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.

US won’t force Pemberton to attend probe

Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 06:34 p.m.

MANILA -- The United States (US) Embassy in Manila said Sunday it is up to Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton if he will show up at the start of the criminal investigation on the killing of a Filipino transgender.

Road projects lined up for Metro Manila

Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 05:35 p.m.

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has approved two major infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to help ease traffic woes in Metro Manila, a Palace official said Sunday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the President and the members of his Cabinet gave their nod on the implementation of the Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue-Makati Avenue-Paseo de Roces vehicle underpass project totaling P1.27 billion, and the Metro Manila interchange construction project estimated to cost P4 billion.

Palace: NAIA 3 operation unaffected by CA decision

Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 04:59 p.m.

MALACAÑANG said Sunday there was nothing to be worried about, as the operation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA 3) will continue despite a recent Court of Appeals' (CA) decision on the airport's ownership.

Palace: Probe into transgender murder can’t be rushed

Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 05:48 p.m.

MANILA - Malacañang said Saturday that authorities have to follow the process in investigating the murder of a transgender in Olongapo City allegedly by a United States serviceman to avoid any technicalities, which could lead to the dismissal of the case.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also said that the killing of Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude should be treated separately with the call to abrogate the Philippine-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

DOH sets special medical worker training amid Ebola threat

Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 05:10 p.m.

THE Department of Health (DOH) is set to conduct specialized training programs for health workers on how to detect and treat cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and prevent its spread in the country.

According to the DOH, the government and the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Philippines will be holding weekly training sessions to medical workers starting October 28.

POEA: Still no processing of OFW papers bound for Ebola-hit countries

Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 03:41 p.m.

THE Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) advised Saturday overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that they will continue to impose a preventive total deployment ban in countries hit by the Ebola epidemic.

Based on POEA Advisory 21–2014, POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said they are still temporarily imposing a ban on the deployment of both the newly hired and returning OFWs to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Government subpoenas US Marine murder suspect

Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 12:00 a.m.

MANILA -- The government served a subpoena Friday for a US Marine accused of killing a transgender Filipino in an emotional case expected to test the country's military ties with the United States.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said subpoenas for Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton and four other US Marines sought as witnesses in the case were delivered to the US Embassy.

Abu Sayyaf frees 2 Germans

Friday, October 17, 2014 - 11:47 p.m.

MANILA -- Two Germans kidnapped and held for six months in southern Philippines were released Friday by the Abu Sayyaf Group just hours after it had threatened to behead one of them if no ransom payment was made.

The Abu Sayyaf released Stefan Okonek and Henrike Dielen in Jolo, Sulu, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said.

16 dead in accident at South Korean concert

Friday, October 17, 2014 - 09:40 p.m.

SEOUL, South Korea -- Sixteen people watching an outdoor pop concert in South Korea fell 20 meters to their deaths Friday when a ventilation grate they were standing on collapsed, officials said.

Photos of the scene in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, showed a deep concrete shaft under the broken grate.

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