The ANC Brief: End of a nightmare


Posted at Dec 19 2019 04:00 AM

The verdict in the Maguindanao massacre is set to be released today, Thursday. Here are the big stories making the headlines on ANC today:

A 10-year nightmare will come to an end today. It could end with justice for relatives of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre, or absolution for the accused, some of whom are members of the Ampatuan family. Carlos Conde of Human Rights Watch said a “not guilty” verdict would be “catastrophic” for human rights and justice. He said it would send a message to political warlords that violence, intimidation and corruption is fine. 

Shares of Manila Water bounced back in the stock market on Wednesday after days of plummeting to lowest levels in a long time. This after Justice Sec. Menardo Guevarra said the government was “not thinking about” replacing the two water concessionaires of Metro Manila. But is this just a technical bounce on the way to lower lows? Or is it a true reversal of the company’s share prices, or in a bigger sense, the company’s fortunes?

Dirty money
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is reviewing transactions of 10 banks for money that might have flowed in from Westpac, one of Australia’s biggest banks that is accused of money laundering. One of those banks is Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) controlled by the Ayalas, which also own Manila Water.

Big pharma
Pharmaceutical companies are offering to lower prices of medicines by 75%. These medicines are for major medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, asthma, HIV, neurological diseases and many more. A few days ago, it was reported that big pharma warned that government’s move to cap prices of medicines would do more harm than good. This was ignored by the Department of Health (DOH). Health Sec. Francisco Duque said government was determined to bring the prices of medicines down. All in all, the bottom lines of pharma companies are sure to take a hit. Worse, these companies might pull out vital medicines from the market.

A fighting chance
A small physique and modest background didn’t stop Kyokushin Karate-do Philippines country director Artemio Mancol from reaching his potential. Now, he tells ANCX, he wants to give this “gift” to Pinoy children everywhere.