Here are the top stories of The Manila Times on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
THE United States government said it will renew its "special partnership" with the Philippines and work with the next administration on human rights and regional priorities once a new president has been proclaimed. US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Wednesday said the US looks forward to working with the new leader to strengthen the alliance between the two nations. Price expects that Manila and Washington D.C. will continue to collaborate closely "to advance a free and open, connected, prosperous, secure and resilient Indo-Pacific region." The United States Embassy in Manila on Wednesday said it looks forward to working with the new administration in achieving the "shared priorities" of the American and Filipino people. US Embassy in Manila Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Heather Variava said on Twitter that she was "pleased to participate as an observer" in the May 9 national elections along with some embassy staff "to witness the Philippines' vibrant democracy in action."
THE camp of presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Wednesday claimed victory in the 2022 presidential race, declaring that the Filipino people "have spoken decisively" in the May 9 elections. Marcos is leading by 16 million votes over his closest rival, Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo, based on partial and unofficial election results. Victor Rodriguez, spokesman for Marcos told those who voted for Marcos, and for those who did not, "it is his promise to be a president for all Filipinos." The presumptive president has also asked the world to judge him by his actions and not by his family's past, according to Rodriguez.
TEAM Philippines claimed its first gold medal on Wednesday, one day before the 2022 Southeast Asian Games formally opens in Hanoi, Vietnam. Mary Francine Padios delivered the first mint for the Philippines after topping the women's seni (artistic or form) tunggal single event in pencak silat at the Bac Tu Lien Gymnasium. Padios, a silver medal winner in the 2019 SEA Games, scored 9.960 points to beat favorite Arum Sari of Indonesia, who placed second with 9.945 points. The 18-year-old Padios said she dedicated her win to her father who figured in a car accident before Christmas Day that left him in a coma. Malacañang hailed Padios' victory. Pencak silat is a martial art characterized by dance-like movements endemic in Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia, Malaysia and southern Philippines.
Ateneo bounced back from a Game One overtime loss to the University of the Philippines (UP) with a 69-66 win in Game Two of the best-of-three finals of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 84 men's basketball tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday night. Most Valuable Player (MVP) Ange Kouame shone for Ateneo by finishing with a near triple-double performance of 14 points, 14 rebounds, and eight blocks. Dave Ildefonso notched 10 markers, eight boards and four assists while Tyler Tio added 14 points. Mamuyac contributed seven points, two rebounds and two steals for Ateneo. Tamayo led UP with 18 points, 12 rebounds and two steals while Ricci Rivero added 16 points, four rebounds and four steals. The winner-take-all Game Three will be on Friday at 6 p.m. also at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
PRESUMPTIVE president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is expected to continue implementing the policies initiated by the current administration but market sentiment remains cautious as investors await details on his economic plans, Fitch Solutions and an economist said. In a report released on Wednesday, financial services firm Fitch Solutions said it expects a "smooth transition to the Marcos administration from the outgoing Duterte administration, with little changes in policy direction." According to Fitch Solutions, the country's short-term political risk index (STPRI) score was revised upward to 66.5 out of 100 from the earlier 64 after unofficial results showed that Marcos won the May 9 presidential election with a landslide victory.
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Top seeds Miami and Phoenix moved to within one win of the NBA conference finals on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) after scoring blowout victories against Philadelphia and Dallas. In Miami, Jimmy Butler scored 23 points in a balanced offensive effort as the Heat thrashed the Philadelphia 76ers 120-85 to seize control of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference playoff series. It was a similar story in Phoenix, where the Suns overwhelmed the Mavericks to score a 110-80 win in the Western Conference playoffs. Both Miami and Phoenix now lead their respective series 3-2, needing just one win from their final two games to advance to the conference finals.
Host Vietnam formally received the Philippine delegation during the welcome ceremony on Wednesday along with 10 other nations set to compete in the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games here. Commissioner Ramon Fernandez of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) led Team Philippines during the warm reception by the host country signaling that all 11 National Olympic Committees have already settled for the Games in the Vietnamese capital. The Philippine flag was raised during the ceremony at the My Dinh Stadium, fluttering proudly alongside the flags of the other participating countries. Over 8,000 athletes, coaches and officials will actively join the ongoing Games until the closing ceremonies on May 23. The parade of nations and opening rites are scheduled on Thursday, formally kicking off the Vietnam version of the biennial sports fest last hosted and won by the Philippines in 2019.
LOS ANGELES: The PGA Tour has refused to grant releases for players seeking to take part in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series opener in England next month, multiple US media reports said on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila). In a decision that puts the PGA Tour on a collision course with its players eager to play in the lucrative new series, the tour reportedly said in a memo distributed to members that no releases would be granted. Any player who goes ahead and plays in the June 9 to 11 event at Centurion Golf Club outside London will be deemed to be in violation of tour regulations, opening the door to a possible suspension or exclusion. Former world number one and reigning PGA Championship champion Phil Mickelson is among the players who had requested a release to play in the tournament, along with England's Lee Westwood.
The Times Editorial calls on the incoming administration to present a clear economic roadmap now. Read the full version in the Opinion Section on print and its Digital edition or listen to the Voice Of The Times. Antonio Contreras and Yen Makabenta are the featured columnists on Page 1. Contreras talks about the 'truth' on the alleged cheating in the 2016 vice presidential election; Makabenta on the partial, unofficial nonsense, which he calls a persnickety route to election victory.
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This is Christian Crow Maghanoy reporting.