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Deterioration of Ifugao Rice Terraces continues, says mayor

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 00:00

The famed Ifugao Rice Terraces, inscribed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), continue to deteriorate at a fast rate. According to Banaue town Mayor Jerry Dalipog, 332 of the 1,600 hectares of the rice terraces have been damaged, which highlights the loss of a great cultural heritage.


It’s final: SC upholds PMA dismissal of Cudia

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 00:00

The Supreme Court has upheld with finality the dismissal of Cadet 1st Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) last year. In summer session yesterday, justices of the SC voted to deny the motion for reconsideration filed by Cudia appealing the ruling of the high court last February that junked his petition questioning the dismissal order of the PMA that was also affirmed by the Office of the President in June last year. SC spokesman Theodore Te said the magistrates found no merit in the arguments raised in the appeal that could warrant reversal of its earlier ruling. The court again rejected the argument of Cudia that his right to due process was violated when the PMA and its Cadet Review and Appeals Board did not allow him to join the graduation of their Siklab Diwa batch last year and ordered his dismissal from the academy for lying.


BIFF founder Kato is dead

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 00:00

The reclusive founder of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters – Ameril Umbra Kato – died early yesterday, relatives and followers in the BIFF said. Kato had been immobile since late 2011 after suffering a stroke during a long walk to a BIFF camp on Firis Hill in Maguindanao. Kato died in his hideout in Datu Hofer town, also in Maguindanao. Kato’s condition started to worsen last Friday, according to a former member of the Maguindanao provincial board.


Illegal foreign workers on the rise in Phl – TUCP

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 00:00

More foreigners are entering the country to illegally seek employment, according to the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP). TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay said the number of illegal foreign workers in the country has been increasing in the past years. “The influx of migrant workers is a growing phenomenon in the country today,” he said. TUCP estimates that over 3,500 foreigners are working in the country illegally.


Revilla, Cambe transfer to Camp Bagong Diwa pushed

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 00:00

The Office of the Ombudsman, asking the Sandiganbayan to rule in favor of “the higher interest of substantial justice,” has insisted on asking the anti-graft court to order the transfer of detained Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. and his former chief of staff Richard Cambe from the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center at Camp Crame to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig. “To rule otherwise would create and/or promote a double standard in the application of our laws which is inimical to the orderly administration of justice and to public interest,” government lawyers led by Deputy Special Prosecutor Manuel Soriano and Director Joefferson Toribio stressed. In a manifestation and motion filed before the Sandiganbayan First Division dated April 10, the Office of the Ombudsman said its original pleading filed on July 8, 2014 asking for Revila and Cambe’s transfer to Camp Bagong Diwa, though already denied, remains pending because their motion for reconsideration is yet to be resolved.


LP ready for 2016 with Mar for president

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 00:00

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II is still the presidential candidate of the Liberal Party (LP) in the 2016 elections, Senate President Franklin Drilon said yesterday. “Roxas is the presidential candidate we will present and the party is ready for 2016,” LP stalwart Drilon said in response to questions from journalists. While the LP has not yet discussed its entire lineup, Drilon said some names are already in the party’s possible senatorial slate, and one of them is former Pangasinan third district Rep. Rachel Arenas, daughter of Rep. Rosemarie Arenas. The popularity of President Aquino, LP chair, has suffered a setback in recent surveys and some say his endorsement might adversely affect his candidates for 2016.


Noy: World should fear China actions

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 00:00

China’s efforts to stake its claim to most of the South China Sea should spark fear around the world, with military conflict possible, President Aquino told AFP yesterday. In an exclusive interview, Aquino also warned that China’s increasingly assertive actions raised the specter of other nations having access cut to international shipping lanes and fishing grounds in the sea. The Philippines is expected to raise the destruction of coral reefs in the South China Sea, caused by China’s massive reclamation in the disputed area, during oral arguments on the dispute at the United Nations arbitral tribunal in July. Aquino said that while he did not believe China intended to engage in a military conflict over the territorial disputes with the Philippines and other Asian nations, that was a possibility.


House wraps up hearing on Mamasapano incident

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 00:00

The House of Representatives was expected to wrap up last night its inquiry into the Mamasapano incident, with lawmakers hoping to get clear answers surrounding the killing of the 44 policemen and several civilians. Lawmakers are grilling officials of the PNP to be followed by military officers, including Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, who were cooling their heels at a separate room at the South Wing Annex where the hearing was held. The last to be interviewed separately will be members of the government negotiating panel led by Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles. The two panels held the executive session to protect the identities of the Special Action Force (SAF) policemen and intelligence officials who were involved in Oplan Exodus, the operation to capture fugitive Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and his Filipino cohort in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25.


P-Noy rings in optimism at PSE

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 00:00

President Aquino expressed optimism yesterday that the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) index would sustain its winning streak and reach the 9,000 to 10,000 levels before he steps down from office next year. Joining the President in the bell ringing ceremony were PSE chairman Jose Pardo, PSE president and chief executive officer Hans Sicat, PSE director Eusebio Tanco, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and officials of listed companies.


Charges vs justices need evidence – SC

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 00:00

The Supreme Court has “ultimate jurisdiction” over corruption allegations and other cases against members of the judiciary and it wants evidence before it proceeds with any investigation. The SC made this clear yesterday as Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV called on his colleagues – through a resolution – to investigate two Court of Appeals (CA) justices for allegedly receiving P50 million from Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. for their ruling against the suspension of the mayor by the Office of the Ombudsman. The high court did not specifically mention the issues raised by Trillanes. Lourdes Sereno called on informants and lawyers or anyone with information about corruption in the judiciary to come out in the open and present evidence to help facilitate investigation of erring magistrates.


US, Australia, Phl to hold Balikatan exercises

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 00:00

The armed forces of the Philippines, the US and Australia will conduct the 31st series of the Balikatan military exercises in the country from April 20 to 30. An annual bilateral combined exercise initiated by the governments of the Philippines, the US and Australia, this year’s Balikatan (BK 15) will focus on maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster response and humanitarian civic assistance. The staff-planning exercises are slated in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City and in Western Command in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, while the field training exercises will be conducted in military camps in Central Luzon. As part of Balikatan’s humanitarian civic assistance, military medical personnel from the three countries’ armed forces will offer free medical, dental and veterinary care to communities in Legazpi City in Albay.


Indonesian domestic worker beheaded in Saudi Arabia

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 20:36

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded an Indonesian domestic worker who knifed to death a Saudi woman described in press reports as her employer. Amnesty International said the sentence against Siti Zainab was carried out despite suspicions she was mentally ill. The interior ministry said Zainab was executed after being convicted of stabbing and beating Saudi woman Noura al-Morobei to death. Authorities carried out the sentence on Tuesday in the Muslim holy city of Medina, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.


Standing on strangers' shoulders

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 19:22

What it means to have someone believe in you, believe that you can run with the best.


Philippine leader says Muslim peace deal can be saved

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 19:17

Philippine President Benigno Aquino said Tuesday he could still secure a peace deal with Muslim rebels before standing down next year, after a botched anti-terror raid nearly derailed the process. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Philippines' biggest Muslim rebel group, signed a peace pact last year aiming to end their four-decade separatist struggle that has claimed an estimated 120,000 lives. Malaysian bomb-maker Zulkifli bin Hir, one of the United States' most wanted men, was killed in the raid. Asked in an exclusive interview with AFP on Tuesday if the peace accord could be implemented before he steps down in June next year, Aquino said: "Yes, I believe so." As outrage eased over the deaths -- the single biggest battlefield toll among security forces in recent memory -- the autonomy bill could be discussed "devoid of emotion", he said.


Deterioration of Ifugao Rice Terraces continues, says mayor

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 16:00

The famed Ifugao Rice Terraces, inscribed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), continue to deteriorate at a fast rate. According to Banaue town Mayor Jerry Dalipog, 332 of the 1,600 hectares of the rice terraces have been damaged, which highlights the loss of a great cultural heritage.


It’s final: SC upholds PMA dismissal of Cudia

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 16:00

The Supreme Court has upheld with finality the dismissal of Cadet 1st Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) last year. In summer session yesterday, justices of the SC voted to deny the motion for reconsideration filed by Cudia appealing the ruling of the high court last February that junked his petition questioning the dismissal order of the PMA that was also affirmed by the Office of the President in June last year. SC spokesman Theodore Te said the magistrates found no merit in the arguments raised in the appeal that could warrant reversal of its earlier ruling. The court again rejected the argument of Cudia that his right to due process was violated when the PMA and its Cadet Review and Appeals Board did not allow him to join the graduation of their Siklab Diwa batch last year and ordered his dismissal from the academy for lying.


BIFF founder Kato is dead

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 16:00

The reclusive founder of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters – Ameril Umbra Kato – died early yesterday, relatives and followers in the BIFF said. Kato had been immobile since late 2011 after suffering a stroke during a long walk to a BIFF camp on Firis Hill in Maguindanao. Kato died in his hideout in Datu Hofer town, also in Maguindanao. Kato’s condition started to worsen last Friday, according to a former member of the Maguindanao provincial board.


Illegal foreign workers on the rise in Phl – TUCP

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 16:00

More foreigners are entering the country to illegally seek employment, according to the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP). TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay said the number of illegal foreign workers in the country has been increasing in the past years. “The influx of migrant workers is a growing phenomenon in the country today,” he said. TUCP estimates that over 3,500 foreigners are working in the country illegally.


Revilla, Cambe transfer to Camp Bagong Diwa pushed

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 16:00

The Office of the Ombudsman, asking the Sandiganbayan to rule in favor of “the higher interest of substantial justice,” has insisted on asking the anti-graft court to order the transfer of detained Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. and his former chief of staff Richard Cambe from the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center at Camp Crame to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig. “To rule otherwise would create and/or promote a double standard in the application of our laws which is inimical to the orderly administration of justice and to public interest,” government lawyers led by Deputy Special Prosecutor Manuel Soriano and Director Joefferson Toribio stressed. In a manifestation and motion filed before the Sandiganbayan First Division dated April 10, the Office of the Ombudsman said its original pleading filed on July 8, 2014 asking for Revila and Cambe’s transfer to Camp Bagong Diwa, though already denied, remains pending because their motion for reconsideration is yet to be resolved.


LP ready for 2016 with Mar for president

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 16:00

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II is still the presidential candidate of the Liberal Party (LP) in the 2016 elections, Senate President Franklin Drilon said yesterday. “Roxas is the presidential candidate we will present and the party is ready for 2016,” LP stalwart Drilon said in response to questions from journalists. While the LP has not yet discussed its entire lineup, Drilon said some names are already in the party’s possible senatorial slate, and one of them is former Pangasinan third district Rep. Rachel Arenas, daughter of Rep. Rosemarie Arenas. The popularity of President Aquino, LP chair, has suffered a setback in recent surveys and some say his endorsement might adversely affect his candidates for 2016.