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NATION NEWS & INFORMATION

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
 

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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.
 
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28th October 2016
One national daily, four community papers vie for Sustainable Construction Reporting awards
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on October 28, 2016, 8:23 am


For their outstanding reportage on sustainable construction, focusing on little-explored topics—from using inclusive strategies to rebuild from the rubble to giving voice to indigenous peoples’ aspirations for a school they could call their own—one national and four community newspapers have emerged as finalists in this year’s Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction Reporting (JASCOR).
 


 

Finalists include three stories from the Philippine Daily Inquirer for the national newspaper category, and five from community papers, namely, Baguio Chronicle, Mindanao Observer, Sun.Star Cebu, and The Freeman. 

JASCOR aims to recognize excellent stories from the print media that help the public better understand, appreciate and support sustainable construction. It is jointly organized by construction solutions company Holcim Philippines and the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), the country’s biggest association of newspapers.

As defined by the LafargeHolcim Group, one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates, sustainable construction is “building in a way that is socially, economically, environmentally, functionally, and aesthetically balanced to meet today’s needs and to conserve resources for future generations.”

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24th October 2016
Alleged drug pusher killed
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on October 24, 2016, 6:32 pm

MAASIN CITY – An alleged drug pusher was killed when he attempted to shoot it out with the policemen during a buy-bust operation at Mantahan village on late Monday afternoon.

Police identified the victim as Mark Lorzano, who resides at said barangay. His companion, Andro Milloren was arrested.

Southern Leyte PNP provincial director, PSSupt. Warren de Leon, who was at the crime scene, said Lorzano drew a 45 caliber when police operatives tried to arrest him prompting the arresting officers to shoot him during a buy-bust operation.

The victim and his companion tried to drive off their motorcycle after sensing that the poseur buyer was a policeman but was block by the service vehicle used by the apprehending policemen.

"Nanglaban kaya patay. Tingnan mo kasama nya buhay kasi hindi lumalaban," said De Leon.

According to the police director, the victim was the sixth killed in a legitimate police operation in the province and 42 others were arrested since the start of “operation tokhang”.


20th October 2016
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Statement
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on October 20, 2016, 4:40 am


The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines deplores the glaring impunity with which the state’s security forces increasingly violate people’s basic rights.

We will mince no words here. What happened at the US embassy on Wednesday, when a weaponized police van was used against protesters, was a clear case of violence by the state against its own people.
Members of media were not spared.

Wences Balinguit of Southern Tagalog Exposure was arrested by the Manila Police District despite having identified himself as a journalist. And Jaja Necosia of Kilab Multimedia was shooting video of a policeman assaulting one of the passengers in a jeepney that was already leaving the area when he was punched by the officer. Pictures of this incident indicate the officer was the same PO3 Franklin Kho who ran over protesters with the police van.
 

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 ON THE INTERNATIONAL FRONT
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