TWO party-list lawmakers on Saturday criticized a proposal to abolish the Bureau of Customs (BOC), a revenue collection arm of the government.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said in a newspaper report that he broached the idea of scrapping the entire BOC and replace it with an institution ran by private officials with President Benigno Aquino III.
LAWMAKERS on Saturday urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to increase its visibility in crowded areas in the metropolis as the number of reported child abductions in Metro Manila rise in the past weeks.
Gabriela party-list Representative Luzviminda Ilagan said the PNP should also install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in key points in Metro Manila.
REELECTIONIST Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on Friday said that Team PNoy can get 12-0 sweep in Maguindanao.
"Kaya ang 12-0 sa tamang paraan. It can be done legally and legitimately," Pimentel told the crowd in a Team PNoy sortie held in Maguindanao.
MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is hoping that at least half of the close to a million Filipino overseas absentee voters (OAV) would exercise their right to vote in the month-long exercise beginning Saturday.
In an interview, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes appealed to Filipinos abroad to take time from their busy schedules anytime from April 13 to May 13 and vote for senators and party-lists.
MUDSLINGING is allegedly being used by the administration coalition Team PNoy to ensure a sweep of the senatorial race, an official of the rival United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said Friday.
"Clearly, these attacks on our candidates expose the desperation of our opponents. They will stop at nothing to achieve their 12-0 target in May, even if it means mounting demolition jobs on our candidates and subverting the will of the people on Election Day," said UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco.
THE Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) concluded on Thursday the three-day formal talks in Malaysia without signing the three remaining annexes of the framework agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).
In a joint statement signed by government peace panel head Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, they agreed to meet again after the May 13 elections.
MANILA (Updated) -- Relatives of victims of the ill-fated ship MV Princess of the Stars asked the Court of Appeals (CA) on Thursday to reconsider its ruling junking the cases against an official of the former Sulpicio Lines Inc. (now Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp.).
Represented by the Public Attorney's Office (PAO), the victims said the company's first vice president for administration Edgar Go must be held liable for the death of nearly 800 people last June 21, 2008 since he has supervision over port captains and safety officers.
THE political party of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will endorse two senatorial candidates from Team PNoy, and four others from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in next month's polls.
Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), where Arroyo is chairman emeritus, will endorse Team PNoy's Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara and Grace Poe-Llamanzares.
IT IS up to the court hearing the murder case against Coron, Palawan Mayor Mario Reyes to exclude him from the charge sheet for failure of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to observe due process, the Court of Appeals recently said.
In a decision dated April 4, the CA former special fifth division said it only resolved Reyes' petition whether Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has the authority to create a second panel of prosecutors to conduct an investigation despite a pending petition for review on the resolution of the first panel.
A PARTY-LIST lawmaker on Thursday proposed higher fines for damages caused to the Tubbataha reef after a Chinese fishing vessel had ran aground in the protected area earlier this week.
Bagong Henerasyon party-list Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy wanted the cash penalty for damaged parts of the reef be adjusted every five years so it could serve as deterrent to foreign vessels.
MANILA -- Environmental officials filed a poaching complaint Wednesday against 12 Chinese fishermen who were aboard a vessel that ran aground this week in a protected coral reef in the Sulu Sea.
THE Philippine government assured that the comprehensive agreement it will sign with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will be based on a "solid foundation."
Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, the government's chief negotiator, said that the deal "will withstand the scrutiny of the skeptics, the misgivings of the unconvinced, the cynicism of the critical."
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III led the groundbreaking Wednesday of the Roxas Airport Development Project in Roxas City underscoring the importance of the project for the development of the tourism and trade in the region.
In his message during the event, the President said the government allocated P215 million for the repair and rehabilitation of the airport.
THE Commission on Election (Comelec) said Wednesday it is possible to press charges Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership even though it is not a political party.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said there is no law limiting the filing of vote-buying charges only to candidates and/or political parties.
CAPIZ -- Team PNoy claimed victory in the three provinces of the Western Visayas as they held a campaign rally here in the home province of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II. Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara said Roxas is a "big factor" in the administration slate's win in the Visayas region. Roxas is currently on leave as president of the ruling Liberal Party (LP). "There are areas that are tightly contested but in three provinces: Aklan, Antique, Capiz. We are okay here," Angara said.
TEXT messages accusing Senator Loren Legarda of pushing a bill that would reduce or scrap compensation of teachers, firemen, soldiers, and policemen are allegedly geared towards stopping her from ruling the senatorial elections on May 13.
"I don't know yet the exact motive but I think this is to dislodge me from the number one spot (in surveys). This (black propaganda) won’t cost me the election anyway," Legarda said after a senatorial forum in Quezon City on Wednesday.
INADEQUATE education and awareness campaign for the May 13 elections on areas with high concentration of overseas Filipinos will only result in another low voter turnout, an official of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said Wednesday.
"We hope that the OAV (overseas absentee voting) election process will improve this time. For the past three elections, voter turnout was low because of the confusing voting methods, which led to disenfranchisement," said UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco.
MANILA -- The Tubbataha Management Office (TMO) admitted Tuesday that its radar was not switched on during the grounding of a Chinese fishing vessel at the Tubbataha Reef off Sulu Sea Monday night.
"We switch on our radar every three hours. We do not have the resources to keep the radar equipment on 24/7. Sometimes it's between those three hours that our rangers are blind," TMO head Angelique Songco said in a radio interview.
A FORMER member of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Tuesday the poll body should insist before the Supreme Court that only marginalized and underrepresented sectors must participate in the party-list elections.
By appealing the April 2 ruling of the SC, former Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said this will show the poll body's unchanging stand on the issue.
A TAXPAYER has asked the Supreme Court to compel the Aquino government to press ownership over Sabah following deadly clashes in the area between the armed followers of the Sultanate of Sulu and the Malaysian forces last month.
In a 17-page petition for the issuance of the writ of mandamus, Louis Biraogo said the SC should order Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario to raise the claim before the International Court of Justice or other entities authorized by international law.
A SENATORIAL candidate urged voters to look into the attendance and legislative record of those running for Senate in the May polls and adopt a "no work, no vote" policy in choosing their bets.
"Huwag na iboto yung mga bulakbol, lakwatsero, mga hindi nagtatrabaho sa kongreso at senado (Don't vote for the chronic absentees and those who are not performing well in Congress)," Team PNoy senatorial bet Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara said in a press briefing Tuesday.
MANILA -- The National Food Authority (NFA) has already released 99,500 bags of rice for distribution to Filipinos in Mindanao displaced by the Sabah crisis, an official said Monday.
Distribution of the rice stocks is being handled by the Crisis Management Committee called "Oplan Tabang Basulta." Basulta stands for the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi where majority of those fleeing from Sabah have returned to live with their relatives and friends.
A GROUP of private hospitals reiterated Monday the call of the Department of Health (DOH) to be wary against heat stroke considering the record-setting temperatures in the country in the past few days.
Dr. Rustico Jimenez, president of Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAP), said they found it necessary to advise the public to be careful against suffering from heat stroke by taking necessary precautions.
WITH the Supreme Court (SC) already ruling out any possible appeals, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is now training its sights on how to accomplish the remanding of the disqualification cases against 54 party-list groups.
In a media briefing, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they are now gearing for the start of the summary hearings they might conduct in a hope to resolve the pending cases before Election Day.
SAN JUAN Representative JV Ejercito Estrada is confident that senatorial candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) including himself have a good chance of getting elected on May 13.
He said four will surely make it to the so-called "Magic 12," two are in striking distance, while another three have to work "double or triple time."
SAN JUAN City Representative JV Ejercito Estrada said on Monday that he will not reveal details of his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) in public.
"There's no need to publish my SALN since the alleged offshore accounts are just hearsays, no material basis and evidence to support the allegations," Estrada said in a text message on Monday.
A LAWMAKER urged the next Congress to pass a bill prohibiting the killing of carabaos, which is used as a substitute for cow's meat by unscrupulous traders.
Batangas Representative Mark Llandro Mendoza plans to reintroduce the bill in next Congress as the present 15th Congress lacks time to pass a law that to amend Section 6 of the Republic Act 8485, or the "Animal Welfare Act of 1998," prescribing the conditions that allow the slaughter of carabao and buffalo.
MANILA -- Malacañang ruled out Sunday the possibility of filing a diplomatic protest against the United States for the damages the US Navy minesweeper, USS Guardian, brought to the protected Tubbataha Reef.
In a text message to reporters, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said America has vowed to pay for the damages and to rehabilitate the Unesco World Heritage site.
ALL is set for the month-long overseas absentee voting (OAV) for Filipinos living and working abroad starting on April 13 until May 13.
“We are already finished with the preparations. The voting machines are already there for those that will use the automated system. The ballots are also already there and other election paraphernalia,” said Comelec–Committee on Overseas Absentee Voting (COAV) head Commissioner Lucenito Tagle.
MANILA -- The Philippines will ask the United States to pay a fine of $1.4 million for the damage caused by US Navy minesweeper USS Guardian that ran aground in Tubbataha Reef in January 17.
Under Republic Act 10067, or the “Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act of 2009,” a fine of about $600 or P24,000 per square meter of damaged reef is mandatory.