Aquino: Murder case won’t harm US ties

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 11:14 p.m.

MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III said Monday that a murder investigation focused on a US Marine should have no bearing on the Philippines' relation to the US.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, also on Monday, said Washington seeks no "special privilege" for the suspect, Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, but only protection of his rights.

House not rushing on Aquino emergency powers

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 11:06 p.m.

THE chairperson of the House committee on energy said the chamber is not rushing up the passage of a resolution granting President Benigno Aquino III emergency powers to address the looming power shortage in 2015.

Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali, panel chairperson, said the committee is expected to approve the resolution before December.

Belmonte tells Pacquiao: Be more active as lawmaker

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 10:12 p.m.

SPEAKER Feliciano Belmonte Jr. called on eight-division world boxing champion and Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao on Monday to be more active in his legislative duties in the House of Representatives.

Belmonte said that he welcomed Pacquiao's achievements in the world of sports, the latest of which is being a playing head coach in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), but he appealed to the world boxing champion to show more seriousness in performing his duties as a legislator.

Smart gets stay order on text refund order

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 08:19 p.m.

AFTER sister brand Sun Cellular and rival Globe, it is Smart's turn to secure a stay order against the government directive for telecommunication companies to refund subscribers for alleged excessive text messaging fees.

The Court of Appeals (CA) Sixth Division said it issued a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) against the November 2012 directive of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to prevent the petition questioning the refund from being rendered moot and academic.

Aquino rebuffs Binay’s request to Senate stop probe

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 06:07 p.m.

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has turned down the request of Vice President Jejomar Binay to stop the ongoing Senate investigation against him.

Aquino, in an interview on Monday in Palo, Leyte, admitted that Binay sought his help to halt the Senate probe into the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall parking building and the latter's alleged unexplained wealth.

De Lima: Too early to push for Pemberton custody

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 05:22 p.m.

(UPDATED) PHILIPPINE authorities will only push for the custody over an American soldier once he is charged in court for the killing of Filipino transgender Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude.

In an interview, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Monday there is no need to detain United States Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton for now because the murder complaint against him is still at the preliminary investigation stage.

Aquino rejects calls to scrap VFA

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 03:52 p.m.

MANILA (Updated) -- President Benigno Aquino III dismissed Monday calls to abolish the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States following the murder of a transgender allegedly perpetrated by an American serviceman in Olongapo City.

"Bakit natin kailangan i-abrograte 'yung VFA? I mean, name me any place that doesn't have crime," the Chief Executive told reporters after the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Leyte Gulf Landing in Tacloban City.

Liberia president describes heavy cost of Ebola

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 03:31 p.m.

MONROVIA, Liberia -- Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Ebola has killed more than 2,000 people in her country and has brought it to "a standstill," noting that Liberia and two other badly hit countries were already weakened by years of war.

Appealing for more international help, Sirleaf described the devastating effects of Ebola in a "Letter to the World" that was broadcast Sunday by the BBC.

Kerry seeks Asia's help in anti-Islamic State push

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 03:26 p.m.

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Indonesia for a brief visit aimed at building Asian support for the fights against Islamic State extremists and the deadly Ebola virus.

Highlighting the Obama administration's commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, Kerry led the US delegation to the inauguration of new Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, a reformer who won hotly contested elections in July.

US airdrops arms to Kurds in Syrian town of Kobani

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 12:39 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military said Sunday it had airdropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to Kurdish forces defending the Syrian city of Kobani against Islamic State militants.

The airdrops Sunday were the first of their kind and followed weeks of U.S. and coalition airstrikes in and near Kobani, near the Turkish border. The U.S. said earlier Sunday that it had launched 11 airstrikes overnight in the Kobani area.

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