan Valley.

Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines

Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines, along with the 700 Club Asia Team, is raising funds for relief operations to disaster-stricken residents in Tuguegarao. Bank details are as follows:

Account number: 270-3-27050273-4

Account number: 30000-55279

Account number: 3001-0040-33

The foundation is also accepting donations in kind, specifically food packs, hygiene kits, and medicine. Donations can be dropped off at Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines Office, C5 Road corner Retelco Drive, Bagong Ilog, Pasig City.

– Rappler.com

News you can use during Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut): 

Caritas sends initial P1 million for areas hit by Ompong


TYPHOON'S IMPACT. Tuguegarao is one of the areas that bore the brunt of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) in the Philippines. Photo by Raymon Dullana/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Caritas Manila, the social action arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, sent an initial P1 million ($18,400) in aid for areas hit by Typhoom Ompong (Mangkhut).

Caritas Manila shared this information on its Facebook page Saturday afternoon, September 15, after it was initially reported by church-run Radio Veritas on Friday, September 14.

Father Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, said Caritas sent an initial P200,000 ($3,600) each to dioceses in Batanes, Tuguegarao, Ilagan, Laoag, and Tabuk. 

In separate interviews with Radio Veritas on Saturday, Cabanatuan Bishop Sofronio Bancud and Bayombong Bishop Jose Elmer Mangalinao said churches within their jurisdictions remain open for Ompong evacuees. 

"Bukas ang ating mga simbahan para makatulong sa inyo (Our churches remain open to help you)," Bancud said. 

Other religious groups have also mounted efforts to help those affected by Ompong.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as the Mormon Church, is sheltering Filipinos hit by Ompong in many of its church buildings across the Philippines. 

Ompong has affected at least 31,631 families across 5 regions in the Philippines so far, said the Philippine government. No casualties have been reported.– Rappler.com

P54.14 = $1

Raissa Robles, Edwin Lacierda get flak for mocking Duterte's Bisaya accent


MANILA, Philippines – Known vocal critics of President Rodrigo Duterte caught the ire of netizens after they mocked the President's Bisaya accent in their exchange of tweets on Tuesday, September 11.

"Duterte just now said that the communists are engaged in 'armed stragol'," Raissa Robles posted on Twitter to which former Benigno Aquino spokesperson Edwin Lacierda replied: "You have trabol with my president’s dictionarment?"

Robles was pertaining to "armed struggle" which Duterte mentioned during his one-on-one interview with Chief Presidental Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

In another tweet, Robles replied to one netizen who slammed her by saying: "Duterte is a very good mimic...He uses Visayan accent to put you guys under his spell."

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">No. My context is that Pres. Duterte is a very good mimic. He can do accents very well -which he has shown when he was copying ex-foreign sec Yasay&#39;s broad American accent. He uses Visayan accent to put you guys under his spell. Para utuin kayo. <a href="https://t.co/YX6azfdaKo">https://t.co/YX6azfdaKo</a></p>&mdash; Raissa Robles (@raissawriter) <a href="https://twitter.com/raissawriter/status/1039676861398233088?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 12, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

But artist-activist Chai Fonacier was not sympathetic and replied, "I am offended. If he does use it to manipulate people, one should point out manipulation, not the accent. It's no reason to make fun of 'stragol'."

Robles replied to Fonacier's tweet, saying, "Duterte IS making fun of your accent, don't you see? He can choose not to speak that way and yet he does."

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Duterte IS making fun of your accent, don&#39;t you see? He can choose not to speak that way and yet he does. He knows how to change his accent. He is playing you. <a href="https://t.co/t8uTx0Qggj">https://t.co/t8uTx0Qggj</a></p>&mdash; Raissa Robles (@raissawriter) <a href="https://twitter.com/raissawriter/status/1039918818028474369?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 12, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

Finacier did not sit back. She again expressed her disapproval by tweeting, "... I am with you sa maling gawain ni Duterte [I support you in criticizing Duterte's wrongdoings]. He must be responsible for EJKs, TRAIN, etc, but he's not playing with accent."

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">No Miss Raissa, I&#39;m Cebuano, my parents are from Davao. That IS his accent. Ever since, growing up in Mindanao, that has been his accent. Again, I am with you sa maling gawain ni Duterte. He must be responsible for EJKs, TRAIN, etc, but he&#39;s not playing with accent.</p>&mdash; Chai Fonacier (@rrrabidcat) <a href="https://twitter.com/rrrabidcat/status/1039922153435480064?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 12, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

Meanwihile, Twitter user Gideon Peña advised people to refrain from making fun of Duterte's Bisaya accent as it is being used by other Filipinos as well.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Regardless of our political beliefs, let us refrain from making fun of Rodrigo Duterte’s accent. It is, after all, an accent shared by many of our countrymen. <br><br>Let us focus on issues that matter. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamPhilippines?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamPhilippines</a></p>&mdash; Gideon V. Peña (@gideonpena) <a href="https://twitter.com/gideonpena/status/1040242160094740480?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

Twitter User Odette also disapproved of Robles' tweet: "I dont understand why there are people mocking bisaya's accent. Madam Raissa, you maybe educated or w/ [with] whatever accent, but you are not totally MANNERED."

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I am a bisaya &amp; proud of being one. I love my accent. I dont understand why there are people mocking bisaya&#39;s accent. Madam Raissa, you maybe educated or w/ whatever accent, but you are not totally MANNERED.</p>&mdash; Odette™ (@MissOdessa31) <a href="https://twitter.com/MissOdessa31/status/1039905285865758720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 12, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

While most netizens were displeased by Robles' remark, some came to her defense.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="tl" dir="ltr">Aliw na aliw kami kapag nakakapanood ng videos dubbed using terms familiar to Batangueños in Batangas accent. And whenever we‘re in Batangas, we’d poke fun at our own language. Masaya. Walang napipikon. (But that’s just us.) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/justsaying?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#justsaying</a> <br><br>Maigi pa ang pagerper eh, may pambarik!</p>&mdash; The Professional Heckler (@hecklerforever8) <a href="https://twitter.com/hecklerforever8/status/1040220472024031235?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote>
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{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I don&#39;t get it, Raissa wrote just the way Duterte talked and pronounced his words. And now you are hating on Raissa for pointing it out? Did she say anything negative about it? Or did people just assumed that it is mocking the entire visayan culture by manifesting it?</p>&mdash; Floyd Gonda (@SEOphilippiness) <a href="https://twitter.com/SEOphilippiness/status/1040170045681221632?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

For Twitter user Jerome Dela Cruz, "Rape jokes and cursing in public was more serious than an accent joke."

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I&#39;m a visayan and don&#39;t felt insulted by accent jokes...what&#39;s the big deal! Rape jokes and cursing in public was more serious than an accent joke. Stop this silly attack on this person.</p>&mdash; Jerome Dela Cruz (@artistdaddy) <a href="https://twitter.com/artistdaddy/status/1040363303648849921?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Lacierda apologizes

While Robles defended her tweets to netizens who were offended by her remark, Lacierda apologized to them in a separate tweet.

Lacierda said that there was no intent on his part to insult the Bisaya-speaking community but he admitted that his remark was culturally insensitive.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">To those who sincerely &amp; genuinely found my poking fun at my own Visayan dialect offensive, I apologize. The president’s accent reminded me of a time when we were growing up in a Boholananon household. There was no intent to insult our dialect but it was culturally insensitive. <a href="https://t.co/3SAGMuYUDg">https://t.co/3SAGMuYUDg</a></p>&mdash; Edwin Lacierda (@dawende) <a href="https://twitter.com/dawende/status/1040149900413947904?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

Here's what other netizens had to say about the issue:

{source}<a class="twitter-timeline" data-partner="tweetdeck" href="https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom/timelines/1040838397789528064?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">Bisaya accent - Curated tweets by rapplerdotcom</a> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

What are your thoughts about this issue? – Rappler.com






Christian churches seek donations for Filipinos hit by Ompong


TYPHOON OMPONG. Residents of Barangay Banaba in San Mateo, Rizal, suffer flooding due to Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) on September 15, 2018. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The National Council of Churches in the Philippines launched a fund drive on Saturday, September 15, for families hit by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut).

"We call on our ecumenical friends to be in solidarity with those affected by the typhoon by donating in cash or in kind," said the NCCP Operation Paglingap in a Facebook post on Saturday.

The NCCP is a huge 55-year-old group of Christian churches, chaired by retired Sandiganbayan justice Raoul Victorino. 

Cash donations for NCCP Operation Paglingap can be deposited in the following bank account:

China Bank
E. Rodriguez Sr Boulevard Business Center
Philippine Peso Account No. 223-009641-3
US Dollar Account No. 223-700011-4

Donations in kind can include food packs, hygiene kits, and sleeping materials. These donations can be brought to the following drop-off center:

NCCP Compound, 879 EDSA West Triangle, Quezon City 

Quoting from the Book of Proverbs, the NCCP said on Saturday, “Do not withhold good from those who need it, when you have the ability to help." (Proverbs 3:27)

Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines – the humanitarian arm of the Christian network CBN Asia, producer of The 700 Club Asia – is also gathering donations for those affected by Ompong. 

Donations through Operation Blessing can be deposited in the following bank accounts:

  • Metrobank
    Account number: 270-3-27050273-4
  • Banco De Oro (BDO)
    Account number: 30000-55279
  • Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
    Account number: 3001-0040-33

Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines is also accepting food packs, hygiene kits, and medicine. Donations can be dropped off at the following address:

Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines Office, C5 Road corner Retelco Drive, Bagong Ilog, Pasig City

You may find details of other fund-raising activities through Rappler's #ReliefPH page.

Other churches have also started their own efforts to help those hit by Ompong. 

In the Catholic Church, social action arm Caritas Manila sent an initial P1 million for areas hit by Ompong. The Mormon Church, meanwhile, opened many of its church buildings for evacuees. – Rappler.com

READ the latest developments:

Iglesia ni Cristo donates to Typhoon Ompong survivors


READY TO HELP. The Iglesia ni Cristo distributes relief goods in La Trinidad, Benguet, to help victims of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut). Photo from Iglesia ni Cristo News and Updates on Facebook

MANILA, Philippines – The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) distributed relief packs to Filipinos, INC members and nonmembers alike, who were affected by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) in parts of Luzon. 

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, September 18, the INC said it reached out to Ompong-stricken families in Ilocos Norte. The church gave away relief goods through its charity arm, the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation.

The INC's Local Congregation of Laoag in the Ecclesiastical District of Ilocos Norte also "opened its compound to welcome residents" affected by Ompong. 

RELIEF GOODS. The Iglesia ni Cristo's Lingap sa Mamamayan in Baggao, Cagayan, benefits Iglesia ni Cristo members and nonmembers alike. Photo from Iglesia ni Cristo News and Updates on Facebook

The INC also donated to Ompong-hit residents in Baggao, Cagayan, where the typhoon made landfall.

"Members and nonmembers alike were thankful for the help they received as the recent typhoon severely affected their families and their livelihood," said the INC in a Facebook post about the Baggao mission on Monday, September 17.

On Monday, the INC said it also distributed relief goods, including rice and other basic food items, in La Trinidad, Benguet.

The INC said in its post about La Trinidad, "It is the prayer of the members of the Church that those stricken with the calamity be able to rise up again and be able to resume the normalcy in their everyday living." 

Like the INC, other religious groups – the Catholic Church, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, and the Mormon Church– have mounted their own efforts for typhoon survivors. This is on top of international aid that has begun pouring in.

Ompong killed at least 74 people and affected 800,000 others in the Philippines. Here is a list of ways how you can help typhoon-hit communities. – Rappler.com

More on Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut): 

Do you want to help 'inspiring' student Jeric Reyes of Atimonan, Quezon?


MANILA, Philippines – While students in most of Luzon hurried home as Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) made its presence felt on Thursday, September 13, one student stayed behind in a public school in Atimonan, Quezon.

While checking his classroom at the Malusak National High School in preparation for the storm, teacher Mark Pee Pornasdoro chanced upon his student, 16-year-old Jeric Reyes, still doing his homework there past 7 pm, or a couple of hours after class had ended.

He posted the photo on social media, which went viral. As of posting, the photo had garnered 270,000 reactions and had been shared over 52,000 times.

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After learning that Reyes stayed behind because there was no electricity in his home,  many netizens have been asking how they can help Reyes.

Jeric's story

In a message reply to Rappler, Reyes said he is the eldest of 4 siblings.  Because of his family's poverty, the children had to stay with their uncle, and they had been living without electricity for the past 5 years after problems with payments. They used a gas lamp at home.

When asked, Reyes said his parents served as his inspiration to study hard as he believed a good education would help him achieve his dreams for his family. He said he wants to become a soldier someday. 

He encouraged the youth to value their education and to remain steadfast in achieving their dreams. "Ang masasabi ko po ay mag-aral nang mabuti at huwag  sumuko sa mga haharapin mong pagsubok sa iyong buhay (What I can say is study hard and never give up as you face the challenges in your life)."

Pornasdoro, who shone the spotlight on his inspiring student, told Rappler that he posted the photo because he believed it was his moral responsibility to share Reyes' compelling story of grit and resilience. 

"Dahil naniniwala akong may moral tayong tungkulin na magsalita tungkol sa danas ng kapwa. Lalo na kung kuwento ito ng kabutihan, lalo na kung mula sa maliit na tao. Para iparamdam na may magagawa tayo ukol sa napakatagal na nating inaasam na kalayaan sa mula sa sariling pagkaduwag at pagsusumikap. At esensyal na espasyo ang socmed para sa layuning ito. Tumugon lang ako sa tungkulin," said Pornasdoro.

(I believe it's my moral responsibility to speak about the plight of other people, especially if it's a story about goodness, and about small people. I want to let everyone know that we can do something to break free from our own cowardice and to achieve our aspirations. Social media provided the essential space fo this goal. I just did my duty.)

Pornasdoro also reminded the youth to use their potential to inspire and help other people. He said seeing Reyes' commitment to his studies strengthened his personal commitment to the teaching profession. 


Netizens were moved and inspired by the message evoked by  the photo and quickly applauded both Pornasdoro and Reyes. 

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Jeric said he was touched by all the messages of support he received and thanked those who sent them, as well as his teachers.  

Here's how you can help Reyes and his family:

  • Look for him in Malusak National High School in Atimonan, Quezon.

  • You can also directly coordinate with Mark Pornasdoro through his Facebook account.

 – Rappler.com


How you can help Ompong-hit Agta community in Cagayan


MANILA, Philippines – Many people were moved by the story of Marlon Rosalem, the Agta leader who walked 6 hours to seek aid for his community in Cagayan, which was hit by Typhoon Ompong.

After his story went viral, relief goods from the government and civil society organizations started pouring into the Agta community in Sitio Malisi, Barangay Santa Margarita in Baggao town.

In a phone interview on Wednesday, September 19, Baggao municipal disaster chief Narciso Corpuz said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) extended help to Rosalem's tribe on Tuesday, September 18. He added that a non-governmental organization also planned to visit the community.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Baggao posted a photo of Rosalem's group receiving help.

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The police helped Rosalem and his group transport the goods from the town center up to the point where they could start walking to their community. 

The National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines is also accepting cash and in-kind donations for Rosalem and their community in Sitio Malisi in Baggao. Sitio Malisi is a project site for the diocese's program for indigenous peoples which includes livelihood programs and scholarships, among others. 

How you can help 

Those interested to help the Agta community can do the following:

  • Coordinate with Caritas Philippines. Father Jayrom Ramirez of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao said they are selling nito baskets handwoven by the Agta community as part of their program to provide sustainable help to indigenous peoples.
  • Cash donations may be deposited to the Archdiocese's Bank of the Philippine Islands account.
    • Bank account name: Indigenous People's Apostolate, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tuguegarao
    • Bank account number: ‎228810296415
  • The Cagayan-based Northern Forum newspaper has partnered with Cagayan State University's student body to conduct relief operations for the Agta community in Baggao. 
    • You may send your donations to the Northern Forum office: #37 Patria Building, Golden Press, Rizal Street, Centro 7, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. 
    • Phone number: (078) 844 1597

– with report of Raymon Dullana/Rappler.com


SCHEDULE: 46th Martial Law anniversary protests, activities


PROTESTS. A day before the commemoration of the 46th Martial Law Anniversary, on Thursday, September 20, 2018, an artist puts  finishing touches on the giant art heads of the late president "Marcos and Duterte" the present president. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Various groups will hold protest actions across the country on Friday, September 21, in remembrance of the declaration of martial law 46 years ago.

On September 23, 1972, dictator Ferdinand Marcos appeared on television and by virtue of Proclamation 1081, supposedly signed on September 21, formally declared martial law nationwide. (READ: Marcos’ martial law orders

Infrastracture spending increased during the martial law period, coming at a staggering cost: it plunged the Philippines in billions of dollars in debt. From $8.2 billion in 1977, the country's debt ballooned to $24.4 billion in 1982 – or within a period of just 5 years. (READ: Marcos years marked 'golden age' of PH economy? Look at the data)

The Marcoses also plundered the country's coffers, with various estimates putting the amount at between $5 billion to $10 billion.

Aside from the billions in illegally amassed wealth, human rights abuses were rampant during martial law. (READ: #NeverAgain: Martial Law stories young people need to hear)

About 70,000 people were imprisoned and 34,000 tortured, according to Amnesty International, while 3,240 were killed from 1972 to 1981. 

Here is a running list of activities on Friday:


Ilocos Region

  • Laoag City - 1 pm - organized by Youth Act Now Against Tyranny  


Cagayan Valley
No advisories yet 



  • Baguio City - 5pm - assembly at Baguio City Post Office, march to Session Road, programs at Malcolm Square - organized by Youth Act Now Against Tyranny 


Central Luzon
No advisories yet 


Metro Manila

  • Manila - 4 pm - Luneta - United People's Action 
  • Manila - Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)
  • De La Salle University
    • 1:00 PM | Prayers and Discussions @ Cory Aquino Democratic Space
    • 2:00 PM | DLSP Taft Vigil in front of South Gate and CSB
    • 2:30 PM | March to Burgos
    • 4:00 | United People's Action at Luneta
  • University of Santo Tomas
    • 12NN - UST Contingent 1 | UST Main Gate
    • 3PM - UST Contingent 2 | UST Main Gate
    • 4PM - Luneta Park
    • 12 NN - Campaign Against the return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA)
  • Polytechnic University of the Philippines
    • 2 PM | Mass-up at Freedom Park
    • 2:30 | Symbolic Program at PUP Gate
    • 2 PM | Caravan to Luneta
    • 3:30 TO 4:00 PM | Meet up at Orosa St. and P. Burgos St. 
    • 4 PM | March to United People's Action at Luneta
  • University of the Philippines Diliman
    • 11 am - AS Steps, UP Diliman
    • 2 am - Mendiola
    • 4 pm - Luneta Park
  • Other assembly points for the march toward Luneta
    • Bonifacio Shrine - 1 pm - MAD
    • Plaza Salamanca - 2 pm - Kalipunan
    • Del Pan Bridge - 2 pm - Tondo groups
    • San Agustin Church - 2 pm - Laiko, AMRSP, PCPR
    • United Methodist Church (TM Kalaw) - 2 pm - NCCP, Evangelicals, CFJ, Defend Democracy
    • Morayta - 2 pm - UP Diliman and U-Belt schools
    • DLSU gate - 2 pm - St Scho, Benilde, DLSU 
    • Mehan Garden - 3 pm - Laban ng Masa
    • National Museum - 3 pm - BabaeAko
  • San Agustin Church - 2:30 pm Mass, then religious groups march to Luneta at 4 pm



  • Calamba, Laguna - 3 pm - Calamba Crossing - organized by Youth Act Now Against Tyranny
  • Quezon - Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)
  • Batangas - Bayan 
  • Rizal - Bayan 
  • Laguna - Bayan
  • Cavite - Bayan



  • Puerto Princessa - 5:30 pm - mass at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, then candle-lighting program after - organized by Youth Act Now Against Tyranny 
  • Mindoro - Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)
  • Palawan - Bayan 


Bicol Region

  • Naga City - 4:30 pm - Plaza Quince Martires - organized by Youth Act Now Against Tyranny 
  • Naga City - Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)
  • Daet - Bayan 
  • Legazpi - Bayan 
  • Virac - Bayan 
  • Lakbayan ng Mamayang Bicolano 2018 - Bayan 


Western Visayas

  • IloIlo City - 1pm - Iloilo Capitol - organized by Youth Act Now Against Tyranny
  • Iloilo City - Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) 
  • Bacolod City - 2pm - Bacolod City Hall - organized by Youth Act Now Against Tyranny 
  • Bacolod City - Bayan
  • Escalante City - Bayan


Central Visayas

  • Cebu City - 1pm - assembly at Fuente Circle then march to Colon - organized by Youth Act Now Against Tyranny 
  • Cebu City - Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)


Eastern Visayas

  • Tacloban - 10am - Mediola - Organized by Youth Act Now Against Tyranny 
  • Catbalogan - Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)


Zamboanga Peninsula
No advisories yet 


Northern Mindanao

  • Cagayan de Oro - 11 am - Divisoria - organized by Youth Act Now Against Tyranny 


Davao Region

  • Davao City - 1 pm - Freedom Park Roxas - organized by Youth Act Now Against Tyranny 
  • Davao City - Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)



  • General Santos City - 9 am - KCC Mall of GenSan - organized by Youth Act Now Against Tyranny 
  • General Santos City - Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)



  • Butuan City -Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)



  • Cotabato City - Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)



  • USA -Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)
  • Hong Kong - Bayan
  • Australia - Bayan
  • Canada - Bayan
  • Brussels - Bayan
  • Geneva - Bayan
  • The Hague - Bayan


This list is updated as new advisories come in. If your organization has activities that you want inclued here, email us at move.ph@rappler.com. – Rappler.com


UP students, staff may be excused for Sept 21 activities


UP AND MARTIAL LAW. Progressive youth organizations such as League of Filipino Students, Kabataan Partylist conduct a National Day of Walkout against de facto martial law and Duterte's tyrannical rule on September 6. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – University of the Philippines president Danilo Concepcion announced that UP students and staff may be excused from classes and work on Friday, September 21, if they are joining activities related to the commemoration of the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law.

Concepcion made the announcement on Thursday, September 20, in a memorandum addressed to all UP system and constituent university officials, faculty, students, and staff.


"In view of our having proclaimed September 21 as UP Day of Remembrance to celebrate and perpetuate the memory of those who contributed to the resistance against martial law and to the struggle for civil liberties and human rights, I am encouraging all administrators, faculty, students, and staff throughout the system to participate in meaningful and peaceful activities for this purpose on that day in their respective classes,” he said in the memo. 

"While there will be no suspension of work and classes, members of the UP community may be excused from their world or their classes for the duration of the activity (with the exception of personnel engaged in frontline and emergency services)," the UP president added.

Earlier on Monday, September 17, Conception had declared September 21 of every year as a “UP Day of Remembrance” to honor those who fought the Marcos dictatorship. (#NeverAgain: Martial Law stories young people need to hear)


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With the “Day of Remembrance,” the UP president had highlighted how the university “both as an institution and through individual efforts of its faculty, students, and staff – stood at the forefront of the resistance to Martial Law.”

Aside from UP, De La Salle University (DLSU) and the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) have released a bold joint statement urging students to remember the dark period of Martial Law. (READ: ADMU, DLSU presidents tell students: Fight attempts to forget Martial Law

In the statement signed by ADMU president Father Jose Ramon Villarin and DLSU president Brother Raymundo Suplido, they said students and all young Filipinos must “do all they can to learn the lessons of history.”

The university officials also urged students to be vigilant against efforts to revise Philippine history, and hit groups that “naively” tell the public to move on from Martial Law.

The University of Santo Tomas (UST), for its part, posted a silent 30-second video depicting human rights abuses during martial rule under Marcos.

During Martial Law, many of those who suffered abuses at the hands of government forces were students and school officials. (READ: Young and gone too soon: How martial law took our future

The university officials made the move after Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Officer-in-Charge Prospero de Vera III urged university officials to avoid taking political stands.  (CHED: University officials should not take political stand)

“Universities should be a venue for the articulation of different ideologies, different belief systems, but I frown upon university officials who take a political position on issues. Especially those who call for the ouster of the president because that is simply not allowed under existing laws,” De Vera had said in a press briefing on Tuesday, September 18.

Several activities and protests are lined up on Friday around the country to commemorate the declaration of Martial Law 46 years ago. – Rappler.com

News you can use about Martial Law:


From Luzon to Mindanao, youths vow to fight return of dictatorship under Duterte



MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Hundreds of protesters – many of them are Filipino youth and students – took to the streets in key cities across the country on Friday, September 21, to commemorate the declaration of the Martial Law 46 years ago. 

More than looking back at the dark period of history, the protesters also promised to fight the return of authoritarian rule, which they said President Rodrigo Duterte had demonstrated. Banners citing the similarities of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and Duterte, and artworks showing the two presidents as one, were displayed during the mobilizations. (READ: Can Duterte do a Marcos?

Duterte, who has acknowledge that the Marcoses contributed to his campaign funds, allowed the burial of Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, brushing aside protests. He often talks about wanting to step down prematurely if the late dictator's son, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr wins his electoral protest for the post of vice president.

On September 23, 1972, Marcos appeared on television and declared nationwide martial law by virtue of Proclamation 1081, supposedly signed on September 21. (READ: Marcos’ martial law orders)

Data shows that the years that followed did not equate to the "golden age" of the Philippine economy. Infrastracture spending increased and it came at a staggering cost: it plunged the Philippines in billions of dollars in debt. From $8.2 billion in 1977, the country's debt ballooned to $24.4 billion in 1982 – or within a period of just 5 years. 

The Marcoses also illegally amassed wealth, with various estimates putting the amount at between $5 billion to $10 billion. Beyond the corruption that took place, the dark period of history also marked human rights abuses committed against students and human rights activists. (READ: #NeverAgain: Martial Law stories young people need to hear)

Duterte's two and half years in office have been marked by thousands of killings, with mostly poor victims, linked to his war on drugs, while his appointees remain in power after failing to stop the smuggling of billions of pesos worth of shabu from China and Taiwan. Lawyers in the President's Cabinet have also resorted to controversial interpretation of laws to file cases and jail his staunchest critics.  

Below are some photos from the various protests staged all over the country: 



UPLB OBLATION. Students hang a banner on the UPLB oblation on Friday, September 21.  Photo by Neren Bartolay/Rappler

CALABARZON. UPLB students stage a protest at the Carabao Park at the University of the Philippines - Los Baños campus. Photo by Neren Bartolay/Rappler

UPLB'S MESSAGE. The protest is organized by the UPLB student council, Sabkayan, and other student organizations. Photo by Neren Bartolay/Rappler  

'STOP STATE VIOLENCE'. Ateneo de Naga University students and professors march from ADNU to Quince Martires Plaza in Naga City, Camarines Sur, on the 46th anniversary of Martial Law, September 21, 2018. Photo by Abegail Kyla Bilan/Rappler

NAGA PROTEST. Students from Ateneo de Naga University join the nationwide protest on the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. Photo by Abegail Kyla Bilan/Rappler  

BAGUIO PROTEST. Protesters, mostly students, called for the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte as Baguio joined the observance of the declaration of Martial Law on Friday, September 21. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

AGAINST DUTERTE. Protesters in Baguio City brave the Friday rainshowers to air their grievances against the Duterte administration whom they accuse of violating human rights. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler  


ILOILO YOUTH. University of the Philippines Visayas joins the nationwide protest on the 46th anniversary of Martial Law under Ferdinand Marcos. Photo by Carl Berwin/Rappler

'NEVER AGAIN.' Iloilo artists prepare the placards for the protest activity on Friday, September 21, 2018. Photo by Carl Berwin/Rappler

 REMEMBERING MARTIAL LAW. Silliman University students light candles at the Portal East in Dumaguete City to commemorate the 46th Martial Law Anniversary. Photo by Mhel Catacutan/Rappler


CDO EFFIGY. Protesters in Cagayan de Oro display the effigy to be burned during the rally on Friday, September 21, 2018. Photo by Kaye Quiblat/Rappler

MINDANAO REPRESENT. A group of protesters stage a rally on Friday, September 21, at the Divisoria, Cagayan de Oro City. Photo by Kaye Quiblat/Rappler


Read other stories on Martial Law:

Rappler Talk: Future-proofing young Filipinos through innovation, social enterprise


MANILA, Philippines – A recent study of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said that half of the jobs in Southeast Asian countries will be at high risk of being affected by automation. This is echoed by the Institute for the Future, which predicted that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet.

Relevant to this discussion are the challenges and new opportunities that await job-seekers.

The future trend is forcing disruptors, innovators, and thought leaders to respond to the challenge of equipping young Filipinos with the correct skills fit for the jobs of the future. This environment is also opening up new opportunities to harness one's creative imagination for job creation and innovation.  (READ: #ThinkPH 2018: Dear future self, this is what you should do today)

What can be done to future-proof the young generation?

Beyond the challenge of building a creative economy, what do these forecasts mean for the sustainable development goal to leave no one behind? (READ: Unlocking the creative potential in young Filipinos)

To better understand these issues, Gemma Mendoza, head of Rappler's research and content strategy, speaks to Andrew Parker, the economic adviser of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Jose Ramon “Toots” Albert, PhD, a Senior Research Fellow at the PIDS, on Tuesday, September 25. 

The panelists will also discuss how we can pursue digitally-enhanced social enterprise-driven innovation – the theme of this year's #HackSociety. 

#HackSociety,  an ideathon organized by Rappler in partnership with the Youth Co:Lab initiative of the UNDP, aims to crowdsource "hacks" that would make our society more inclusive and humane. Through #HackSociety, we hope to encourage responsible and technology-driven enterprise and innovation among the youth, one that is grounded on a clear understanding of social realities.

Here are this year's 5 key areas and problem statements:

  • Media and democracy: How can we fight the spread of disinformation and hate in digital platforms? How can we help the youth tap into the power of digital technologies while alerting and educating them about its risks and dangers?
  • Peace: What type of livelihood can reintegrate combatants and how can this be done? How can we help disengage those on pathways to extremism or radicalization?
  • Governance and local development: How can communities manage change, digitize, and deliver effective services?
  • Environment and climate change: How can communities effectively beat plastic pollution?
  • Public health and well-being: How can communities bring down maternal mortality? How can communities help make roads safer?

Tune in to Rappler Talk on Tuesday, September 25, at 10 am. Rappler.com

Fighting disinformation is a community effort, say journalists


#MOVELEYTE. Journalists discuss how campus journalists can help in the fighting disinformation online during the forum on "Social Good in the Digital Age" held at the Visayas State University on September 19, 2018. Photo byJohn Paul Corton

LEYTE, Philippines – The fight against disinformation online has to be a crusade of not just a few individuals or organizations, but a whole community.

This was the message of journalists to the participants of the “#MoveLeyte: Social Good in the Digital Age” forum held at the RDE Hall of the Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay, Leyte last Wednesday, September 19.

“If fact-checking and truth-telling [are] to win against the propaganda machine, they need the effort of the communities, the campus journalists, and the citizen journalists from the ground,” said Rappler news editor Miriam Grace Go.

According to Go, social media has exponentially increased the sophistication and reach of disinformation. (READ: Propaganda war: Weaponizing the internet)

Disinformation and hate are amplified by troll farms whose workers aggressively comment on news stories that are not favorable toward issues and political personalities they support.

Meanwhile, Hanna Joyce Macawili, managing editor of VSU’s official school publication, The Amaranth, shared that campus journalists are also on the receiving end of hatred online.

“Online hate has been a daily part of the Amaranth staff because of our coverages and our stakeholders do not want the issues we cover,” said Macawili.

The same sentiment was shared by their school paper adviser Jed Asaph Cortes. “Major bashing came when the Amaranth put up a statement on Marcos' burial and when our publication posted a statement regarding Rappler and SEC issue,” said Cortes.

Biggest hurdle: media literacy

Rappler’s Community head Stacy de Jesus said that the biggest hurdle that media face is still media literacy. According to De Jesus, people don’t understand the role of the media so they don’t trust them.

“The role of the media is to speak truth to power and to write facts. We are the messengers. Hindi naman namin trabaho na mag overthrow ng government or to be their cheerleader,” added De Jesus. (Our job isn't to overthrow the government or to be their cheerleader.) 

Amid the backlash that Rappler is receiving, being tagged by pro-administration quarters as “bayaran" or a paid journalists or biased, Go said the organization does not take sides nor report to please any camp.

“We report what’s happening. We call out kung sino ang nagsisinungaling,” said Go. (We call out those who lie.)

CAMPUS JOURNALISTS. The Amaranth managing editor Hanna Joyce Macawili and adviser Jed Asaph Cortes share how their school publication was trolled online after releasing statements on the Marcos burial. Photo by John Paul Corton

Cortes, who also teaches communication courses at the VSU, said that the current curriculum now is far from perfect.

“Sometimes the students themselves do not know the role of the media. Last year, I was able to handle senior high school students. MIL [media information literacy] should be part of the curriculum. I feel like I have this responsibility to inculcate to them the role of the media because they feel like the media is antagonizing,” shared Cortes.

How do we fight disinformation?

As in reporting issues, where Rappler’s Go advised the campus journalists to “go local,” she also said countering disinformation should start at the community level.

This is because they will first establish their credibility as fact-checkers and truth-tellers in the community where people know them in a personal way. 

“Who will listen [to you]? 'Yung mga kaklase mo muna. 'Yung mga friends mo sa Facebook (Your classmates first, your friends on Facebook). When you start talking about local issues and not national issues, people will listen to you.” (READ: WATCH: 6 ways to spot a fake news article)

Go told campus journalists: “You are not just any social media users, you are campus journalists. You are in that very critical position where you are expected [as netizen] to also observe the standards of professional journalists.”

Cortes, meanwhile, advised the participants to not share anything that is not validated yet. “Look at the sources that you trust. Evaluate properly and then discuss the issues.”

For De Jesus, people should be engaged. According to her, people should ask questions when they are are not sure of something. This way, spread of wrong information will be prevented.

At least 250 campus journalists, student organization leaders, school paper advisers, and other stakeholders joined the forum which aimed to help them understand the nature of digital platforms and sparked a conversation around opportunities and threats to journalism and democracy in these trying times.

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How about you? How can you take part in preventing the spread of disinformation online? – Rappler.com

#FindingCharlie makes waves online after coral reef vandal



WHO'S CHARLIE? The #FindingCharlie hashtag made waves on social media after the name was vandalized on coral reef. Photo courtesy of Vince Tenchavez

MANILA, Philippines – Who's Charlie?

The name left a lasting impression on a piece of coral after it was vandalized using a stick or sharp object. (READ:  Why we must protect our seas)

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Vince Tenchavez, who posted photos of the vandalized coral on Facebook, stumbled upon the name during his dive at Bauan Divers Sanctuary (BDS) on September 23. It was etched on a house reef at around 40 feet. Divers who do a dive of up to 40 feet need certification or need to undergo a Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Discover Scuba experience lasting two to three hours.

Tenchavez believes that the culprit is most likely an experienced diver.

"First time divers tend to move and fin a lot when underwater because they don’t know yet how to establish or maintain their balance and buoyancy. The 'CHARLIE' and '2018' were so well written,it would have taken a bit of time writing it."

Even if it was a new diver, that person would most likely go with a divemaster. "I’m a divemaster myself, and as divemasters we never allow our students to touch anything," adds Tenchavez.

This was in an area where Tenchavez with a group of divers and BDS staff have been working hard to propagate coral life by building coral propagation units. (READ: Is coral transplantation the way to save PH corals?)

“Can't believe a scuba diver has that low of an EQ and an absence of concern for marine life to do this. We believe this was done either September 22 or 23,” said Tenchavez.

Witnesses who saw the vandalism happen also didn't escape Tenchavez’s sermon. Tenchavez remarked, “To Charlie's dive buddies who witnessed him do this but did nothing to stop him, shame on you as well. You all should know better.”

“To all my non-diver friends who can see this post, you might think this is cool or cute, but it totally isn't. Doing this stupid thing kills the coral which took decades, even hundreds of years, to grow. So please don't even think about doing this,” he warned. (READ: Every Filipino has a role: Taking care of our oceans and seas)

Netizens both divers and non-divers alike — were quick to express their anger and were intent on #FindingCharlie.

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Charlie namesakes who didn’t perpetuate the crime also denounced the behavior.

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Others suggested creating a task force to find the Charlie who ruined the corals or checking the list of people who dived during the dates when the vandalism possibly occurred.

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Corals provide food and shelter for many forms of life, and are essential to the marine ecosystem. Though they are durable, there are still factors at play that make them struggle to recover from damage. (READ: What coral reefs are telling us about climate change– Rappler.com

Superheroes: Teachers of the Alternative Learning System


DEDICATION. Consolacion Tag teaches Alternative Learning System learners of Barangay Salawag in Dasmariñas City. Photo by Anne Cortez

MANILA, Philippines – In every celebration of National Teachers' Month, we commonly see and hear tributes paid to teachers in the formal education sector. Little attention is given to the equally commendable work of teachers in informal education programs such as the Alternative Learning System (ALS).

This year, we wish to turn the spotlight on the story of ALS mobile teachers – the superheroes from the sidelines.

It was a long way to the ALS community learning center (CLC) of Barangay Salawag in Dasmariñas City. After walking past a public market and a bridge, I arrived at a building under construction. On the 3rd floor, amid the heat and noise from the welding machines, I found Ma'am Consolacion Tag teaching the basics of a job application letter. The 20 ALS learners – including a toddler being taken care of by one of the students – were paying attention. This is how a learning session in ALS looks like. (READ: All eyes on ALS, 'centerpiece' of basic ed under Duterte)

Ma'am Tag would not have been a teacher if not for ALS. Growing up in a family of modest background in Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental, she had to work at an early age to support her family. Attending school was a struggle. It was only through ALS that she was able to continue her studies years after she was married.

While juggling her time and work as a wife, a mother, and a leader of their local church's women's group, Ma'am Tag attended ALS classes and managed to pass the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test. (READ: Catching up on ALS: Challenges of a 'parallel system')

Shortly after, she enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Theology program of the Philippine Missionary Institute. Although she was already 35 years old at the time and a mother of two, she was able to complete her studies and even graduate with honors in 2009.

After passing the Licensure Examination for Teachers, she served as an elementary teacher in values education at her alma mater. Two years later, she decided to return to her roots. She started her work as an ALS mobile teacher and has been in the service for 8 years now.

Stories of struggles

Every week, Ma'am Tag travels to 3 CLCs in Dasmariñas to meet her students. Most of the learners in ALS are formal school dropouts. ALS offers them a second chance to continue their studies and earn an equivalent diploma, which can be their passport to higher education or employment.

Every day, she spends 6 to 8 hours for the regular ALS classes. After that, she stays to give tutorials to students who struggle with the lessons.

Sometimes tutorials extend to counseling sessions. Ma'am Tag shared stories of students running away from home or confessing being a victim of violence. As a teacher, she said she cannot just sit and watch. She tries to do whatever she can to help her students and make their situation better. She experienced mediating between a student and his parent to mend their relation. She also helped a student report a case of domestic violence to the barangay Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) help desk.

"Bilang ALS teacher, bahagi ako ng buhay nila. Bahagi ako ng bawat pinagdadaanan ng mga estudyante, maging mahirap man at malungkot. Hindi ko sila maaring basta lang iwan," Ma'am Tag said. (As an ALS teacher, I am part of thier lives. I am part of every student's undertaking, be it hard and sad. I cannot just leave them like that.)

Ma'am Tag also shared the difficulties faced by ALS teachers in terms of resources.

Over the years, ALS has received less than 1% of the national education budget. In 2018, the budget was even reduced by a million. Resources for the construction of learning centers and procurement of instructional materials are very limited. (READ: Are graduates of alternative high schools ready for college?)

In Dasmariñas City, not all the CLCs are as good and well-designed as the classrooms in formal schools. Most of the time, ALS teachers must find ways to have decent chairs, tables, and learning materials in CLCs. There are even cases when they spend their own money to reproduce modules, purchase paper, pen,and even food for some of their students.

Stories of success

A proud product of ALS, Ma'am Tag is an inspiration to her students.

Shirley, 23, shared how she looks up to Ma'am Tag as a role model in pursuing her dreams. Now a mother, Shirley brings her kid to the CLC just so she can attend ALS classes.

She said Ma'am Tag is very patient not only in teaching her but even in giving consideration to her situation. Whenever she misses a class due to childcare or housework, she said Ma'am Tag always helps her catch up.

Ma'am Tag's dedication as an ALS teacher is reflected in the excellent fruits of her work. Since 2011, she has produced over 200 A&E test passers and graduates. She said most of her former ALS students are now professionals working in different industries in the Philippines and abroad.

There were also ALS graduates who became ALS teachers like her. Ma'am Tag was teary-eyed when she talked about her former students who thanked her for her work in ALS.

"Masarap marinig sa kanila na naging bahagi ako para mabago ang buhay nila (I love hearing them say that I helped in changing their lives)," Ma'am Tag said. 

Ma'am Tag wrapped up the lesson for the day and reminded the class about their homework. I took the chance to ask the students about their message for Ma'am Tag for Teachers' Day.

Without hesitation, they said: "Mahal na mahal namin si Ma’am Tag. Siya ang superhero namin (We really love Ma'am Tag. She's our superhero). Rappler.com

Anne Cortez is a senior education program specialist at the Department of Education (City Schools Division of Dasmariñas). Her work includes establishing partnerships and mobilizing resources for the delivery of quality education in public schools through the Adopt-a-School Program and Brigada Eskwela.  

How bayanihan spirit lives on in Ompong-hit areas


Locals form a human chain by the Chico river to bring the relief aid to higher ground in Barangay, Lipatan, Santo Nino town in Cagayan. Photo by April Bulanadi/Oxfam

MANILA, Philippines – Two weeks after Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) hit Cagayan and other neighboring provinces, residents continue to reel from the devastation.

Typhoon Ompong hasaffected 2.9 million people according to the September 30 record of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and left P26.7 billion worth of damage to agriculture and 76,000 damaged homes in Cagayan. (READ: Agricultural damage by Typhoon Ompong highest since Yolanda)

But on the brighter side of things, it also brought out the best in Filipinos. (READ: IN PHOTOS: The wrath of Typhoon Ompong)

From the far-flung communities to the hardest hit areas, stories of “bayanihan” surfaced.

Human chain

On September 21, international development agency Oxfam, the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center and the Cagayan Valley Disaster Response Center (CVDRC), walked through muddy cornfields and rode a boat for more than two hours to distribute hygienic kits to the residents of Barangay Lipatan in Santo Niño town.

Struggling to transfer relief packs from the Chico River to the assembly area, male residents and some members of the local government formed a human chain to ease the work.

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Oxfam Media and Digital Influencing Officer April Bulanadi said it was inspiring seeing people reaching out to them when they brought relief goods to remote areas. According to Bulanadi, what transpired motivated them to work on their relief operations even better.

Bulanadi noticed that the Filipino custom “bayanihan” is a common practice in the communities. According to her, because of the muddy road, residents of Rizal helped the team in carrying water supplies for two remote communities.

“Lahat ng mga ginawa nilang pagtulong ay sarili nilang initiative kasi parang counterpart na nila siguro iyon,” added Bulanadi. (The help residents have extended were all self-initiated because they were like counterparts of the communities.)

Rhoda Avila, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Manager told Rappler the two municipalities which are geographically isolated were the least served since Ompong hit Cagayan.

“Mahirap ang sitwasyon nila. Malayo ang nilalakad pero dahil alam nating may kailangan sila, inaabot natin sila,” said Avila. (They have a difficult situation. They live in a far-flung area but because they are in need, we are reaching out them.)

Locals of Rizal town led by its officials helped in carrying water supplies for two remote communities. Photo by April Bulanadi/Oxfam

Residents initiate retrieval ops

Meanwhile, in Nueva Vizcaya, hours after Ompong hit, community officials and residents of Barangay Banao in Kayapa town worked hand-in-hand in retrieving bodies buried by a landslide.

Barangay Chairman Romeo Ligmayo told Rappler that officials and residents coordinated with each other after receiving reports that a family of 4 died and were still underneath the ground on the afternoon of September 15.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">IN PHOTOS: Retrieval operation in Banao, Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya earlier today where a family (4 persons) died in a landslide caused by the onslaught of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OmpongPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OmpongPH</a>. (Photos courtesy of Kayapa MDRRMO) <a href="https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@rapplerdotcom</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MovePH</a> <a href="https://t.co/N9ty2TnFCN">pic.twitter.com/N9ty2TnFCN</a></p>&mdash; Kurt Adrian (@KurtAdrianDP) <a href="https://twitter.com/KurtAdrianDP/status/1041330221746610176?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 16, 2018</a></blockquote>

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“Yung nakita ko noon na nagtulong-tulong lahat ay sobrang halaga kasi kailangan talaga naming magkaisa para mapadali ang trabaho lalo na kung meron pang mga buhay na pwede pang isalba,” said Ligmayo. (I’ve seen a sense of community and cooperation among everyone and it’s very important because we really need to unite in order to hasten the retrieval operations so we can also save those who are still alive.)

As the news on their situation went viral, assistance also poured in for the family and community.

“Gusto kasi namin silang tulungan pero dahil walang wala rin kami, humingi kami ng tulong at sobra kaming nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng nakapagbahagi para sa mga apektado lalo na sa pamilya,” Ligmayo shared. (We wanted to help but we are also in need that time, so we asked for assistance and we are thankful to everyone who extended help.)

Ligmayo said that other members of the family are now under the custody of their grandparents.

Students, batchmates unite for Ompong victims

In typhoon-hit Benguet province, law students of the University of Baguio took to the streets of the city to serenade passersby and ask for aid for the victims of Ompong on September 19.

Rocky Ngalob, the one who posted the photo, said students made use of that day to at least help those affected by the typhoon.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">These Law students from the University of Baguio took some rest from exams &amp; recitations to serenade passerbys in the city and to spare some money which will be sent as help for the victims of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OmpongPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OmpongPH</a> in severely-hit Benguet province.<br>Rocky Ngalob <a href="https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@rapplerdotcom</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MovePH</a> <a href="https://t.co/uW1gbSPhd1">pic.twitter.com/uW1gbSPhd1</a></p>&mdash; Kurt Adrian (@KurtAdrianDP) <a href="https://twitter.com/KurtAdrianDP/status/1042683803926355974?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 20, 2018</a></blockquote>
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“It was a celebration day for law schools so instead of doing the usual things, we decided to have the activity of raising funds for them,” said Ngalob.

The group was able to collect P8,382 which was used in buying relief and school packs, according to Ngalob.

Meanwhile, in Camp Dangwa, Benguet, batchmates of Sonny Mojica from different parts of the world was reunited in an effort to help him. Mojica lost three relatives, including his child in a landslide. His loss was the only casualty in the said area.

Susan Ellano, his batchmate said that they felt the urge to help since all of them were friends.

“'Yung tulong namin na maliit lang ay sa tingin ko naman noong napagsama ay malaking tulong at naapreciate niya, lalo na yung mga prayers,” said Ellano. (Ours is just a little help but I think it became big when everything was combined and he really appreciated it, especially the prayers.)

Progressive groups organize relief drives

Organizations like Makabayan - Cagayan Valley and Tulong Sulong Cagayan also mobilized various efforts to provide assistance in affected communities.

Romella Mia Liquigan, Gabriela’s Internal Affairs National Vice President said that the typhoon's huge damage in Cagayan and Isabela prompted them to start conducting relief efforts.

“Alam natin na gobyerno ang dapat na una sa pagpapaabot ng tulong pero dahil nakaugalian na sa panahon ng kalamidad ay automatic ag pagresponde at pagtutulungan, tayo ay nagsimula ng ganitong mga gawain,” she said. (We know that first responders should be the government, but helping others became a common practice, especially in times of calamities and that’s why we started this drive.)

The effort already reached parts of Cagayan and Isabela where various relief packs were distributed.

As aid is continuously pouring, Liquigan also asked for long-term solutions for the problems that the typhoon victims, whom most are farmers, are facing.

“Patuloy kaming nananawagan na sana ay makiisa ang lahat sa panawagan sa gobyerno na mawala ang interes sa pautang kasi diyan talaga kakapit ang ating mga magsasaka ngayon na nalugmok sila dala ng pagkasira ng kanilang mga pananim,” said Liquigan.

(We continue asking that everyone may be with us in appealing to the government to remove the inclusion of interest in loans because affected individuals, most of them farmers, will really rely on debts especially now that their crops were devastated by the typhoon.)

Ompong brings out heroes

Amidst the severe desolation, individuals in Cagayan did not turn their back to help.

Among them were Cristalina Morales and Walter Villegas, who, since the landfall of Ompong were already working with CVDRC in their response efforts.

Morales, 63, whose house was destroyed and grandchild got hurt, is helping organizations with their relief efforts.

Meanwhile, Villegas, 21, a graduate of the University of the Philippines Manila said that he could not refuse to extend help to the poor as he believes that they were the most vulnerable.

“Makikita mo kapag nakakatulong ka sa kanila na umiiyak na sila kasi sobrang walang wala sila eh and that thing raises my morale to help,” Villegas shared. (You will see someone crying when you’re extending help to them because they really have nothing and that thing raises my morale to help.)

Even if they had various ways of extending help, they continue pleading for aid with goal of helping the victims to have a new beginning filled with hope. – Rappler.com

Making their blood boil: Netizens rage over Bertiz’s period excuse


OUT FOR BLOOD. Netizens express their disapproval over ACTS-OFW Representative John Bertiz's excuse for his behavior.

MANILA, Philippines– What was ACTS-OFW Representative John Bertiz’s excuse for acting the way he did in his viral NAIA ‘shoes’ video? In a press conference Monday, Octobr 1, he likened his outburst to a woman going through her monthly menstrual period.

People on social media were quick to point out the absurdity of his excuse, with netizens calling it ‘disrespectful’ to women. Even lawmakers said it was a “grossly inappropriate and inexcusable behavior”.

Bertiz has been under fire after a video of him confronting a security checker at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) went viral online over the weekend.

He already apologized for the incident but he drew flak when he compared his behavior to a woman's PMS (premenstrual syndrome). 

"For the past 3 years that I've been a member of Congress, once a year na medyo nadadapuan po tayo ng monthly period…. 'Di ko na rin po maiaalis na tao lang po, na marupok at umiinit ang ulo. Naii-stress din sa trabaho," said Bertiz.

(For the past 3 years that I've been a member of Congress, once a year I get something like a monthly period…. I'm only human, someone who's weak and sometimes gets hotheaded. I also get stressed because of work.)

Some Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) refused to be represented by Bertiz and called for his resignation. Despite being an ACTS-OFW Representative, netizens pointed out this does not exempt him from standard protocol in airports.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bertiz, it is the normal protocol to remove your shoes. You are not supposed to confiscate the identification card of the officer. You degraded his integrity and his position.<br><br>Idc if you&#39;re the representative of ACTS OFW, so what? Does it exempt you from any liability?<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bertiz?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bertiz</a></p>&mdash; Marq D.G. (@marqdegzmn) <a href="https://twitter.com/marqdegzmn/status/1046635754758135809?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 1, 2018</a></blockquote>

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{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ofw ako,but he doesn’t represent me but i know some ofw having the same line of thinking <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/privileged?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#privileged</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/entitled?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#entitled</a></p>&mdash; eva (@manix25) <a href="https://twitter.com/manix25/status/1046633463896571904?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 1, 2018</a></blockquote>

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{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="tl" dir="ltr">Sa mga OFW, huwag nyo na iboboto yung party ni Bertiz ah. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BertizResign?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BertizResign</a></p>&mdash; blah blah blah ginger (@danesjr1981) <a href="https://twitter.com/danesjr1981/status/1046630481435885568?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 1, 2018</a></blockquote>

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{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="tl" dir="ltr">I doubt if xOFW ka nga, try mo gawin yan sa airport ng ibang bansa may kalalagyan ka! U should resign &amp; stop representing OFW dahil hindi namin ugali ang ganyang pinakita mo sa HK at sa NAIA! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/notopartylist?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#notopartylist</a></p>&mdash; Ed Monton (@cocheeweh) <a href="https://twitter.com/cocheeweh/status/1046635227114872832?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 1, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Hong Kong migrants stood out among those who disowned the OFW lawmaker. Dolores Balladeres-Pelaez, chairperson of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK), described Bertiz as “arrogant and disrespectful even to the people he claims to represent.”

Men and women alike defended that having a monthly period is not a valid reason for offensive behavior, especially imaginary ones at that. Many called on Bertiz to take responsibility for his actions and issue a genuine apology.

Here’s what some had to say about Bertiz:

{source}<a class="twitter-timeline" data-partner="tweetdeck" href="https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom/timelines/1046690468917010432?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">Bertiz - Curated tweets by rapplerdotcom</a> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

How about you? What are your thoughts on his behavior? – Rappler.com