Senate panel to review budget for monitoring of government spending

Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 09:22 p.m.

THE Senate Committee on Finance will scrutinize the multibillion proposed allocation for monitoring and evaluation of government spending, which eats up a big chunk of the proposed spending package of the government.

Senator Francis Escudero, chairman of the Senate finance panel, said he finds most of the monitoring budgets and cost of service of many agencies too steep, like in the case of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which allocated P4.2 billion to implement, monitor and evaluate its project under the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

Cebu students in ‘bikini’ controversy lose SC appeal

Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 09:10 p.m.

MANILA -- Five Cebuano students who were barred from joining their high school graduation rites in March 2012 for allegedly posting lewd photos on Facebook have lost an appeal at the Supreme Court (SC).

Penned by Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, the SC Third Division backed a Cebu judge's ruling in July 2012 not to compel the St. Theresa's College (STC) to release photos of the female students in bikinis.

LGBT, male harassment in workplace to go into spotlight

Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 03:58 p.m.

AMID the controversy steered by the killing of a Filipino transgender in Olongapo City, cases of sexual harassment of male and lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBTs) workers are set to be in the spotlight in the study to be conducted by the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS).

According to the ILS, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), there is a need to look into the sensitive issue of sexual harassment of male and LGBT workers happening in the workplace.

WHO: PHL free to impose travel ban from west Africa

Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 03:50 p.m.

IF IT chooses to, the Philippines has all the right to impose travel restrictions from passengers coming from West African countries with widespread transmission of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).

This was the declaration of the World Health Organization (WHO) amid the continuous increase in the number of cases of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

AFP slams intrusion of Laude’s fiancé in Camp Aguinaldo

Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 03:36 p.m.

MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will not tolerate the misbehavior displayed by Marc Sueselbeck, the German lover of slain transgender Filipino Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude, a military official said Thursday.

Philippines pushes arbitration in China sea row

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 10:20 p.m.

MANILA — President Benigno Aquino III said Wednesday that the international arbitration Manila has initiated to challenge China's territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and a legally binding "Code of Conduct" are the only ways to settle the long-raging disputes peacefully.

The Philippines said that China has been intruding into its exclusive economic zone, including deploying two hydrographic ships in June near an offshore oil well inside Philippine waters.

DOTC: Metro subway system costs 3 times more than LRT

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 08:30 p.m.

DEPARTMENT of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said Wednesday that it would be more expensive if National Government will pursue the construction of a subway rail system to ease the daily traffic burden in Metro Manila.

During the hearing at the House of Representatives, Transportation Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco said that based on the agency's past studies, a new Metro Manila subway line will cost two to three times more than a regular elevated light rail system, which is currently applied in the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2 and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3.

Palawan with highest dengue, malaria cases in Mimaropa

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 02:28 p.m.

THE Department of Health (DOH) in Mimaropa reported Wednesday that Palawan has been found to have the highest number of dengue and malaria cases in the entire Region 4-B.

Records of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) showed that Palawan had the most number of patients in the region with 1,146 dengue cases, and 342 cases of malaria from the period of January 1 to October 18.

Pemberton transferred to Camp Aguinaldo

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 11:04 a.m.

MANILA (4th Update) — The United States military turned over Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton suspect in the gruesome killing of a transgender Filipino to Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Wednesday, easing a looming irritant over his custody, officials said.

QC court suspends work amid protest

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 08:57 p.m.

COURT hearings and work at the Quezon City Hall of Justice were suspended Tuesday after protesters stormed the building to demand for the release of alleged communist leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon.

The Tiamzon couple who were arrested last March in Cebu for kidnapping and illegal detention charges were set for a pre-trial hearing on same day but it was postponed due to the protest.

PNP to enhance police-media relationship

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 07:29 p.m.

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted a crisis media management seminar among their personnel assigned in the national and regional Public Information Offices (PIO) to improve their relationship with the members of the media, a police official said Tuesday.

PNP Public Information chief Wilben Mayor said the event is intended to enhance the skills and confidence of the police officers assigned as the spokesperson of each unit in answering the queries of the media who relay the news to the public.

Biazon wants ‘illegal’ provision of Bangsamoro bill removed

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 07:07 p.m.

MUNTINLUPA City Representative Rodolfo Biazon suggested Tuesday to the ad hoc committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to strike down some provisions of the bill that may jeopardize its constitutionality.

Biazon, chairperson of the House committee on national defense and security, wants Article 5 section 1 removed from the Bangsamoro bill, saying it is unconstitutional.

Villar encourages women to be aware of breast cancer

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 05:56 p.m.

SENATOR Cynthia Villar is urging all the women in the country to be more aware of breast cancer.

Villar said breast cancer remains as one of the leading causes of death among women in the Philippines despite increased awareness and more assistance availed by patients.

Senate eyes swift passage of bill raising tax ceiling for bonuses

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 05:39 p.m.

SENATE President Franklin Drilon assured Tuesday that the Senate will approve a bill that seeks to increase the take-home pay of public and private employees before the year ends.

"In the meeting we had with the House leadership, we have resolved that the tax exemption limit on 13th month pay and other benefits should have the Congress' approval before the year ends," Drilon said.

US Marine skips slay probe

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 05:08 p.m.

MANILA (Updated) -- American soldier Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton did not attend on Tuesday the first hearing on the preliminary investigation on the killing of transgender Filipino Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude in Olongapo City last October 11.

NSC: Bangsamoro Law will stop extremism in Mindanao

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 03:14 p.m.

THE National Security Council urged Congress to fast track the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to finally stop the spread of extremism in the Mindanao region.

In Tuesday's hearing of proposed BBL's ad hoc committee, NSC Undersecretary Zenonida Brozas said that the soon to be established Bangsamoro government will be able to help tone down the views of Islamic leaders in the region as well as to counter the ideology of radicalism and extremism being promoted by various terrorist groups both local and overseas.

SC affirms dismissal of Sandigan justice

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 03:02 p.m.

MANILA -- Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Gregory Ong's expulsion from the judiciary became final Tuesday after the Supreme Court (SC) denied his appeal for lack of merit.

Speaking to reporters, SC spokesperson Theodore Te said it is now up to the screening body Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to look for Ong's replacement.

Binay hit Senate panel for ignoring request for docs

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 02:59 p.m.

SENATOR Nancy Binay criticized Tuesday the Senate blue ribbon committee for ignoring her request for copies of documents related to the alleged questionable releases under the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and Various Infrastructure including Local Projects (VILP).

In September 2013, Binay asked Senator Teofisto Guingona III, committee chairperson, to furnish her the certain documents but her requests were referred to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

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.

Senate OKs bill prohibiting development of chemical weapons

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 09:11 p.m.

THE Senate passed on third and final reading a bill prohibiting development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons.

Senate Bill 2042 or "The Chemical Weapons Prohibition Act," aimed to provide a legislative framework for the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention in the country.

Senate to review PHL’s preparedness vs Ebola virus

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 09:07 p.m.

SENATORS urged the need for various departments in the government to act on the preparedness of the country in order to make sure that the deadly Ebola virus will not enter the country.

Earlier, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said Filipinos should be given the proper education on the Ebola virus and how they can protect themselves.

Trillanes refutes overpriced multicab story by UNA

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 09:06 p.m.

SENATOR Antonio Trillanes IV described the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) as desperate for concocting stories on the reported overpriced multicabs costing P300,000 each, which he allegedly bought.

"To set the record straight, I never funded overpriced projects, all the more, nor personally gained from the different projects I funded through my Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)," he said in a statement.

Man arrested in NLEX hostage-taking incident

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 08:07 p.m.

A 35-YEAR-OLD man was arrested Monday morning after 13 bus passengers were held hostage along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Bulacan.

Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, Central Luzon police director, said Lauro Sanchez held hostage the passengers of Everlasting bus along the southbound side of the Sta. Rita exit of NLEX.

P2.1B released for DAR bridges

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 05:43 p.m.

THE Aquino administration has released P2.1 billion to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to pay for bridging materials and services to be used in the Tulay ng Pangulo para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo (TPKP) project, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Monday.

Sourced from the 2014 budget of the Department of Public Works Highways (DPWH), the amount will pay Matiere SAS, a French company that supplied the DPWH with the materiel to be used for the construction, installation, and establishment of the girder-type universal bridges (unibridges).

Over 800,000 young Filipinos register for SK polls

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 05:34 p.m.

OVER 800,000 young Filipinos have registered during the 10-day registration period held last month for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls next year, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday.

According to Comelec Resolution 9904, a total 835,839 Filipino youth, aged 18 years old and below applied for registration from September 20 to 29.

DFA reports steady increase in overseas absentee voters

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 05:06 p.m.

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported the continuous increase in the number of overseas voter (OV) registrants over the past five months since it started last May.

In a statement, the DFA–Overseas Voting Secretariat (OVS) said they have been seeing a continuous rise in the number of applicants, which has now totalled to 145,299.

Aquino rejects calls to scrap VFA

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 03:53 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.

PHA: Majority of cardiac arrests happening outside hospitals

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 03:43 p.m.

THE Philippine Heart Association (PHA) said a significant percent of the cardiac arrest cases happening in the country can be defined as being sudden and are taking place outside medical facilities.

In a recent press briefing, PHA Council on CPR chairperson Dr. Francis Lavapie said that they are of the observations that about 50 percent of deaths from cardiovascular diseases in the country happen during sudden cardiac arrests that are mostly witnessed by a family member.

8 of 10 Filipinos want Binay to face Senate probe

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 11:46 a.m.

MANILA (Updated) -- Nearly eight out of 10 Filipinos believe Vice President Jejomar Binay should answer under oath the corruption allegations raised against him in the Senate.

Results of the September 26-29 survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released on Monday showed 79 percent of 1,200 respondents want Binay to attend the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee hearing on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2.

Pacquiao makes professional basketball debut

Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 07:32 p.m.

MANILA -- Manny Pacquiao made his professional basketball debut on Sunday, just a month before he is set to defend his WBO welterweight crown.

Pacquiao started Sunday's game for the newly formed KIA Sorento of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) but played only seven minutes and committed two turnovers in his team's 80-66 win over the Blackwater Elite at Philippine Arena.

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