PUBLIC confidence in Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile went down last month after he was accused of unfair distribution of funds to colleagues, a survey released by independent firm Pulse Asia stated Tuesday.
Enrile's approval rating dropped by 27 percentage points from +73 in November to +46 in January 2013 while other top officials like President Benigno Aquino III, Vice President Jejomar Binay, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno also saw their ratings going downhill.
THE Philippine National Police (PNP) assured the public that the enforcement of election laws will be intensified as the campaign period for national positions kicked off Tuesday.
In a statement, PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima said the laws for the prohibited acts during the poll period as specified by the Commission on Elections "shall be enforced with renewed vigor and greater intensity."
(UPDATED) The family of Palawan radio commentator and environmentalist Gerry Ortega urged the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to conduct a full investigation on the death of Dennis Aranas, a suspect-turned-witness in the broadcaster's slay in 2011.
Ortega's family asked for DILG's full probe following the Public Attorney's Office's (PAO) post-mortem examination on the remains of Aranas, the alleged lookout in the murder of the radio commentator.
MANILA -- Thirty-three senatorial candidates and 123 partylist groups, including those that are given temporary reprieve by the Supreme Court, may start wooing voters for their support today, Tuesday, as the 90-day campaign period starts.
The campaign period for national positions will end on May 11, or two days before Election Day.
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III expressed hope that comprehensive peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will be completed next month.
In an ambush interview during the formal launching of the Sajahatra Bangsamoro in Sultan Kudarat Monday, the President said the people behind the peace process are "very close" to agree on the four crucial annexes in the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro, which was inked in October last year.
MANILA (Updated) -- Extradition proceedings against Aman Futures head Manuel Amalilio will not be affected by his reported link to Sabah chief minister Datuk Serik Musa Aman, who allegedly blocked his deportation to the Philippines last January 25 due to a case.
This was assured by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Monday in light of Malaysia’s approval to send Amalilio back to the country even before his two-year sentence for possession of fake Philippine passport is fully served.
THE ongoing election gun ban has led to the arrest of 743 people who have been caught in possession of firearms, ammunition or explosives this election period, latest data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) show.
As of 12:43 p.m. of Monday, a total of 663 civilians, 50 security guards, 11 government employees and one militiaman have been arrested for violating the gun ban along with 12 PNP personnel, four from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and one from the fire bureau.
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III will lead the proclamation rally of the Liberal Party-led coalition or Team PNoy on February 12 at the Plaza Miranda in Manila, campaign spokesmen said.
Around 8,000 supporters and members of the different political parties the LP is allied with are expected to gather in the historic venue, said campaign spokespersons Deputy Speaker Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada III and Marikina Representative Miro Quimbo.
SENATOR Francis Escudero, a survey frontrunner for the 2013 midterm polls, asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday to walk the talk on its campaign to shorten the media mileage of candidates.
The poll body earlier issued Resolution 9615 to "level the playing field" among political candidates by limiting the total airtime a national candidate may buy for campaign ads to 120 minutes for television and 180 minutes for radio.
MANILA (Updated) -- A team of veterinarians and biological experts are in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur on Monday to conduct a necropsy that would shed light on the sudden death of Lolong, known worldwide as the largest crocodile in captivity.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the team is composed of representatives from the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) and the National Museum, who will make sure that Lolong's skin will be preserved later on.
MALACANANG clarified Sunday that Malaysia has yet to reject the extradition of Aman Futures head Manuel Amalilio, assuring that the Philippine Government is working hard to bring him back to the country.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the state counsels have yet to discuss the extradition process with the Malaysian government.
A SEVEN-MAN delegation from the European Parliament will embark on a four-day visit to the Philippines to learn about the positive developments taking place in the country that have created opportunities for new European investment in the fast-growing Southeast Asian economy, the European Union Delegation to the Philippines said Sunday.
The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who together with European governments legislate for 500 million Europeans, will also visit Mindanao to lend their political support to the peace process during their trip here on February 11-15.
ENVIRONMENTAL advocates said Sunday the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Subic, Zambales cannot proceed despite the dismissal of the writ of kalikasan they asked before the Court of Appeals (CA) against the project.
Clemente Bautista, one of the petitioners, said the CA 15th division nullified the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) and the lease and development agreement (LDA) of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. (RP Energy) as they were found defective.
MANILA - When they were taken hostage last year in the jungles of southern Philippines, Ramel Vela and Roland Letriro were pleasantly surprised when their al-Qaeda-linked captors handed each of them a hotel-like comfort pack that included a bedsheet, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a glass, plates, spoons and two sets of new clothes.
In the mountain encampments that would be their prison in Sulu province for nearly eight months, the recently released captives said they saw an Abu Sayyaf force of about 400 heavily armed fighters who puffed Marlboro cigarettes and enjoyed the luxury of cellphones, including some with cameras and access to email and Facebook.
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is not ruling out the possibility of suing its technology provider for the midterm polls for not being able to meet some of its commitments indicated in their Deed of Sale.
In an interview, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said he believes that they have the legal basis to sue Smartmatic International after it is unable to provide the enhancements to the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines the poll body required in exercising its option to purchase.
AN EMPLOYEE of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Samar province was nabbed earlier this week for violating the gun ban being implemented by the poll agency itself.
Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria, Eastern Visayas Police Regional Office director, identified the arrested as Pedro Sugalan, 46, resident of Barangay Paypayon, Oras town, Eastern Samar.
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) turned down a request by former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) chief Magtanggol Gatdula to be exempted from a total gun ban during the midterm polls in May.
Comelec – Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP) denied Gatdula's request on the grounds that he is no longer connected with government.
WHILE the hands of candidates of major coalitions are to be raised by political bigwigs in their opening salvos next week, a party-list lawmaker opted to run with his supporters to kick off his campaign for the Senate.
The lone senatorial candidate of the Makabayan Coalition, Bayan Muna party-list Representative Teddy Casiño, will run from Baclaran in Parañaque City to the Senate building in Pasay City at 7 a.m. on February 12, Tuesday.
MANILA (Updated) -- A retired general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was slapped with a six-month prison term after entering a guilty plea in connection with the omissions he made in his 2003 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
The Office of the Ombudsman said retired Major General Reynaldo Alcasid pleaded guilty to the crime of perjury and violation of Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, which established "his guilt beyond reasonable doubt."
MANILA (Updated) -- Reelectionist senators continue to dominate the list of possible winners in the May polls but the son and daughter of two influential leaders of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) are now among the top five candidates, results of the latest Pulse Asia survey show.
The results of the survey conducted from January 19 to 30, 2013, showed re-electionist senators topping the list with Loren Legarda (58 percent) and Francis Escudero (54.3 percent) sharing the first and second places, while Alan Peter Cayetano landed in third place (48.9 percent).
THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) has stormed an appliance store chain in high-end malls in the cities of Pasig and Mandaluyong and seized seven units of top of the line HDTV/Sharp LED Television worth P1.5 million.
The store failed to produce proof of payment of duties and taxes, said Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.
AN OFFICIAL of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said Friday the ruling Liberal Party (LP) may suffer a decline in membership if it will be strict on members secretly rooting for candidates of opposing camps.
On Thursday, Senator Franklin Drilon said as campaign manager of Team PNoy senatorial ticket, he will ensure that LP members will toe the party line.
JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to help secure Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada and his family in light of reports that poser agents wanted to arrest him on graft charges pending at the Sandiganbayan.
De Lima said Friday that she received a text message on Thursday night from the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) reporting the incident in Lozada's house in Pasig City.
NEW judges in Ilocos, Marinduque, La Union, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna and Palawan, were named by President Benigno Aquino III.
Records from the Supreme Court show that Aquino named former labor arbiter Luvina Padolina Roque as judge of San Pablo Regional Trial Court branch 29 while Barry Boy Salvador, ex-chief of staff of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Lucenito Tagle, was assigned at the Municipal Trial Court branch 1 of Antipolo City.
MANILA -- Before it adjourned for the campaign period for the midterm polls, Congress approved amendments to the law on overseas voting, which proponents hope could result in increased number of registrants for the 2016 polls.
The House of Representatives earlier this week ratified the bicameral conference committee report on House Bill 6542 and Senate Bill 3312. The Senate has also ratified the bicam report.
A STATE auditor assigned to scrutinize the financial records of the Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC) has been suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman for six months without pay for receiving allowances from the housing agency.
JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima is hoping that President Benigno Aquino III will not alter the recommendations to be presented by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) regarding the bloody shooting incident in Atimonan, Quezon, last month that killed 13 people.
“Hopefully, it won’t go that way,” she told reporters Wednesday night.
DIGITAL representations of the ballots cast by voters using the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine can be a basis in the recount of votes in any election protest, the Supreme Court recently said.
This was contrary to the belief of losing Camarines Norte congressional bet Liwayway Vinzons-Chato, who insisted that an official ballot is the paper ballot printed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas or the National Printing Office.
MANILA -- The father of suspended Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia took to the House of Representatives the local squabble in their province, attacking the Liberal Party (LP), which, he said, showed the “ugly face” of politics.
In a privilege speech Wednesday, House Deputy Speaker and Cebu Representative Pablo Garcia recounted before members of Congress the events that transpired after her daughter was “illegally ordered suspended” by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
MANILA – A Filipino crewmember of a chemical tanker was fatally shot, while 23 other Filipinos were held hostage, after a pirate attack on the Marshall-flagged vessel in Nigeria, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.
DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said the Filipino, whose identity he declined to disclose, didn’t make to the hospital alive after being shot by a pirate on board the vessel Pyxis Delta.