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Updated: 13 min 9 sec ago

Travel far and change lives

13 min 10 sec ago

Expert witness supports appeal by death row Australians

4 hours 38 min ago

Lawyers fighting to save the lives of two Australian drug smugglers on death row returned to court Monday to challenge the Indonesian president's rejection of their pleas for mercy. They presented an expert defence in an attempt to show that judges have the right to rule on the clemency issue, despite an earlier ruling to the contrary. Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, the ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" drug trafficking gang, were sentenced to death in 2006 for trying to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia. Their appeals for clemency, typically the final chance to avoid the firing squad, were recently rejected by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who has taken a hard line against traffickers.

PSEi breaches 8,000 level, but profit-taking pared most gains

6 hours 55 min ago
[caption id="attachment_257092" align="alignleft" width="150"] PSEi breaches 8,000 mark (PSE photo)[/caption] Local share prices surged on a slew of positive news from abroad, sending the Philippine Stock Exchange index past the 8,000 mark for the first time in history. BDO Unibank chief market strategist Jonathan Ravelas said the market rose due to “positive foreign equity portfolio flows and Fed Chair Yellen’s comments last week reiterating thethat the FOMC will be data dependent and dependent of labor market. For his part, Accord Capital Equities Corporation analyst Justino Calaycay Jr. said gains were due to positive news.

Abandoned, hard-up husband hits P60-M Lotto pot

6 hours 55 min ago
Lady luck finally smiled on a hard-up tricycle driver, who endured being abandoned by his wife and seeing his children drop out of school before hitting the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) 6/45 Lotto jackpot worth nearly P60 million. PCSO acting chairman Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said the 29-year old lucky bettor hit the jackpot in the March 20 draw by correctly picking the winning numbers 02-03-14-22-29-30, which corresponds to the birth anniversary dates of his family members.

News In Brief

6 hours 55 min ago
P/$ RATE CLOSES AT P44.80/$1The peso exchange rate closed  lower  at P44.80  to the US dollar yesterday at the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx) from P44.76  last  Friday.  The weighted average rate  unchanged  to  P44.796  from  P44.796.  Total volume amounted to $340.6 million.PUMP PRICES RAISED THIS WEEKThe pump prices of gasoline products will be raised by P1.10 per liter this week and diesel by P0.60 per liter, according to the oil companies. In an advisory to the media, the oil firms noted that the price adjustment would be effective March 31 (Tuesday) at 12:01 and 6:00am. ...

7 Churches in Bataan for Visita Iglesia

6 hours 55 min ago
Here are seven beautiful churches in Bataan province in Central Luzon recommended for the annual Visita Iglesia pilgrimage this Holy Week. HERMOSA [caption id="attachment_257186" align="alignleft" width="300"] Hermosa Church/Photo by Ramon FVelasquez - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia[/caption] St. Peter of Verona Church is one of the most celebrated in  Bataan. The creativity and artistry of the Diocese of Balanga are evident in this edifice.

PSEi closes at 22nd record high this year

6 hours 55 min ago
The PSEi peaked at 8,007.98 intra-day before dropping on profit-taking just before market closed to settle at 7,899.41, up by 21.45 points or 0.27 percent, still a new record for the year – the 22nd.

Power industry re-assessing ‘critical points’ in Luzon electricity supply

6 hours 55 min ago
With the shutdown of the Malampaya gas production facility still up for completion by mid-April and the feared rolling brownouts not exactly happening, the players in the power industry are warranted to re-assess the next critical periods on Luzon grid’s electricity supply. So far, Luzon’s biggest power utility Manila Electric Company (Meralco) had not advised of any rotating power interruptions since the downtime of the gas facility last March 15.

Dealing with drugs

6 hours 55 min ago
Somehow it sounds more real, to call it “Kalbaryo ng OFW,” than to use the straight-forward English phrase “ordeal of OFWs,” especially as it is Holy Week, a time to remember the pains and hardships of a “hero” forced to earn a living in a strange country far from one’s family. As problematic as their personal situations go, OFWs did remit $2 billion last January, a nine-digit development that points to po$itive signs of the economy hitting a 6.4 percent growth.

Need for modern national sports complex underscored

6 hours 55 min ago
Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara yesterday pushed for the construction of a “state-of-the-art” and “highly scientific sports complex” that can be used by the country’s national athletes for high-level training and total wellness program. Angara, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports, said the government should at least provide decent support to its athletes by providing them with ultramodern sports venues and facilities if it wants them to improve the country’s standing in international sports competitions. “A training center that is furnished with state-of-the-art training equipment, technology, facilities and modern amenities will definitely result in our athlete’s better performance in the Olympics and other national and international competitions,” he added. Angara has filed Senate Bill No. 2371, calling for the establishment of the Philippine Amateur Sports Training Center, of which its ownership, administration, management, operation and maintenance of the center would be vested to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

Judas’ betrayal announced and Peter’s denial predicted

6 hours 55 min ago
JOHN 13:21-33, 36-38 Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” ... One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side. So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.

Makati mayor slams PNP’s role in mayoralty row

6 hours 55 min ago
Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay denounced what he called apparent “misuse” of the Philippine National Police (PNP) force in the implementation of “selective suspension” of government officials not allied with the ruling party. Binay said he sympathizes with PNP personnel who often got caught in the middle of political conflicts, and called for an end to dirty political tactics. [caption id="attachment_257243" align="aligncenter" width="648"] THANKSGIVING MEAL – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay hosts a boodle fight at the city Makati City hall grounds to thank city residents for their support to his son, embattled Makati City mayor Jejomar Erwin ‘Jun” Binay, who was ordered suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman and enforced by the Interior and Local Government Department despite a Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Court of Appeals.

EVAP warns of unscrupulous foreign electric vehicle suppliers

6 hours 55 min ago
The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines  (EVAP) has cautioned local manufacturers and end users against unscrupulous foreign EV suppliers that are flocking into the domestic market. In a sunrise industry like the electric vehicle industry, EVAP stressed that choosing the right partner or supplier is a difficult task. “In the absence of any track record to review, an end user is at a loss as to how to choose a reliable and competent supplier,” said Atty. Bodie Pulido, EVAP Executive Director. EVAP was formed in 2009 to bring together under one roof all the reputable EV players in the country.

Mayors laud bill increasing tax revenue allocation for LGUs

6 hours 55 min ago
The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) is backing the proposed increase in the annual automatic allocations for local government units (LGUs) to boost inclusive growth with improved infrastructure, modernized agriculture and easier access to resources. Mayor Jess Burahan, secretary-general of the LMP said the empowerment of LGUs through added resources is a game changer in boosting inclusive growth.

Freeze order against Jinggoy assets final; Bong guards face raps

6 hours 56 min ago
The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has turned down with finality the plea of Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada to lift the freeze order on his properties amounting to more than P183 million. In a resolution released yesterday, the Fifth Division denied Estrada’s motion for reconsideration that sought that the court lift its writ of preliminary attachment/garnishment that was issued on February 17 that ordered the freeze of his properties. “As movant has not filed a counterbond and his arguments and as his arguments herein are unmeritorious, there is therefore no compelling reason to lift the attachment twhile the case is still pending,” stated the resolution that was signed by Fifth Division Chairperson Roland Jurado and Associate Justices Alexander Gesmundo and Ma. Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will file criminal and administrative cases against three policemen over the unauthorized visit of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to the February 14 birthday of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

Max’s sets P500M to build 90 stores

6 hours 56 min ago
Max’s Group Inc. is allotting P500 million for capital expenditures this year to open 80 to 90 new franchised and company-owned stores as part of its continued expansion in the Philippines and overseas. In an interview, Max’s chief financial officer Dave Fuentebella said the about 30 to 40 percent of the new stores will be owned by franchisees while the firm expects to invest about P10 million for each company-owned store. Fuentebella said more than half of these stores are already backed by signed agreements and firm locations to date. “Most of the new stores will consist of one of our four ‘star’ brands: Max’s, Yellow Cab, Pancake House and Krispy Kreme,” said Fuentebella noting that the four brands account for 86 percent of the group’s revenues.

Cagayan out to regain title

6 hours 56 min ago
Boasting of an intact, talent-laden roster, Cagayan Valley sets out as one of the favorites when the Shakey’s V-League unwraps its 12th season on Sunday with a heavy three-game bill kicking off the Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.While the seven other teams are also teeming with talents, Cagayan coach Nes Pamilar remains upbeat of the Rising Suns’ chances although he stressed the need for his wards to impose their will and strength all throughout their campaign to reclaim the crown they won in Season 10 but lost to Philippine Army last year. ...

Catholic faith: Holy Tuesday

6 hours 57 min ago
One of the most popular Holy Week traditions in the Philippines is the Senakulo or the Passion Play. It is a dramatic and colorful stage presentation depicting the life of Jesus Christ, with a particular focus on his trial, suffering, and death. From these humble beginnings the Senakulo developed very rapidly. In some rural areas, it usually takes at least eight nights – from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday – to present the play while in busy cities like Metro Manila, a Senakulo can only run for two hours.

‘No Tsunami Alert to PH’, Phivolcs says

6 hours 57 min ago
There is no tsunami threat to the Philippines after a powerful earthquake hit Papua New Guinea early today, March 30, Philippine Institute of Volcanology (Phivolcs) and Seismology said. The earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.6 prompted Pacific Tsunami Warning Center officials to warn of hazardous tsunami waves in the Pacific. According to Phivolcs, based on the historical and tsunami data of the Philippines, no destructive Pacific-wide threat exists.

US-led TPP seen to benefit PH SMEs

6 hours 57 min ago
Washington D.C.—The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will open up new and lucrative markets in the region that will primarily benefit small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the US-Chamber of Commerce (US-COC) said. Catherine Mellor, US-COC senior director for Asia, said SMEs across the TPP countries will have easier access to all member economies once trade barriers are brought down and she is optimistic that the Philippines will also reap the benefits of this ambitious trade agreement. “From my understanding with the Philippine government is that they are willing to undertake those constitutional reforms in order to join, and the Philippines is very interested in TPP and membership in sometime soon,” Mellor said.