Philippine Navy Acquires Third Hamilton-Class Cutter to Patrol West Philippine Sea

USCG's Boutwell was turned over to the Philippine Navy (Source: USCG)

USCG's Boutwell was turned over to the Philippine Navy (Source: USCG)

At a formal turnover ceremony at the Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California in the morning of July 21, 2016, the US Coast Guard's 48-year old Boutwell high-endurance cutter officially became the BRP Andres Bonifacio. Rear Admiral Joseph M. Vojvodich of the US Coast Guard signed the transfer document to Rear Admiral Bayani R. Gaerlan, commander of the Philippine Fleet. Forty Philippine Navy officials and personnel arrived a few days earlier to take over the vessel and be trained by the USCG. The BRP Andres Bonifacio will start its journey to the Philippines in October, to join its sister ships, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz, in guarding Philippine waters. 

The Philippine flag now flies at the stern of BRP Andres Bonifacio in Alameda, California (Photo by Gemma Nemenzo)

The Philippine flag now flies at the stern of BRP Andres Bonifacio in Alameda, California (Photo by Gemma Nemenzo)

Filipina Badminton Player Now on US Olympic Team

Paula Lynn Obanana

Paula Lynn Obanana

Included in the 2016 US Olympic Team's roster of world-class athletes is Paula Lynn Obanana, 31, from Dumaguete. Obanana, who started playing badminton at the age of 10, was once a member of the Philippine national team. She competed in various competitions including the Southeast Asian Games, reports ABS-CBN News.

California OKs Textbook Changes to Include Filipinos' Role in WWII

California’s board of education approved the inclusion of Filipinos’ role in World War II in the Philippines in the revised history curriculum framework for the state’s schools.  The green light from the State Board of Education (SBE) came two months after the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) unanimously approved the recommendations of the Bataan Legacy Historical Society (BLHS), reports Inquirer.net.

Pacquiao Attended Only 1 Day of Congress Session '15 to '16

Senator Manny Pacquiao (Source: Telegraph UK)

Senator Manny Pacquiao (Source: Telegraph UK)

He’s not only a champion in the boxing ring, but neophyte Sen. Manny Pacquiao also tops Congress absentees, having attended only one day during the third session of the 16th Congress from July 27, 2015 to June 6, 2016. Pacquiao was “present” for only one of the 23 roll calls conducted. He gave an excuse letter for only five absences, reports Inquirer.net.

Int'l Jurists Urge Duterte to Probe 'Unlawful Killings'

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) urged President Rodrigo Duterte to investigate and counter the "recent wave of unlawful killings" in the country. Citing local reports, the ICJ said 136 suspected criminals have been killed between June 30 – the day Duterte was inaugurated – and July 11, while 84 people were killed during police operations, "many in an allegedly unlawful manner," reports Rappler.

PH Team Wins 2 Gold Medals in Math Olympiad

After three decades of effort and collaboration, a Philippine team finally garnered not just one, but two, elusive gold medals at the 57th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) held in Hong Kong from July 6 to 16, competing with over 600 contestants from 111 countries, reports Inquirer.net.

Documentary Filmmaker Diaz to Be Honored By Peers

Ramona Diaz (Source: cinediaz.com/Photo by Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Ramona Diaz (Source: cinediaz.com/Photo by Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Docs In Progress is honoring award-winning documentary filmmaker Ramona Diaz with the Documentary Inspiration Award, according to the group’s Eventgrid.com announcement. Diaz made Don't Stop Believin: Every Man's Journey, The Learning, and Imelda.  She has also been executive producer of several films by emerging documentary filmmakers, including Don't Give Up Tomorrow and Notown. Her upcoming film is Motherland, which goes into the heart of the planet's “busiest maternity hospital.”

Philippines Wins Case vs. China

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Tuesday, July 12, said an arbitral tribunal has ruled in favor of the Philippines in its historic case against China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The PCA said the tribunal "concluded that, as between the Philippines and China, there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources, in excess of the rights provided for by the Convention, within the sea areas falling within the '9-dash line.'"

The tribunal said that "all of the high-tide features in the Spratly Islands (including, for example, Itu Aba, Thitu, West York Island, Spratly Island, North-East Cay, South-West Cay) are legally "rocks" that do not generate an exclusive economic zone or continental shelf."

In a statement, Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr said the Philippines "welcomes" the award from The Hague. For the full text, please visit Rappler.com.