Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

READ: Duterte rejects Cusi expulsion

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte acknowledges the leadership of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) vice chairman Alfonso Cusi and does not recognize the resolution expelling him from the party. Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. made the statement in his press briefing on Monday after the PDP-Laban faction, led by the party's acting president, Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, expelled Cusi along with two other party officials. To show his support for Cusi, the President will attend the party's special meeting on July 17, Roque said.

READ: South China Sea ruling gets global backing

THE United States, European Union and Canada reaffirmed their support to the 2016 international arbitral ruling, which upheld the Philippines' territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Philippines commemorated on Monday the fifth anniversary of a ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration that invalidated China's claim over areas within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.

READ: DoH rules out booster jabs

THE Department of Health has ruled out Covid-19 booster shots for medical frontliners until there is strong evidence that they are safe and effective. The news agency Reuters reported that Thailand is considering booster shots for its more than 600,000 medical workers, 617 of whom were infected with Covid-19 after they were jabbed with the CoronaVac vaccine. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire admitted that booster shots can increase the immunity of a vaccinated person but more evidence is needed to vouch for their safety and efficacy. Vergeire said other countries used booster shot vaccines such as AstraZeneca's Vaxzevria and Pfizer Inc.'s Tozinameran, which are not commonly used in the country. She said she is awaiting the findings from a much larger study that was mentioned by Vaccine Expert Panel Chairman Dr. Nina Gloriani by the third quarter of this year. The study could be used to back up recommendations for mixing and matching vaccines.

READ: DoH rejects call for GCQ until December

A PROPOSAL to place the National Capital Region and other Covid-19 high-risk areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) until December, or when the region has inoculated 40 percent of its population has been rejected by the Department of Health (DoH). Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Rontgene Solante proposed that the GCQ extension will allow 40 percent of residents in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas to be fully inoculated. Solante said the 40-percent target will prevent people from becoming complacent. But Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire turned down Solante's suggestion, saying if more people comply with minimum health standards, the faster the country can move toward a "new normal." READ: PH should find a way to invoke sea victory – Lacson SEN. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson urged the government to work with other countries in the region in finding a way to invoke its 2016 arbitral ruling victory against China's massive claim of marine resources in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). The chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security on Monday said the Philippines must "continue to push to complete" victory in the WPS. He said five years after the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands handed the ruling, "much remains to be done amid China's increasing presence in the Southeast Asian region."

BUSINESS: FDI net inflows up 114% in April


Topping business, net inflows of foreign direct investments (FDIs) went up by 114 percent to $679 million in April from $317 million a year ago, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Monday. In particular, FDI net inflows during the month increased due mainly to the 121.2 percent expansion in non-residents' net investments in debt instruments to $500 million from $226 million in April last year.

SPORTS: Spence is better than Mayweather - Pacquiao

Over to sports, Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao once again threw shade to fellow future hall-of-famer Floyd Mayweather Jr. When Errol Spence Jr. was asked in the Pacquiao-Spence kick-off press conference what pointer did Mayweather give him for his fight against Manny Pacquiao, the fighting Senator of the Philippines had to interrupt to say that Spence did not need to heed advice from Mayweather because Spence is better than his former rival.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Antonio Contreras and Yen Makabenta are today's front page columnists. Contreras believes where the lines are clear is when partisan divides are drawn, while Makabenta talks about the infighting in the administration party, PDP-Laban.

Today's editorial believes the recent heat wave in North America is a sign of global warming's coming wrath. Read a full version on the paper's opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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On behalf of The Manila Times, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting. Have a safe Tuesday ahead.