Mayon alert status lowered

Friday, December 19, 2014 - 11:24 a.m.

MANILA -- State seismologists lowered Friday the alert status of Mayon volcano in Albay province from 3 to 2 due to a decline in its "overall activity."

No arraignment yet for Pemberton

Friday, December 19, 2014 - 10:48 a.m.

MANILA (Updated) -- The United States Marine charged with murder of a Filipino transgender appeared before the court in Olongapo City but his arraignment did not push through Friday.

7 in 10 Pinoys expect happy Christmas

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 05:34 p.m.

MANILA -- Seven out of 10 Filipinos expect a happy Christmas this year, according to the latest survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Bill seeks to give GSIS benefits to barangay officials

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 05:33 p.m.

A LAWMAKER filed a bill seeking the inclusion of barangay officials as compulsory members of the state pension system in recognition of their role as a basic political unit with executive and judicial functions.

House Bill 5244 authored by Valenzuela City Representative Sherwin Gatchalian seeks to enable barangay officials to receive the same insurance benefits from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to which regular government employees are entitled.

SWS: 7 in 10 Filipinos expect happy Christmas

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 04:21 p.m.

MANILA -- Seven out of 10 Filipinos expect a happy Christmas this year, according to the latest survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Permanent evacuation centers sought

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 01:41 p.m.

A PARTY-LIST lawmaker emphasized on Wednesday the need to construct permanent evacuation centers that will be used during times of calamity.

Ako Bicol party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe said the use of school buildings as evacuation centers is taking its toll on the education of the students and the physical buildings itself every time a calamity strikes.

Private firm: Rehabilitate MRT instead of buy out

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 08:23 p.m.

THE solution to address the malfunction in the system of Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 is rehabilitation instead of buying out the stakeholders for P53 billion, the chair of a major equity holder in the rail system said.

Robert John Sobrepena, chairperson of Fil-Estate Corporation, said complete overhauling of MRT will be a fast track solution to avert the continuing failure in the rail transit's operation, which will amount to $98 million and is expected to be accomplished within18 months.

Bill seeks protection on consumers’ phone records

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 08:14 p.m.

SENATOR Miriam Defensor Santiago has filed a bill seeking to protect consumers' phone records.

Santiago said Senate Bill 2511 or "Protecting Consumer Phone Records Act" aims to implement the constitutional right to privacy of communications and correspondence by providing measures, which will make it difficult to access phone records of a consumer.

Senate approves 2014 supplemental budget

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 07:53 p.m.

MANILA -- Senators approved on third and final reading Wednesday the P22.467-billion supplemental budget, two days after the House of Representatives gave its nod on the same measure.

Pope to be served with Filipino dishes

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 07:41 p.m.

MANILA -- Pope Francis will have a chance to taste Filipino cuisine, as organizers are thinking of serving him local delicacies during his lunch with the survivors of natural calamity in Leyte next month.

US denies Philippines bid for Pemberton custody

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 06:53 p.m.

MANILA -- The United States (US) denied Wednesday the Philippine Government's request for the turnover of custody of American Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton, who was formally charged with murder Monday.

NPA declares truce for Christmas, Pope's visit

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 03:57 p.m.

MANILA — Philippine communist rebels on Wednesday declared cease-fire periods for the Christmas holidays and for the visit of Pope Francis next month.

Ona remains as DOH chief

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 03:52 p.m.

ENRIQUE Ona remains as the Department of Health (DOH) secretary while Janette Garin serves in an acting capacity.

DOH spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy nothing has changed in the agency’s leadership status since Ona went on official leave two months ago.

Government seeks custody of Pemberton in murder case

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 09:58 p.m.

MANILA -- The Philippine government asked Washington on Tuesday to turn over custody of a US Marine charged with the murder of a Filipino transgender woman in a looming irritant between the allies.

Pope forgoes bulletproof popemobile for PH visit

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 07:02 p.m.

MANILA -- Pope Francis will forego the bulletproof popemobile for his upcoming trip to the Philippines in January next year, a church official said Tuesday.

Arrest warrant out vs Pemberton

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 05:09 p.m.

MANILA -- An Olongapo City court issued on Tuesday an arrest warrant against United States Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton for allegedly killing Filipino transgender Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude two months ago.

2nd plunder, graft raps filed vs Binay

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 04:21 p.m.

MANILA -- Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay, are facing their second plunder and graft complaints filed over allegations that the construction of the Makati Science High School was overpriced by P826 million.

Bill seeks multi-hazard, flood maps for LGUs

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 02:25 p.m.

SENATOR Lito Lapid has filed a bill seeking to require multi-hazard maps and flood hazard maps in every local government unit (LGU).

Lapid said the Departments of Science and Technology (DOST) and Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will be directed to provide and educate all LGUs on the value and use of Yolanda Rehabilitation Scientific Information (YORINFO) Center.

Senate passes fair competition bill

Monday, December 15, 2014 - 09:01 p.m.

THE Senate passed on third and final reading Monday a bill seeking to shield small business owners and consumers from companies engaged in unfair business practices leading to high prices of basic commodities.

Senate Bill 2282 or the proposed Fair Competition Act seeks to allow more Filipinos to make a living out of their own businesses to boost employment and strengthen purchasing power of more Filipinos.

Ex-Iloilo guv faces graft raps

Monday, December 15, 2014 - 07:45 p.m.

MANILA (Updated) -- Former Iloilo governor Niel Tupas Sr. and three other provincial officials will face trial in the Sandiganbayan for graft in connection with the overpayment of unconsumed electricity worth P4 million.

Pemberton charged with murder

Monday, December 15, 2014 - 07:02 p.m.

MANILA (Updated) -- Government prosecutors charged with murder Monday detained US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton for the death of Filipino transgender Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude last October 11.

Anti-drug tipsters get P3-M Christmas gift

Monday, December 15, 2014 - 03:52 p.m.

FIVE informants got financial reward on Monday for providing information that led to the arrest of high profile drug personalities as well as to the dismantling of several illegal drug laboratories.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Arturo Cacdac handed over a total cash reward of P2,998,358.25 which he called an "early Christmas gift" to the informants identified by their code names Omar, Reggie, Machete, Kulot and Coleen Sarmiento.

‪Senate inquiry sought on increasing child rape cases

Monday, December 15, 2014 - 02:53 p.m.

SENATOR Nancy Binay has filed a resolution seeking to investigate the reported increase in child rape cases.

The 2011 International Statistics on Crime and Justice by the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control showed that the Philippines ranked seventh among the countries with high prevalence of rape cases.

PNP: Taxis under close watch

Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 03:51 p.m.

CABS in Metro Manila are now subject to thorough inspection on checkpoints, a police official said Sunday, following reports of robbery and hold-up incidents happening on taxis.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Carmelo Valmoria said the inspection will be done at night as he asked for the cooperation of the taxi-riding public.

Cop linked to Aman investment scam killed

Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 08:08 p.m.

A RETIRED police officer, who was linked to Aman Futures investment scam, was shot to death in Iligan City on Thursday, police reported Friday.

Retired Senior Superintendent Amor Masbod was attacked by two motorcycle-riding men around 9 a.m. Thursday along Hunters Row St., Barangay San Miguel.

Pimentel seeks probe on AI torture report

Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 08:07 p.m.

SENATOR Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III sought Saturday an investigation into the increasing reports of widespread torture against detainees under police custody as contained in a recent published report by Amnesty International (AI).

Pimentel described the AI report as disturbing, saying laws should be enacted “to prevent torturous activities, provide mechanisms for the effective investigation and restitution of legitimate claims of torture and end impunity.”

Lawmaker to block proposed tax on sweetened beverages

Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 08:06 p.m.

THE leader of the Visayan bloc in the House of Representatives together with top honchos from the Philippines’s sugar industry took a shot the government’s proposal to impose Ad Valorem Tax on sweetened beverages.

Negros Occidental Representative Alfredo Benitez said that sugar products are not the primary reason in the rising obesity and diabetes problems of rice-eating Filipinos.

Law enforcers education eyed vs rice smuggling

Friday, December 12, 2014 - 05:18 p.m.

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Friday that it will come out with a checklist that will help law enforcement units like the police and the military to properly inspect and identify legitimate rice shipments arriving in the country.

BOC Commissioner John Sevilla said that his office wants to provide the police and the military with the proper knowledge so that they can help the government's anti-smuggling campaign, especially with the spate of rice smuggling in far flung areas.

DOH defends makers of anti-pregnancy video

Friday, December 12, 2014 - 04:25 p.m.

THE Department of Health (DOH) came to the defense on Friday of their partners in the making of the controversial anti-teen pregnancy music video, saying the production team is well aware of their legal boundaries.

In an interview, DOH spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy said they have every confidence in their private partners in the production of the "Gaga Girl, Bobo Boy" music video in ensuring that everything was done properly.

UN: No sign of IS militants in Philippines

Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 11:00 p.m.

MANILA -- A UN counterterrorism official said Thursday there was no evidence that Islamic State militants have gained a foothold in the Philippines, where Muslim rebels are active, but added that the country can take more steps to help fight a group that has vowed to expand its reach.

Filipinos belonging to two small but violent Moro insurgent groups in the country's south, including the al-Qaeda-inspired Abu Sayyaf, have publicly vowed support to the Islamic State group, sparking concerns among Philippine security officials.

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