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NATION NEWS & INFORMATION

3rd July 2017
Alvarez considering possible impeachment of Sereno over CA issue
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 3, 2017, 4:40 pm

By: Jani Arnaiz - Correspondent / @janiarnaizINQInquirer Visayas / 04:35 PM July 02,2017

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. (File photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer) 
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. (File photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer)
 
MAASIN CITY -  Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez announced on Sunday the possible filing of an impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno if it could be proven that she had ordered the Court of Appeals (CA) to defy the show-cause order asking three CA justices to explain why they should not be cited for contempt for granting the petition for habeas corpus of the so-called Ilocos Six.
 
Alvarez, who was here to administer the oath-taking of new members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), said he had received a report that Sereno had ordered the CA to defy the show-cause order.
 
"If we found it to be true then we will discuss it in Congress for a possible impeachment case,” he said.
 
The House of Representatives has been locked in a standoff with CA Associate Justices Stephen Cruz, Edwin Sorongon, and Nina Antonio-Valenzuela after they ordered the release of the Ilocos Norte officials detained by the House for refusing to answer questions about an alleged anomaly involving the purchase of P66.45 million worth of vehicles, using funds from tobacco excise taxes.
 
The new members of the PDP-Laban in Southern Leyte who took their oath were Gov. Damian Mercado and his brother, Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, all 19 mayors of the province and their councilors, and all 70 barangay chairpersons of Maasin and their councilors.
 
In his speech, Alvarez announced the postponement of the barangay and SK elections this year.
 
"To all barangay officials who are here will be happy with this news that there will be no elections and that the barangay chairman will just be appointed,” he said.
 
When asked to elaborate, he told the Inquirer that they would legislate the postponement and discuss when it would be held. /atm

24th June 2017
Army assures public: no direct threat from terror attacks in Visayas
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 24, 2017, 9:19 pm

ORMOC CITY, Leyte, June 24 – Brigadier General Francisco F. Mendoza, Jr, army commander of 802ndBrigade based in the city confirmed despite the presence of armed men in the Visayas, there is no direct threat from terror attacks.

Mendoza assured the public that presently the whole of Visayas is still at level 1 for terror alert which means, it is not facing threat for any terror attack. 

“There are armed men, yes.  NPAs (New People’s Armies) are armed. But no threat for terrorism,” he pointed out.

Following the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao a month ago, various reports reached their office concerning presence of armed men in different areas pictured similar to “terror attackers” in Marawi in which Mendoza refuted saying all of them were hearsays.

“All information reaching our office that may pose imminent danger to peace and security are right away verified.  So far, these are just hearsays”, Mendoza pointed out.

“As we receive the information, we verify it.  But up to now, no first-hand informant has ever drawn details.  All of them could not give light to the information spreading around and cannot pinpoint who really met what they referred to as ‘armed’ men” he added.

On the recent information spreading in social media saying armed men were sighted in Albuera, Mendoza added, it is now being verified.

Aside from watching over insurgency issues, the army is currently working closely with the police particularly the nightly events at the city in celebration to the coming 29th , the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. 

City police director Senior Supt. Ramil L. Ramirez personally supervises his men to conduct close watch at the city plaza where huge crowd is expected to join the evening merriments. 

Police cars are constantly roaming around even at the outskirts to check any suspicious personalities around and to act immediately some emergency calls.

Ramirez assured the public for maximum security provided especially on the vesper night where bulk of viewers including VIPs is expected to witness the Bb. Ormoc coronation.  The city superdome where the big event will be held was already mapped out for the uniformed police to take post on.

“Remember, you are not viewers, you are here to keep watch for everyone’s safety”, he reminded to the more or less 30 police force to be assigned at the dome.

Mendoza and Ramirez do not discount on possibilities that suspected terrorists may reach the city at any time, reason why they see to it to take immediate action once reports on the matter reach them.  At this point, both claimed no known truth to all information upon verifications.

For this, they encourage the public to keep the military and police posted once suspicious characters are spotted in their area and much better if the person himself who had personal encounter or observation will be the one divulge vital information to the authorities. 

 


12th April 2017
Thousands of OFWs failed to register for PRRD visit to Qatar
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on April 12, 2017, 5:20 pm

By Joel Idjao

April 12, 2017

QATAR - Huge turn-out of registrants of Qatar based OFWs to be able to attend to President Rodrigo Duterte’s meeting with Filipino community crashed the website of the United Filipino Organization in Qatar (UFOQ) in just few hours after the Philippine Embassy announced its invitation.

On April 9, the Philippine Embassy, through Ambassador Alan Timbayan, sent out invitation for President Duterte’s official visit to oil-rich Emirate on April 14-16, but those who are interested should have to register first.

The President’s meeting with Filipino Community will be held at the Lusail Multipurpose hall, Lusail Sport’s Arena on April 15 between 6:00 pm to 8:00 p.m.

In a statement, Ambassador Timbayaan said, “For security purposes and physical layout limitations, the venue will be able to accommodate 6,000 persons. Filipinos who would like to attend the gathering would be required to register their attendance a few days before the event.”

However, in just a few hours after the announcement, the UFOQ website crashed because thousands of Qatar OFWs want to register. Registration is open on a first come-first serve.

Most of the registrants received an error message “500 Internal Sever Error” of “404 Page Not Found” and have to refresh several times until you fill-in the information including the submission of photo. 

Some of the registrants, who failed to register on that night, have to wake-up early the following day just to register successfully. Some successful registrants do not received email confirmation and have to email UFOQ to received confirmation tickets.

By morning of 11 April 2017 the registration is full as per website.  Some of the unsuccessful registrants plan to go to the venue hoping to see PPRD.


28th March 2017
Farinas: Duterte can appoint barangay execs
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on March 28, 2017, 8:12 am

By: Jani Arnaiz, Joey Gabieta - @inquirerdotnet

Inquirer Visayas / 04:04 PM March 27, 2017


TACLOBAN CITY — The House of Representatives has not taken up the proposal of President Duterte to postpone the elections and appoint barangay officials.

But Majority Leader Rudy Fariñas said he found nothing wrong with the President appointing new sets of barangay officials because the present term of the incumbents had expired in 2016.

“We have yet to talk about that in Congress because the leadership of Speaker (Pantaleon) Alvarez is by consensus. Kung ano man ang mananaig, yun ang mangyayari (Whatever is decided on by the majority will be adopted),” Fariñas said on Sunday.

Fariñas and some congressmen were in Tacloban City as part of their “Western and Eastern Nautical Highway Expedition,” an inspection tour conducted by the legislators to check on the state of the government’s Roll On-Roll Off (RORO) , the conditions of road network and the transportation system in the provinces.

Speaker Alvarez earlier signified his support for the plan of the President to cancel the barangay elections this October and appoint the barangay officials, to prevent those who have engaged in the drug trade from getting back into power.

“I see nothing wrong with appointing village officials if it’s mandated by law. Their terms have already expired but they are in hold-over capacity,” said Fariñas

He pointed out that since the terms of the barangay officials expired last year when the elections were supposed to be held, they could be replaced by appointment.

“In the Constitution, there’s no fix date in the election of village officials so that we in Congress can change the term of barangay officials whether it’s five or six years,” said the congressman from Ilocos Norte.

Fariñas said President Duterte has gained a wide perspective on illegal drugs trade over the years, compared to the congressmen who have only been confined to the peace and order problems of their districts.

The proposal to cancel the barangay elections and just appoint new sets of officials was opposed by village officials in Tacloban.

“This will deny the people (of their right) to vote directly officials they like to lead them in the barangay. Barangay officials, just like our other officials, should be elected and not appointed,” said Rosario Bactol, barangay chairman of 88.

Lawyer Jose Nick Mendros, Commission on Elections-Eastern Visayas director, said Comelec would continue to do its mandated work should Congress fail to pass a law cancelling the elections this October.

“Our registration (in our Comelec offices) will continue until April 29 while our satellite registration will end this week,” Mendros said.

“We cannot stop our work just because there is a proposal to cancel the barangay elections,” he added.

He said cancelling the elections might not be the answer to the problems of barangay officials’ involvement in the illegal drugs trade.

“Charge them (in court). We have charged a senator. Why not charged those alleged barangay officials,” Mendros, said referring to Senator Leila de Lima who has been detained on charges of illegal drug trade and protection.

He added that appointing barangay officials would be contrary to the country’s democratic principles and might exacerbate patronage politics.


20th November 2016
Duterte praises idol Putin; rants about US 'bullying'
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 20, 2016, 8:36 pm

(By Sun Star Manila | 20 Nov 2016)

President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin during their bilateral meeting at the Apec forum in Lima, Peru (AP)
President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin during their bilateral meeting at the
Apec forum in Lima, Peru (AP) 

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte did not hide his admiration to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Lima, Peru.

For the first time, Duterte met face to face with Putin at the Swissotel Hotel Sunday.

"I have been looking for this moment to meet you, Mr. President, not only because you represent a great country but of your leadership too," he said.

Earlier, Duterte said he wanted to make friends with Putin.

Duterte told the Russian leader that despite the distance, the Philippines has "been longing" to be part of Europe, especially in commerce and trade.

READ MORE OF THIS NEWS...

Airing of Miss U Pageant in Philippines gets time slot
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 20, 2016, 5:40 pm

(By Azer Parrocha (philstar.com) | )

 

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) —The Philippines' hosting of the next prestigious Miss Universe pageant on Jan. 30, 2017 will be aired live on all TV networks at around 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., a tourism official said.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary for Media Affairs Kat De Castro made this confirmation in a press conference in Davao City on Saturday urging those interested in seeing the pageant in the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena to “come early.” 

De Castro said that an inter-agency task force composed of the DOT, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Finance (DOF) was also formed to make sure the staging of the pageant runs smoothly.

READ MORE OF THIS NEWS...

18th November 2016
7 years after Ampatuan Massacre:Case delays blight any hope for justice
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on November 18, 2016, 11:57 am

November 23, 2016 marks the seventh year since 58 people were mercilessly killed atop the hills of Sitio Masalay, Ampatuan, Maguindanao. Of the 58 victims, 32 were journalists who covered the filing of candidacy for provincial governor of then Buluan town vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu, pitting him against the wishes of local strongman Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr. that his son and namesake, then Datu Unsay town mayor Andal Jr., be left unchallenged for the post.

On Wednesday, some 2,557 days will have passed since the grisly incident, and government has failed to secure acourt conviction for a single perpetrator of the crime. Against the backdrop of a protracted legal battle, families of themassacre victims wait with increasingly dashed hopes that they will see a satisfactory closure of the case within their lifetimes.

Such a sorry state of the cause for justice fuels the situation of impunity in the country whereby the state is seemingly helpless at staving off the continuing phenomenon of journalists being harassed and killed.

READ MORE OF THIS NEWS...

Terror Grows in Southern Philippines From Militants Linked to Islamic State
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 18, 2016, 10:02 am

(By James Hookway; Wall Street Journal | 18 Nov 2016 10:02 AM E.T.)

Philippines soldiers standing guard on Sept. 5 inside a military camp in Jolo in the southern Philippines, where they are fighting the Abu Sayyaf terror group. (PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES)
Philippines soldiers standing guard on Sept. 5 inside a military camp in Jolo in the southern Philippines, where they are fighting
the Abu Sayyaf terror group. (PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES) 

MANILA -- Abu Sayyaf, once written off as one of the global jihadist movement’s also-rans, is gaining strength in the southern Philippines by chasing down high-value victims at sea and ransoming them off for millions of dollars.

After a relative lull for most of a decade, kidnappings have surged to more than 20 annually since 2014, when the group’s main leader Isnilon Hapilonswore allegiance to Islamic State.

That rebranding --- and the accompanying brutality, including beheadings --- has generated international headlines and raised fears that the island-dotted region could re-emerge as a hub for Islamist terrorists, as it was for al Qaeda in the 1990s.

READ MORE OF THIS NEWS...

16th November 2016
SSS eyeing infra investments as funding source for higher pensions and benefits
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 16, 2016, 9:59 pm

(By the SSS Media Affairs Department | Wednesday 16 Nov 2016; 9:59 PM)

The Social Security System (SSS) is looking at investing in infrastructure as a source of additional revenue that will enable the fund to grant higher pensions and benefits for its growing membership and beneficiaries, citing that this is the start of an “economic revolution.”

Social Security Commission Chairman Amado D. Valdez said that “This an opportunity for SSS members, who comprise the working class, to take part in the investment economy and experience owning a road development project which would generate lifetime earnings.”

Valdez added that individually, SSS members have financial limitations that prevent them from participating in investment activities. “But through the pooled contributions of SSS members, we harness a powerful tool to empower them to become vital players in investing for road development projects which has been largely dominated by large companies,” he said.
 

READ MORE OF THIS NEWS...

9th November 2016
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Statement
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on November 9, 2016, 11:35 am

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines denounces the assassination attempt on Virgilio Maganes, columnist of Northern Watch newspaper and commentator of radio station dwPR in Dagupan City, Pangasinan early Tuesday morning.
 
We are particularly alarmed that the assassins attempted to disguise the crime as another of the summary executions that have claimed thousands of lives since the Duterte administration launched its bloody war on drugs, leaving a cardboard sign saying, “Pusher Ako Huwag Tularan,” in an obvious attempt to mislead investigators or, as has been the case in most such killings, lose interest in the death of one more “subhuman,” as they have been described by our leader.
 
Our Pangasinan chapter reports that Maganes slumped down and played dead inside the tricycle he was riding to work after he was wounded on the right shoulder by the motorcycle-riding gunmen. As soon as the assassins fled, he alit to seek help and saw a bystander pick up the cardboard sign and place it inside the tricycle.
 
READ MORE OF THIS NEWS...

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