Good day. Here are the top stories of The Manila Times for Thursday, June 6, 2024.

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Lahar flows from Kanlaon

HEAVY rain washed volcanic mud and debris through a village in Negros Occidental on Wednesday, two days after Mount Kanlaon erupted. Mount Kanlaon on Negros Island exploded Monday evening, sending a plume of ash, rocks and gases 5 kilometers into the sky. Images posted on social media on Wednesday showed a torrent of gray mud and rocks, known as cold lava flow, or lahar, roaring down a watercourse in Biaknabato village in Negros Occidental province. Residents can be seen walking barefoot through thick, knee-deep sludge covering a road in the village, located a few kilometers from the volcano. A bulldozer and three dump trucks were deployed to remove the lahar after it stopped flowing, Stills Fernandez of the municipal disaster agency said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

2017 Palace report: 20,000 died in drug war

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MORE than 20,000 people were killed in the drug war between July 1, 2016 and Nov. 27, 2017, an accomplishment report from the Office of the President (OP) for that year shows, a human rights lawyer said Wednesday. In testimony to the House Committee on Human Rights, lawyer Chel Diokno said the figure in the official report was much higher than government estimates of 12,000 deaths. The figure of 20,322 covered only the period from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 27, 2017, Diokno said. He added that of the 20,322, "3,967 Filipinos were killed by police in police operations," according to the OP report, while 16,355 were "killed by riding in tandem and other unknown persons."ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro asked former executive secretary Salvador Medialdea whether he had a copy of the report. Medialdea said copies were part of privileged communication "if there was such a report."

Guo denies allegations in letter to senators

BAMBAN, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo dismissed allegations that she was involved in cybercrimes and said she was unaware that her Chinese business partners face money laundering cases. The mayor on Wednesday wrote members of the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality to reiterate that she was a Filipino and defended herself from accusations of being a spy for China and a protector of illegal Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) in her town. Guo denied the "serious accusations of espionage and money laundering" against her and said she was not involved in any criminal activities in the POGOs at the Baufo compound that she owned, which is just at the back of the municipal hall. Guo also dismissed earlier reports that her family's business partner, a certain Lin Wen Yi, is her real mother and not Amelia Leal, their former household helper. Guo also admitted that she helped set up the Baufo project in a 7-hectare lot. Guo said that as a local chief executive, all she did was for the betterment of the town and that all her actions were according to law.

UP, Ateneo, La salle rise in QS rankings

THE University of the Philippines (UP) further increased its ranking in the 2025 World University Rankings by global education specialists Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) released Tuesday. From 404th place in the 2024 rankings, UP rose to 336th place for 2025, with an overall score of 33.3. UP also scored the highest among Philippine schools in academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty-to-student ratio, citations per faculty, international research network and sustainability. The Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) also slightly increased its ranking from 563rd place in the 2024 list to 516th place with an overall score of 23.6. De La Salle University climbed from 681-690th place to 641-650th place. The University of Santo Tomas, however, slid from its 801 to 850th place in the 2024 list to 851st-900th place. Cebu's University of San Carlos also slid from its ranking of 1201st-1400th place to 1400-plus place. For 2025, the top five Asian universities ranked by QS were the National University of Singapore, Peking University, Nanyang Technological University, The University of Hong Kong and Tsinghua University. The top five universities in the world are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Imperial College London, University of Oxford, Harvard University and University of Cambridge. The QS World University Rankings, now in its 21st year, is considered to be the world's most consulted international university rankings on employability and sustainability factors. Its rankings were based on metrics including academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty-student ratio, sustainability, employment outcomes, and an international research network.

World's richest have never been so wealthy

PARIS — The world has never had so many rich people, and their investments in soaring stock markets have made them wealthier than ever recorded, according to a study published on Wednesday. The number of "high net worth individuals" (HNWI) — defined as people with liquid assets of at least $1 million — rose by 5.1 percent last year to 22.8 million, according to consulting firm Capgemini. Their total wealth reached $86.8 trillion in 2023, a 4.7 percent increase from the previous year, according to the annual World Wealth Report. The number of HNWI and their total wealth are the highest since Capgemini began the annual study in 1997. Their fortunes have risen as stock markets have surged: New York's tech-heavy Nasdaq soared 43 percent in 2023, while the broad-based S&P 500 gained 24 percent. The Paris CAC 40 grew 16 percent, while the Frankfurt DAX advanced by 20 percent. The number of HNWI and their wealth had each fallen by more than 3 percent in 2022, a year of macroeconomic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions, the report said. The decline in their wealth was the steepest in a decade as equities fell.

Topping Business

Inflation slightly higher, still within target in May

INFLATION edged up in May as power, housing and utility costs grew at a faster pace, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday. At 3.9 percent, the result was marginally higher than April's 3.8 percent. It was lower than the 4.0-percent median in a Manila Times poll of economists, but fell within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) 3.7- percent to 4.5-percent estimate for the month. Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy items, decelerated to 3.1 percent from 3.2 percent. Inflation, which has now risen for four straight months, has defied expectations of a breach of the 2.0- to 4.0-percent target, although the BSP warned that the outlook remained tilted toward the upside due to potential increases in food, transport, power and fuel costs. Average inflation remained within target at 3.5 percent. While the central bank still expects a breach moving forward, it said that full-year inflation was expected to be within target for 2024 and 2025.

In Sports

Italy raps PH in penalty shootout

THE Italy Selection squad capitalized on a penalty shootout to prevail over the Philippine national under-19 team, 5-3, in the Philippines-Italy Friendship Cup at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Tuesday. Italian Ambassador to the Philippines Marco Clemente shared that the exhibition match showed the respect of both countries to the sport, as both teams exhibited their love for the game. In the thrilling Philippines-Italy Friendship Cup, The Philippines-Italy Friendship is another way of celebrating the Italian Republic Day which was held on June 2, and one way to show the fruitful cooperation between Italy and the Philippines. The Philippines-Italy Friendship Cup 2024 is one of the most important events in the series of initiatives organized by the Embassy of Italy in Manila for the 2024 Italian Republic Day.

Injured Djokovic out of French Open

PARIS — Novak Djokovic pulled out of the French Open on Tuesday ahead of his quarterfinal against Casper Ruud because of a knee injury suffered in the previous round. Tournament organizers had initially announced his withdrawal, saying an MRI scan earlier on Tuesday had revealed the full extent of the injury. World No. 1 and 24-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was due to play Ruud on Wednesday for a place in the last four. Djokovic defeated Ruud in straight sets in last year's final at Roland Garros. As a result, Ruud will go on to face fourth seed Alexander Zverev or 11th seed Alex de Minaur in the semifinals on Friday. The 37-year-old Djokovic had cast doubt over his fitness following Monday's five-set win over Francisco Cerundolo, admitting he needed anti-inflammatory drugs to get through the match. Djokovic blamed the "slippery" Philippe Chatrier court for the injury he sustained early in the second set of his 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Cerundolo.


The rice tariff reduction as announced by the National Economic Development Board (NEDA) is a troubling decision, according to the Times editorial today. Read the full version on print or digital or listen to the Voice of the Times. Antonio Contreras, Yen Makabenta and Danton Remoto are the featured columnists on the front page. Contreras writes about misusing the family as an argument for divorce; Makabenta on the strategy of deterrence in the South China Sea dispute and Remoto on lessons from America.

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