Court grants extension
HIDDEN AGENDA (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2015 - 10:00am

We have just learned from our sources in the judiciary that the Regional Trial Court of Mandaluyong last Sept. 11 granted the application of South Premiere Power Corp. (SPPC), a San Miguel Corp. subsidiary, to extend by another 17 days the 72-hour temporary restraining order granted by the court on Sept. 8 to preserve the status quo and prevent the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. or PSALM from terminating its independent power producer administration (IPPA) agreement with SPPC.

South Premiere is owned by SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., the power generation subsidiary of SMC.

The IPPA agreement covers the appointment of SPPC as the independent power producer of the Ilijan power plant in Batangas City.

According to news reports, the TRO also prohibited PSALM from treating SPPC as being in default and from performing any act to pursue collection of supposed unpaid generation payments and other payments.

SPPC and PSALM are currently locked in a dispute arising from the interpretation of certain provisions related to generation payments under the Ilijan IPPA agreement.

On Sept. 4, PSALM advised SPPC that it was terminating the Ilijan IPPA agreement because of SPPC’s failure to settle its outstanding generation payments and called on the performance bond in the form of a standby letter of credit of SPPC with ANZ bank amounting to $60 million. But SPPC filed a complaint to nullify the termination notice of PSALM. According to SPPC, the billings by PSALM were erroneous.

What was applied for by SPPC was a 20-day TRO. What was granted in the Sept. 11 order of the RTC was an extension of 17 days to give the court an opportunity to hear the merits of the case (whether or not the billings were incorrect) conditioned upon payment by SPPC of a P1 million bond.

Our presidentiables

One of the issues being raised against presidential wannabe Mar Roxas is that when he was Trade Secretary during the Estrada administration, he caused the collapse of the pre-need industry when he pushed for legislation that will impose on pre-need companies the same reserve requirements imposed on life insurance companies.

Critics noted that pre-need companies naturally should have smaller capital reserves than the life insurance industry given that anyway, pre-need plan holders draw on their accounts at predictable timelines unlike in life insurance where the uncertainty is bigger.

When Roxas was a congressman, these same critics say he protected local retail giants by pushing for higher capitalization requirements on foreign retailers. This resulted in the retail sector being under the control of a few local retailers that have formed joint ventures with foreign retailers.

While Roxas wants to be remembered for having played a key role in allowing the entry of cheaper medicines from abroad, critics say importations were made through the initiative of the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC). Meanwhile, the generics law was the initiative of former senator Juan Flavier.

Meanwhile, as transportation secretary, they noted that Roxas was there to protect the interests of a few.

As for Sen. Grace Poe, who has not made up her mind on whether or not she wants to run for the presidency, she remains a blank page.

What we know about her, other than her work as senator, is that she worked for three years as a preschool teacher, then as a procurement liaison with the United States Geological Survey in 1998, then as a for a company that produced scientific equipment.

She won mainly because of her adoptive parents, the late father Fernando Poe Jr.  and her mother Susan Roces. Well, that is also true of our President Noynoy Aquino who won because of his parents.

Is she ready to become president? There are those who say that while her performance as a senator is admirable, she still lacks experience. While it is true that experience is not one of the requirements to become president, our country, which is in such a state of disarray, needs a strong leader, one who knows what to do and how to do it.

How about Vice President Jejomar Binay? According to his supporters, among the three presidentiables, it is without doubt that he is the most experienced in terms of public service. But of course, there are all those questions being raised about this and that contract of the Makati city government when he was mayor. 

In the end, the people will have to weigh the pros and cons of these three. What is important is that we have a next president who just wants to solve the problems of our nation and knows how to do it. That simple.

Mobile threat prevention

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., the largest pure-play security vendor globally, has just announced Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention, a new mobile security solution that allows enterprises to battle today’s mobile threat environment. Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention delivers the most complete platform for stopping mobile threats on iOS and Android, and delivers real-time threat intelligence and visibility for extension into existing security and mobility infrastructures.

Mobile devices increasingly represent one of the biggest threats to today’s businesses. According to Check Point’s 2015 Security Report, in an organization with more than 2,000 devices on its network, there is a 50 percent chance that there will be at least six infected or targeted mobile devices on their network. Most organizations are unprepared to deal with the threats that these devices present to their networks because of a lack of tools that provide the right visibility and actionable intelligence.

Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention provides the best mobile security solution for enterprises that need to manage and mitigate the risks of BYOD and protect their employees and corporate assets from mobile cyber threats. With the industry’s highest mobile threat catch rate, this innovative and enterprise-ready platform is the only solution that detects threats on the device, application and in-network levels and provides a transparent user experience and allows for immediate detection and removal of mobile threats, allowing users to stay securely connected without compromise.

According to vice president for products Dorit Dor, mobile devices are entering the enterprise at a faster rate than ever before, yet most organizations have failed to protect them or their users.

Dor noted that providing protection and preventing data leakage in a way that BYOD users easily accept is critical for success, adding that with Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention, “we’re not only providing enterprises with the most complete mobile security solution for stopping mobile threats on iOS and Android, but also delivering real-time threat intelligence to better understand their overall security posture”

Meanwhile, Check Point vice president for Asia, Middle East and Africa Steve McWhirter pointed out that what is being experienced now is very high adoption rates for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets from individuals to enterprises, especially in the BYOD (bring your own device) paradigm that is increasingly popular throughout Asia Pacific. He said Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention will become an important part of the total security arsenal for their clients throughout this region, as mobile devices become the preferred platform of choice for a highly mobile workforce.

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