Rebels attack Basilan; 2 hurt, 5 missing

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 02:02 p.m.

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Updated) -- Troops battled rebels on two fronts Thursday, after the insurgents attacked a second town near this southern port city where they are holding scores of residents “hostage” in a standoff with government forces.

The rebels attacked Lamitan, a predominantly Christian town in the outskirt of Basilan province on Thursday morning, said Vice Mayor Roderick Furigay. Five people were missing and two wounded, he said.

Hong Kong advises citizens vs travel to Philippines

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 01:28 p.m.

THE Hong Kong Special Administrative Region advised its citizens against traveling to the Philippines because of the ongoing standoff between a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and government forces.

The island state has maintained its black travel alert, which cautioned citizens against "all travel" to the Philippines, since August 2010 when a botched hostage-rescue attempt at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park caused the lives of eight Chinese nationals.

Whistleblower testifies at Senate hearing on ‘pork’

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 12:54 p.m.

MANILA -- The principal witness in the alleged multimillion peso pork barrel scam, Benhur Luy, testified Thursday at the third hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee Thursday.

During the hearing, panel chair Teofisto Guingona III asked Luy to narrate his knowledge about the scam involving the priority development assistance funds (PDAF) of several senators and congressmen.

Low pressure area moves closer to Luzon

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 07:35 a.m.

A low pressure area (LPA) moved closer to Luzon early Thursday, the state weather forecasters said.

In its 5 a.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the LPA was about 750 km east of Luzon, and embedded along the Intertropical Convergence Zone across Luzon and Visayas.

US marks anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 attacks

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 10:49 p.m.

NEW YORK -- Families of the victims of the worst terror attack on the United States in history gathered Wednesday to mark their 12th anniversary with a moment of silence and the reading of names.

The September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City and Washington killed almost 3,000 people, led to a long war in Afghanistan and created an expansion of government surveillance powers that continues to be debated today.

House panel okays distribution of ‘pork’ to agencies

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 10:38 p.m.

MANILA -- The P25.2-billion budget for the priority development assistance funds (PDAF) of congressmen and senators will be distributed to government agencies, the House committee on appropriations said Wednesday.

The PDAF or "pork barrel" fund has increased to P25.4 billion after Vice President Jejomar Binay junked the P200-million fund allocated to his office for local projects.

Aquino’s photo with Napoles daughter, no big deal: Palace

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 07:11 p.m.

MALACANANG downplayed Wednesday the picture of President Benigno Aquino III with that of Jeane Napoles, the daughter of Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brain in the multi-billion pork barrel scam, saying it was not a big deal.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that the photo of the President was taken at an event last November in Cebu.

Palace shrugs off Binay's decision to junk 'pork'

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 05:56 p.m.

MALACANANG shrugged off Wednesday the decision of Vice President Jejomar Binay to give up his P200-million pork barrel for 2014.

In his regular press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that it was Binay's choice to junk the fund earmarked to his office for locally-funded projects.

Drilon should not be judged based on photos with Napoles: Lacierda

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 05:53 p.m.

MALACANANG defended Wednesday Senate President Franklin Drilon, who was seen with Janet Lim-Napoles, an alleged brain in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam, in previous photos attending in some social gatherings.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that Drilon's photos with Napoles should not be a basis to judge the administration lawmaker on how he used his priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.

Military operation not an option to end Zamboanga stalemate: Deles

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 05:29 p.m.

THE Aquino administration will not resort to military operations to resolve the three-day stalemate in Zamboanga City, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles said Wednesday.

Deles, in a press briefing in Malacanang, said that the presence of government troops in Zamboanga City was to ensure that the tensions there would not spillover to other areas and also to protect the civilian populace.

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