Trump calls pending inquiry ‘worst witch hunt in political history’

Robie de Guzman   •   September 25, 2019   •   414

U.S. President Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday (September 24) condemned reports that the Democratic-led House of Representatives will launch a formal impeachment inquiry into him after he sought foreign help to smear a political rival, setting up a dramatic clash between Congress and the White House that could spill into the 2020 presidential campaign.

At a bilateral meeting with Iraq President Barham Salihs on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Trump was asked about the news of the inquiry, which at the time had yet to be announced.

“Look, it’s just a continuation of the witch hunt. It’s the worst witch hunt in political history,” Trump said, adding that the Democrats were launching the inquiry because they will lose the election next year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the inquiry on Tuesday after a closed-door meeting with Democratic lawmakers, saying Trump’s actions appeared to have undermined national security and violated the U.S. Constitution.

“The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law,” said Pelosi, who had for months been reluctant to embrace an impeachment effort.

After Pelosi made the announcement, Trump fired back quickly on Twitter, calling the inquiry “Witch Hunt garbage.”

Pelosi’s change of heart followed reports that Trump had pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a July 25 phone call to investigate Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden and his son.

Trump promised on Tuesday to release a transcript of his phone call. He also confirmed he had withheld nearly $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine but denied he did so as leverage to get Zelenskiy to initiate an investigation that would damage Biden.

Trump, who has withstood repeated scandals since taking office in January 2017, said a “complete, fully declassified and unredacted,” transcript of the July 25 call would be released on Wednesday.

The controversy came to light after a whistleblower from within the U.S. intelligence community lodged a complaint with an internal watchdog about Trump’s conversation with Zelenskiy. (Reuters)

(Production: Nathan Frandino)

6th Wish Music Awards pioneers a groundbreaking new normal for PH music industry

Marje Pelayo   •   January 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s top FM station Wish 107.5 staged another milestone in the Philippine music industry with a concert inside not just any venue but at the Big Dome on Sunday (January 17).

The radio station of the famed Wish Bus, once again proved that it is truly “breaking boundaries”, that despite the pandemic it was able to pull off a grand concert for a cause and gathered some of the top Filipino artists at the 6th Wish Music Awards hosted by celebrity-athlete Gretchen Ho and “Asia’s Romantic Balladeer,” Christian Bautista. 

“It’s so nice to see people get a chance again to perform for their fans live, to just have a feel of the stage again,” said Ho.

Attendees underwent swab testing, while health protocols and proper sanitation procedures were strictly observed.

Each of the hosts and performing artists was given a microphone for their exclusive use throughout the event.

For the RT-PCR and antigen tests, Wish 107.5 partnered with Maxicare Health Corporation.

Only attendees with negative results were allowed to enter the venue.

The entire Big Dome also underwent massive disinfection for the safety of the attendees.

All productions and technical crew were required to use face masks and face shield throughout the event and floor markings were placed to guide them of the proper social distance.

The event at the Big Dome was not opened to the public, but fans and supporters were still able to enjoy the show as it was streamed live through Wish 107.5’s official YouTube channel.

Viewers on Sunday night reached to over 40,000 and the event hashtag #WishMusicAwards trended on Twitter with almost 200,000 tweets.

This year, the station gave two prestigious awards to individuals who made major contributions to the Philippine music industry, starting off with OPM legend and renowned lyricist, Rey Valera and Journey frontman and singer-philanthropist, Arnel Pineda.

“It is an honor to be bestowed this prestigious award; the prize money you’re going to give to us will definitely make a difference to the lives of our beneficiaries,” Pineda said, receiving the KDR Icon of Music and Philanthropy award.

“Salamat sa Kuya Daniel. Natutuwa ako puro kabataan ang nakikita ko. Nakikita ko ang kinabukasan ng OPM. Napakinggan ko ang mga lyrics nila. Importante sa akin iyon. Gusto kong mangyari kung ano ang mangyayari bukas,” Valera said receiving the KDR Icon of Musical Excellence award.

Winners in this year’s Wish Music Awards received P25,000 each while their chosen charities received P100, 000 each.

Among the highlights at Sunday’s event was the debut performance at the Wish Awards of OPM royalty, ‘Parokya ni Edgar’ and the award-winning Australian singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian.

Wish 107.5’s creator and innovator Kuya Daniel Razon, who on Sunday graced the event inside the Wish Bus, expressed his gratitude to all OPM artists for keeping their music alive to heal, to inspire and to give hope in the face of a pandemic. 

“I wish to tell all of you, that your endeavors are very much appreciated,” noted Kuya Daniel, President and CEO of BMPI-UNTV which manages Wish 107.5.

“Ang inyong mga awitin at musika ay nanatili para patuloy na umaliw, patuloy na dumamay, sa bawat lumbay, sa bawat pangamba at sa bawat takot. Mayroon pong mga titik, mayroong tinig at tunog na palaging nagbibigay buhay at kahulugan sa mga damdaming ito. I would like to thank you all for being our hidden heroes during this difficult time,” he added.

Kuya Daniel vows to continue helping more Filipino artists by providing an avenue for the promotion of their music and an opportunity to spread goodwill through Wish 107.5. MNP (with reports from Mirasol Abogadil)

READ: 6th Wish 107.5 Music Awards: Complete List of Winners

Suspects in Dacera rape-slay send ‘surrender feeler’; PNP insists victim was raped

Marje Pelayo   •   January 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) stands by the rape-slay angle in the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera on January 1 inside a hotel room in Makati City.

This is despite claims from suspects that they have no interest in women as they are members of the LGBT community.

On Wednesday (January 6), PNP Chief PGen. Debold Sinas, National Capital Region Police Office Director PBGen. Vicente Danao Jr, and some members of the PNP Command Group met with Dacera’s family.

Sinas updated Dacera’s mother on the ongoing police investigation wherein some of the suspects have sent surrender feelers to the PNP following his 72-hour ultimatum for them to surrender.

Sinas maintained that Dacera was raped based on the bruises and contusions found in different parts of the victim’s body.

“We have evidence but we do not reveal it now kasi ongoing pa ang investigation at na-file na ang initial case sa court,” the PNP Chief said. 

But based on the autopsy report acquired by UNTV, there was no mention of male semen found in Dacera’s private part though the report claims there was a  “deep-healed laceration” in her hymen.

There were also no traces of illegal drugs in her body based on the report though some undetermined ‘blackish fluid’ was found inside her stomach.

Bruises and contusions were also found on her knees and a mark from a needle prick in her right arm.

The autopsy report named Christine Dacera as the victim signed by the Medico Legal Officer PMaj. Dr. Michael Nick Sarmiento and was marked ‘Certified True Copy.’

Dacera’s mother Sharon expressed gratitude for the outpouring support, especially coming from President Rodrigo Duterte. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

‘Behind the Wishper’ virtual concert pays tribute to Wish 107.5 innovator, donates gadgets to deserving students

Marje Pelayo   •   December 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — All-hits FM radio station, Wish 107.5 on Sunday (December 20) took “wishers’” and fans all over the world to a journey into its inception and success while being serenaded by some of the top Filipino artists in a virtual concert entitled “Behind the Wishper.”

OPM A-listers such as KZ Tandingan, Yeng Constantino, Morisette Amon, Bugoy Drilon, balladeer Marco Sison, the Wishfuls , The Juans among other special guests performed during the special digital concert streamed live on Wish 107.5’s YouTube channel.

The artists paid homage to Kuya Daniel Razon, the station’s innovator — and the voice behind the station’s “voiceprint”— for conceptualizing a unique platform for singers and composers of Original Pilipino Music (OPM), to showcase their talent not only in the Philippines but in the international music scene.

“It feels good na mayroong [Wish 107.5] na sobra ang support sa OPM. Hindi lang sa malalaking singers. Talagang open ang pinto ninyo for the new breeds to show their music,” said snger-composer Yeng Constantino.

Singer Bugoy Drilon echoed the same sentiment: “Sobrang malaki ang naitulong ng (Wish 107.5) kasi nagbigay sila ng avenue sa Filipino talents around the world.”

“Not only mainstream but even underground, they all deserve na marinig ang talent nila at music nila and (Wish 107.5) gave it to them, to us,” he added. Bugoy celebrated his 10th year anniversary in the industry with a first solo concert organized by Wish 107.5 in 2018.

Part of last night’s concert was a look back at the station’s charitable endeavors among which is the Wish Music Awards where winning artists are given the chance to help their chosen charities.

“The reason why Wish 107.5 is getting bigger and bigger kumbaga mas marami pang blessings na natatanggap ang Wish 107.5 is because they never forget to give back and to pay it forward,” noted Asia’s soul supreme, KZ Tandingan.

KZ was the first Filipino artist to perform at the Dubai World Trade Center which was made possible through Wish 107.5. She was proud to note how her Wishclusive videos helped her land a spot in a singing competition in China. The experience was an important milestone in the artist’s career.

During the concert, the station distributed 107 tablets to student beneficiaries for their online classes.

“Sabi ko nga mas blessed iyong feeling na nakaka-bless din tayo ng ibang tao kasi the fact na mayroon tayong abilidad at may pagkakataon tayong makatulong. Sobrang thankful ako na ginagawa ng Wish iyon kasi nagkakaroon kami ng venue para makatulong din sa iba,” said singer Daryl Ong who was hailed Wish Male Artist of the Year in 2016.

Like most wishers, the artists expressed their gratitude to Kuya Daniel for breathing new life into Filipino music through digital media and paving the way for OPM into the global airwaves.

“I think that’s the reason why a lot of artists love to always come back to Wish 107.5 kasi kay Kuya Daniel pa lang ang sarap na palagi ng trato. He respects you as an artist and as an individual,” noted KZ

“Thank you again for all your efforts, for your vision of Filipino music, for putting Filipino musicians and artists sa harapan ng publiko para makita nila kung gaano kaganda ang ating sariling musika,” said national artist for music, Ryan Cayabyab who wished Kuya Daniel more wisdom and more innovations ahead for OPM.

After the special concert, Wish 107.5 announced the next big project happening on January 15, 2021 — the 6th Wish Music Awards. Nominations for favorite artists officially opened on November 9, 2020.

As an added milestone, “Behind the Wishper” concert trended at number one spot with the hashtag #BehindTheWISHper on Philippine trends logging 14,400 tweets on Twitter.

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