PHL banana exports to China normalizing — PBGEA


BANANA EXPORTS to China, the Philippines biggest market in the last two years, is normalizing after a month-long disruption due to the COVID-19 spread, the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) said.

“A month after the dwindling volume of shipments that created a slump in banana price from an average of USD8.00 per box to USD1.80 per box causing panic to small growers, this has slowly improved owing to the normalization of the situation in more ports, reopening of supermarkets and retail shops, as well as resumption of banking services,” the group, composed of the industry’s big players, said in a statement Thursday.

PBGEA also cites a Chinese importer’s assurance that the Philippines will remain the preferred source of bananas given its competitive cost.

“The demand from China is always there, even though there was disruption shortly due to the corona virus outbreak. Similar to the widespread episode of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002, we do not see a long-term downward trend for bananas from the Philippines. The concern of Filipino exporters of a closure of China market is remote as the option to replace Philippine bananas is costly and unstable,” the importer said.

Fresh banana is the country’s top agricultural export commodity, with 2019 shipments valued at $1.93 billion. — MSJ

ABS-CBN sues 2 illegal IPTV operators for pirating content

ABS-CBN Corp. announced on Thursday that it is suing two individuals in the United States for pirating the broadcast firm’s content through illegal internet-based protocol television (IPTV) boxes.

In a statement, the media giant said it is seeking “millions” in damages from the suspects for “allegedly pirating ABS-CBN’s copyrighted content via illegal IPTV boxes.”

Lawsuits were filed in federal courts against Alberto Ace Mayol Alfaro in the Southern District of Texas and Romula Araneta ‘Jon’ Castillo in the Central District of California.

The network said the Los Angeles Police Department arrested Mr. Castillo on Feb. 7 for “alleged violations of California Penal Code 593(d).”

The network also said the complaints include access to live programming “without paying the appropriate fees for such products, causing irreparable harm and damages to ABS-CBN.”

“We are thankful for the cooperation of the LA Police Dept. in investigating and arresting Castillo, a kingpin in this pirate box scheme. Defrauding the public by selling these fake boxes is a scam operation and preying on innocent people. We are very happy to have the cooperation of the police to enforce against these pirates,” ABS-CBN Head of Global Anti-Piracy Elisha Lawrence said.

ABS-CBN has been going after companies and individuals selling set-top boxes that provide access to its copyrighted movies and TV shows.

In December last year, the Lopez-led company announced that it filed a complaint at a US federal court in the Southern District of Texas against a certain Anthony Brown and 1700 Cuts Technology, seeking $4 million in damages for alleged content piracy and trademark infringement. makes ABS-CBN shows and movies available for overseas markets such as the US and Canada.

An ABS-CBN official earlier estimated it lost around P300-400 million in potential movie revenues in 2018 due to piracy.

ABS-CBN Head of Infosec and Data Protection Officer Jay C. Gomez said in November that the company’s film revenues have continued to grow, racking up more than a billion pesos annually.

For the first nine months of 2019, ABS-CBN’s attributable net income rose 45% to P2.36 billion, on the back of an 8.6% rise in revenues to P32 billion.

The bulk of revenues came from advertising revenues, which went up 15% to P17.11 billion. — Arjay L. Balinbin

SC grants protection order to slain communist member’s family

THE SUPREME Court (SC) issued a permanent protection order for the estranged wife of a slain alleged member of the communist New People’s Army (NPA), and their two children against the Philippine National Police.

In a statement, the SC Public Information Chief said the court granted the petition for writ of amparo filed by Vivian A. Sanchez, who alleged that she and her daughters were subject to surveillance by the police after her estranged husband, Eldie Labanghisa, died.

“The totality of obtaining circumstances likewise shows that Vivian and her children were the subject of surveillance because of their relationship with a suspected member of the New People’s Army, creating a real threat to their life, liberty or security,” the high court ruled.

Ms. Sanchez first filed a petition for writ of amparo before the Regional Trial Court of San Jose Antique in August 24, 2018 against Police Superintendent Anthony D. Darroca, Police Superintendent Leo Irwin D. Agpangan, Police Chief Superintendent John C. Bulalacao, and the police officers under their authority due to the surveillance of the family.

The trial court issued the writ and temporary protection order on August 25 on the same year but dismissed the petition after a summary the following month, saying she failed to substantiate her claim that she became a person of interest after she identified her husband’s body.

The lower court said she failed to allege the acts of the police officers which threatened her security and liberty.

She then brought the case before the SC.

“While pursuing rebels is a legitimate law enforcement objective, the zeal of our police must be bound by the fundamental rights of persons, especially the loved ones of persons in interest. After all, the values we have in our Constitution are what differentiate us from lawless elements,” says the ruling penned by Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas