After nearly 2 decades… John Melo is back with Christmas ditty





If you’re a radio buff, you must have heard the song “Malapit Na Ang Pasko” as it has become one of the Christmas songs played on the radio, AM or FM band, this holiday season.
And guess who sang and recorded the song? John Melo!
John Melo who?
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, it means you were either out of the country in the late 80s, or you weren’t born yet.
But, John Melo is one of those who made waves in the late 80s and in 1992 his name nearly became synonymous to OPM with the tune “Ikaw Pala ang Minamahal” that gave him an Awit award for Best New Male Performance.
Showbiz was not his priority, he recalled at a brief meeting last week. He said, at the time when his contemporaries were really passionate and motivated to make a name in the music industry, like Ariel Rivera and Chad Borja, he was focused on finishing dentistry (which he did). Eventually, he would migrate first to Canada and then the United States with his young family. (He is married to a dentist, Precilyn Silvestre, and they had one child then. Now, they have three children, two are teenaged and one is just eight.)
Showbiz folk in the Philippines believe that once you’ve stepped into the entertainment door, you could step out but your heart remains inside. And that exactly what happened to John. While engaged in another profession (real estate and dental management), his mind intermittently has more info been snowed under, as the saying goes, with thoughts of doing something showbizzy.
After nearly 2 decades… John Melo is back with Christmas ditty
'90s OPM artist John Melo
His friends egged him continually and even suggested he met with songwriter and fellow émigré Jimmy Borja (which he did) to ask him to write a Christmas tune for him.
The result is “Malapit Na Ang Pasko” and he uploaded it onto his Facebook page after recording it last year in San Francisco. To date, it has over three million views, and his friends in the US have tagged him as the OFW Prince of Christmas Song.
Motivated by the response of fellow Filipinos overseas to his Christmas ditty, he decided to fly back to Manila and promote it in the Philippines. Thus far, he has been elated that there are still people in the industry that remembers me.
Long-time fan magazine writer now radio commentator Christy Fermin interviewed John in her program on TV5 radio. He also made a guest appearance in Wowowin with host Willy Revillame.
“Alay ko talaga ang kantang ito sa mga gaya kong OFWs. Alam ko ang pinagdadaanan ng mga kababayan natin at dinanas ko na rin yan,” John said.
His 1992 album Hanap-Hanap Kita from where the hit single “Ikaw Pala ang Minamahal” was taken, was certified Gold. Vehnee Saturno wrote the tune for Ivory Records.

In1994, John also recorded another album, Magtiwala Ka with the carrier single “Basta’t Mahal Kita” that Saturno also penned.
While the number of views of John’s Christmas song continues to grow, comparisons with “Sana Ngayong Pasko” by Ariel Rivera and “Pasko na Sinta ko” by Gary V are becoming inevitable. But, for John Melo, his only dream now is to be on the same tracks as Jose Mari Chan who is known to many Filipinos as the “Father of Christmas,” thanks to his Christmas ditty that has become Philippines’ national Christmas anthem.

Duterte Drug War 2019

Cebu City—President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued a stern warning Sunday that he will make the remaining years of his presidency the “most dangerous years” for people who are into drugs.
READ: Duterte goes all out for war on drugs
Duterte noted during a sortie of the ruling party’s senatorial candidates here that illegal drugs have created social dysfunction that directly affects Filipino families.
“Consider my last three years as the most dangerous years for people who are into drugs either pusher, trafficker, or drug lord… I will make it very dangerous for you to live,” Duterte told the crowd that attended the PDP-Laban rally at the Plaza Independencia.
He said he had warned the drug syndicates at the start of this term after the 2016 presidential elections that he would go after them.
He described a person addicted to drugs as having a “monkey riding on his back” that keeps scratching and biting and makes him commit other crimes just to sustain his addiction.
The President warned of the impact that drugs would have on a family.
READ: Drug war success validated—Palace
“The money intended for the family [would be used for drugs]. Like rice, no more [food] would reach the table. Children could no longer go to school because the tuition and other stuff are gone,” he said in Bisaya. “The family becomes dysfunctional.”
Duterte reiterated his earlier warning that the ill-effects of drugs on the human brain would make a person commit crimes such as rape. He deplored incidents when drug addicts raped even a toddler.
He warned those who are not yet into drugs to refrain from doing so because this would make their lives miserable.
“Those who have not started yet, please don’t… Those who have started already, if you can stop it, please stop it, just bear the hardships in the rehabilitation center,” Duterte said.
He also warned the so-called narco-generals against “committing treason” against their fellowmen.
The President mentioned Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot, a retired one-star police general, who was one of the five alleged narco-generals he named at the beginning of his term in 2016.
In a speech during the distribution of conditional cash transfer benefits at the Cebu Trade University before the evening rally at Plaza Independencia, he also warned residents of Talisay that he intended to wipe out illegal drugs in that city.
Meanwhile, residents of Davao Oriental coastal town of Caraga fished out 39 bricks of cocaine worth P215 million Sunday, prompting the Police Regional Office-11 to ask the Coast Guard to scour the province’s coast.
Residents of Purok Talisay in Barangay Santiago found the cocaine bricks, in four bundles, at around 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
At past 11 a.m. Monday, three more bricks were fished out in the same area where the cocaine bundles were found, police said.
PDEA-Region 11 Director Antonio Rivera said the bricks were confirmed to be cocaine after laboratory tests. Each brick, he said, contained a kilo of cocaine.
Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales, Police Regional Office-11 director, said he has already requested the Coast Guard to scour the area as there may be more cocaine bricks that are still floating in the Pacific coast.
In a press conference Monday, the Davao City Police Office and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency presented the recovered bricks of cocaine bricks brought from the area by village councilor Emeliano Bantayan of Barangay Santiago.
Bantayan was escorted by the local police and the Army’s 701st Infantry Brigade.
Morales said the bricks of cocaine were similar to the 34 bricks found floating off the waters of Surigao del Sur based on the packaging.
“These are subject of our investigation. We have to determine the source and origin,” Morales said.
Rivera, however, said the bricks found in Caraga appeared here to be new, while the ones found in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat provinces two weeks ago already have moss on the boxes.
Rivera said he cannot discount the possibility that the bricks were intentionally dumped.
“We have asked the residents to be wary of their area and to immediately report to the police if they see suspicious items,” Rivera said.
Morales said that based on the list obtained by PRO-11, at least 20 domestic and foreign vessels passed through the waters of Davao Oriental seas since Feb. 14.
Morales said residents should immediately report any discovery of illegal drugs or face legal consequences.
Morales said the cocaine bricks could have originated from Mexico and Columbia.
The first batch of bricks of cocaine was fished out from the waters off Vinzons town in Camarines Norte province earlier this month.
The package was brought to the Camarines Norte Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for examination and authorities found out that it contained cocaine weighing 1,026.19 grams worth P5.4 million.
READ: Drug war wins nod of most Filipinos
READ: US backs Rody’s ‘harsher’ drug war

Duterte Drug War 2019

Cebu City—President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued a stern warning Sunday that he will make the remaining years of his presidency the “most dangerous years” for people who are into drugs.
READ: Duterte goes all out for war on drugs
Duterte noted during a sortie of the ruling party’s senatorial candidates here that illegal drugs have created social dysfunction that directly affects Filipino families.
“Consider my last three years as the most dangerous years for people who are into drugs either pusher, trafficker, or drug lord… I will make it very dangerous for you to live,” Duterte told the crowd that attended the PDP-Laban rally at the Plaza Independencia.
He said he had warned the drug syndicates at the start of this term after the 2016 presidential elections that he would go after them.
He described a person addicted to drugs as having a “monkey riding on his back” that keeps scratching and biting and makes him commit other crimes just to sustain his addiction.
The President warned of the impact that drugs would have on a family.
READ: Drug war success validated—Palace
“The money intended for the family [would be used for drugs]. Like rice, no more [food] would reach the table. Children could no longer go to school because the tuition and other stuff are gone,” he said in Bisaya. “The family becomes dysfunctional.”
Duterte reiterated his earlier warning that the ill-effects of drugs on the human brain would make a person commit crimes such as rape. He deplored incidents when drug addicts raped even a toddler.
He warned those who are not yet into drugs to refrain from doing so because this would make their lives miserable.
“Those who have not started yet, please don’t… Those who have started already, if you can stop it, please stop it, just bear the hardships in the rehabilitation center,” Duterte said.
He also warned the so-called narco-generals against “committing treason” against their fellowmen.
The President mentioned Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot, a retired one-star police general, who was one of the five alleged narco-generals he named at the beginning of his term in 2016.
In a speech during the distribution of conditional cash transfer benefits at the Cebu Trade University before the evening rally at Plaza Independencia, he also warned residents of Talisay that he intended to wipe out drug war illegal drugs in that city.
Meanwhile, residents of Davao Oriental coastal town of Caraga fished out 39 bricks of cocaine worth P215 million Sunday, prompting the Police Regional Office-11 to ask the Coast Guard to scour the province’s coast.
Residents of Purok Talisay in Barangay Santiago found the cocaine bricks, in four bundles, at around 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
At past 11 a.m. Monday, three more bricks were fished out in the same area where the cocaine bundles were found, police said.
PDEA-Region 11 Director Antonio Rivera said the bricks were confirmed to be cocaine after laboratory tests. Each brick, he said, contained a kilo of cocaine.
Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales, Police Regional Office-11 director, said he has already requested the Coast Guard to scour the area as there may be more cocaine bricks that are still floating in the Pacific coast.
In a press conference Monday, the Davao City Police Office and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency presented the recovered bricks of cocaine bricks brought from the area by village councilor Emeliano Bantayan of Barangay Santiago.
Bantayan was escorted by the local police and the Army’s 701st Infantry Brigade.
Morales said the bricks of cocaine were similar to the 34 bricks found floating off the waters of Surigao del Sur based on the packaging.
“These are subject of our investigation. We have to determine the source and origin,” Morales said.
Rivera, however, said the bricks found in Caraga appeared to be new, while the ones found in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat provinces two weeks ago already have moss on the boxes.
Rivera said he cannot discount the possibility that the bricks were intentionally dumped.
“We have asked the residents to be wary of their area and to immediately report to the police if they see suspicious items,” Rivera said.
Morales said that based on the list obtained by PRO-11, at least 20 domestic and foreign vessels passed through the waters of Davao Oriental seas since Feb. 14.
Morales said residents should immediately report any discovery of illegal drugs or face legal consequences.
Morales said the cocaine bricks could have originated from Mexico and Columbia.
The first batch of bricks of cocaine was fished out from the waters off Vinzons town in Camarines Norte province earlier this month.
The package was brought to the Camarines Norte Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for examination and authorities found out that it contained cocaine weighing 1,026.19 grams worth P5.4 million.
READ: Drug war wins nod of most Filipinos
READ: US backs Rody’s ‘harsher’ drug war

Duterte Drug War 2019

Cebu City—President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued a stern warning Sunday that he will make the remaining years of his presidency the “most dangerous years” for people who are into drugs.
READ: Duterte goes all out for war on drugs
Duterte noted during a sortie of the ruling party’s senatorial candidates here that illegal drugs have created social dysfunction that directly affects Filipino families.
“Consider my last three years as the most dangerous years for people who are into drugs either pusher, trafficker, or drug lord… I will make it very dangerous for you to live,” Duterte told the crowd that attended the PDP-Laban rally at the Plaza Independencia.
He said he had warned the drug syndicates at the start of this term after the 2016 presidential elections that he would go after them.
He described a person addicted to drugs as having a “monkey riding on his back” that keeps scratching and biting and makes him commit other crimes just to sustain his addiction.
The President warned of the impact that drugs would have on a family.
READ: Drug war success validated—Palace
“The money intended for the family [would be used for drugs]. Like rice, no more [food] would reach the table. Children could no longer go to school because the tuition and other stuff are gone,” he said in Bisaya. “The family becomes dysfunctional.”
Duterte reiterated his earlier warning that the ill-effects of drugs on the human brain would make a person commit crimes such as rape. He deplored incidents when drug addicts raped even a toddler.
He warned those who are not yet into drugs to refrain from doing so because this would make their lives miserable.
“Those who have not started yet, please don’t… Those who have started already, if you can stop it, please stop it, just bear the hardships in the rehabilitation center,” Duterte said.
He also warned the so-called narco-generals against “committing treason” against their fellowmen.
The President mentioned Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot, a retired one-star police general, who was one of the five alleged narco-generals he named at the beginning of his term in 2016.
In a speech during the distribution of conditional cash transfer benefits at the Cebu Trade University before the evening rally at Plaza Independencia, he also warned residents of Talisay that he intended to wipe out illegal drugs in that city.
Meanwhile, residents of Davao Oriental coastal town of Caraga fished out 39 bricks of cocaine worth P215 million Sunday, prompting the Police Regional Office-11 to ask the Coast Guard to scour the province’s coast.
Residents of Purok Talisay in Barangay Santiago found the cocaine bricks, in four bundles, at around 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
At past 11 a.m. Monday, three more bricks were fished out in the same area where the cocaine bundles were found, police said.
PDEA-Region 11 Director Antonio Rivera said the bricks were confirmed to be cocaine after laboratory tests. Each brick, he said, contained a kilo of cocaine.
Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales, Police Regional Office-11 director, said he has already requested the Coast Guard to scour the area as there may be more cocaine bricks that are still floating in the Pacific coast.
In a press conference Monday, the Davao City Police Office and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency presented the recovered bricks of cocaine bricks brought from the area by village councilor Emeliano Bantayan of Barangay Santiago.
Bantayan was escorted by the local police and the Army’s 701st Infantry Brigade.
Morales said the bricks of cocaine were similar to the 34 bricks found floating off the waters of Surigao del Sur based on the packaging.
“These are subject of our investigation. We have to determine the source and origin,” Morales said.
Rivera, however, said the bricks found in Caraga appeared to be new, while the ones found in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat provinces two weeks ago already more info have moss on the boxes.
Rivera said he cannot discount the possibility that the bricks were intentionally dumped.
“We have asked the residents to be wary of their area and to immediately report to the police if they see suspicious items,” Rivera said.
Morales said that based on the list obtained by PRO-11, at least 20 domestic and foreign vessels passed through the waters of Davao Oriental seas since Feb. 14.
Morales said residents should immediately report any discovery of illegal drugs or face legal consequences.
Morales said the cocaine bricks could have originated from Mexico and Columbia.
The first batch of bricks of cocaine was fished out from the waters off Vinzons town in Camarines Norte province earlier this month.
The package was brought to the Camarines Norte Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for examination and authorities found out that it contained cocaine weighing 1,026.19 grams worth P5.4 million.
READ: Drug war wins nod of most Filipinos
READ: US backs Rody’s ‘harsher’ drug war

Palace, Congress team up for BOLPalace, Congress team up for BOLPalace, Congress team up for BOLPalace, Congress team up for BOLPalace, Congress team up for BOLCongress in the Philippines - House of Representatives

Malacañang and Congress have asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the petition assailing the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
In a 118-page comment, the Palace and both Houses of Congress, through the Office of the Solicitor general, asked the high court to dump the petition filed in October by the Sulu provincial government seeking to strike down the BOL or Republic Act 11054 and to stop its implementation.
Solicitor General Jose Calida said the BOL does not violate section 18, Article X of the 1987 Constitution, which authorized only one Organic Act to establish the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
He rejected the argument of the petitioner that the law should have had the approval of Sulu and the other provinces under the ARMM through majority voting as separate units, saying this was not required by the Constitution.
“The [separate] voting requirement provided in Section 18, Article X of the 1987 Constitution applies only to the creation of an autonomous region, not to the amendment of the law, nor to the expansion of its territorial jurisdiction,” Calida says in his comment.
He says the law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in July last year, which created a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, was not exactly a creation of a new autonomous region as described in the Constitution, but rather an amendment of the organic act and an expansion of the territorial jurisdiction of the ARMM.
“When Congress decides to expand the territory of the autonomous region, the requirement does not apply to the subsisting provinces, cities of geographical areas of the autonomous region, but only to those provinces, cities or geographical areas proposed by Congress to be added therein,” the Executive and Legislative department said more info in their comment.
“A majority of the votes in all constituent units put together is sufficient for those provinces, cities or geographical areas already part of the autonomous region.”
Calida says the expansion of the ARMM does not require an amendment of the Constitution since Congress only needs to amend or repeal the Organic Act on ARMM.
“Congress retains the plenary power to amend and repeal the Organic Act that created the ARMM. The power to amend and repeal laws is included in the general and express grant of legislative power under Section 1, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution,” Calida said.
“The creation of an autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao is through an organic law, categorized as a statute passed by Congress. As a statute, the organic law may be amended or repealed by Congress pursuant to its general legislative power.”
Calida, in invoking the powers of Congress to amend and repeal statutes, says the high court has no power to review the BOL because the issues raised by the petitioner involves political questions.
“The issues raised in the present petition are purely political questions that this Honorable Court is not permitted by the 1987 Constitution to examine,” Calida said.
He said the BOL complied with the requirement for the governmental setup for an autonomous region under the constitutional provision.
Calida also rejected the petitioner’s assertion that the law erased the identity of the indigenous cultural minorities in Sulu by automatically including it in the BAR without their knowledge and consent and also against their will and in violation of their rights.

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