MANILA, Philippines — An advocate for protection against involuntary disappearances won a human rights award from the governments of France and Germany for helping victims of enforced disappearances and their families and mobilizing actors on the issue. In her acceptance speech, Bacalso said the award gives visibility to the struggle against involuntary disappearances and other human rights violations. She added: “Despite this, many families of the disappeared have transcended from their state of victimization and have metamorphosed from victims into human rights defenders. In 2013, Bacalso received the Patrick Rice Human Rights Award and the Emilio F. Mignone International Human Rights Prize. Karapatan also documented at least 206 victims of enforced disappearances during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and 29 during the presidency of Benigno Aquino III.
December 16, 2019 09:11 UTC
At least 3 dead in multiple-vehicle collision in BulacanMANILA, Philippines— At least three people were killed after a sports utility vehicle rammed through several vehicles along McArthur Highway in Bulacan on Monday. A report of GMA News TV live said six others were hurt from the incident while a dzBB radio report said two people are under critical condition after the crash. A report from The STAR meanwhile said four were killed from the incident and ten others were injured. According to the television report, initial investigation of the Bocaue Police determined that the SUV bumped into a vehicle before it plowed through several other vehicles while the driver was trying to escape from the first road mishap. This then caused the vehicular smashups on the road.
December 16, 2019 08:48 UTC
Lauren Chalk, a mother from Memphis City, Tennessee, considers baby Wyatt her “miracle baby,” Fox-affiliate WHBQ-TV reported on Dec. 13. Chalk and her husband have given up on having kids after two miscarriages in 2015 and 2016. “He’s the best gift that anybody could give me. Best Christmas gift since Jesus.”Chalk stated that she did not get sick during her pregnancy, The Norwalk Hour reported on Dec. 14. The mother gave birth through induced birth at the Baptist Women’s Hospital on Dec. 2.
December 16, 2019 08:37 UTC
MANILA, Philippines—The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) on Monday announced the temporary suspension of its “forensic activity” pending President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision whether or not to veto the budget cut of P19. 5 million intended for the upgrade of its forensic laboratory and equipment. “We will leave the future of the PAO Forensic Laboratory in the hands of the President,” PAO Forensic Laboratory Director, Atty. ADVERTISEMENT“Not to some members of the House and Se ate who protect the interests of their principals and clients by orchestrating defunding of the laboratory, disabling it and preventing the PAO Forensic Laboratory from helping the poor, and the victims of crimes,” he stressed. 9 of the Anti-Torture Act, which gave PAO the power to investigate torture cases, PAO noted.
December 16, 2019 07:52 UTC
MANILA, Philippines — A division of the Sandiganbayan has junked P200-billion civil forfeiture case against the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos due to insufficiency of evidence. The PCGG said the Marcos couple stashed the illegally acquired wealth in several banks locally and abroad, as well as in several foundations. Last October 23, the same Sandiganbayan division junked a P267.371 million civil forfeiture case against the Marcos family and spouses Ignacio and Fe Gimenez, business associates of the late strongman. In August, the Marcoses and their cronies won a civil forfeiture case that demands P102 billion in moral and exemplary damages. Rita Delos Reyes, Rosario Arellano, Angelo Lobregat, Benito Nieto, Carlos Nieto, Carmen Tuazon and Rafael Valdes.
December 16, 2019 07:41 UTC
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo should stop meddling on the issue of the water concession agreements because she does not know anything, Malacañang said Monday. Robredo on Sunday said the government should pursue a “calmer” approach in pushing for the review of the “onerous” water concession agreements between Maynilad, Manila Water and the government. ADVERTISEMENT“Maybe, our advice for VP Leni is, “Don’t meddle on something that you don’t know,” presidential spokeperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing. The 25-year water concession agreements were signed in 1997 during term of former president Fidel Ramos administration and extended in 2009 through the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration until 2037. She (Robredo) should know that,” Panelo said.
SAN PEDRO CITY-The police arrested 118 people in a three-day anti-crime operation in Cavite province. Cavite police director Col. Marlon Santos, in a text message Monday, said 88 of which were suspected illegal drug pushers or users. The rest were either involved in illegal gambling or faced standing arrest warrants for various crimes. The police also recovered another 48 grams more of shabu from suspect John Melvin Castiñeda, also in Dasmariñas City. All in all, Santos said the simultaneous operations recovered 195.6 grams or P1.3 million worth of alleged shabu; about 30 grams of suspected marijuana, and four illegal firearms.
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang sees no problem with the Ombudsman releasing the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) of President Rodrigo Duterte. He said Duterte would not release his SALN to the public and let the Ombudsman do its job. Asked if the President was hiding anything, he said, “If he is hiding anything he would not have filed any SALN.”He insisted that it is up to the Ombudsman to release copies of the President’s SALN. “Yeah, because that’s the job of he Ombudsman to release,” he said. When asked if there will be a problem if the Ombudsman would make public the president’s SALN, Panelo said: “How can there be any problem, that’s why he filed it… When you say ‘transparent,’ you file.
BOCAUE, Bulacan—A wayward pickup killed three people on the national highway here on Monday (Dec 16), police said. Col. Rizalino Andaya, Bocaue police chief, said the victims, who are still unidentified, had been passengers of a motorcycle and tricycle that were also on the MacArthur Highway at the village of Binang 1st past noon. ADVERTISEMENTAndaya said the driver of the Mitsubishi Strada lost control of the pickup before ramming the victims’ vehicles. The three victims died on spot while the pickup driver was injured and taken to a hospital. Carmela Reyes-EstropeEdited by TSBRead NextLATEST STORIESMOST READ
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is eyeing another agreement with France to strengthen maritime defense cooperation. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and French Defense Minister Florence Parly recently signed the Letter of Intent on Enhancing Defense Cooperation in the Maritime Domain in Paris. In September, the Philippines and France convened their second joint defense consultative committee meeting. The two top defense officials also previously signed a technical arrangement on defense equipment cooperation between the two countries. Under the Aquino administration in May 2016, the Philippines and France inked a defense cooperation arrangement that sought to focus on cooperation on high-level dialogues and defense policy consultations.
December 16, 2019 07:07 UTC
MANILA, Philippines — Any move pushing for charter change is doomed as the upper chamber will not prioritize proposals to amend the Constitution, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Monday. There is no real difference between a bill and a joint resolution. Drilon said that "if the House of Representatives would insist on passing Cha-cha (charter change), make it a point to include their return address because the Senate and the Filipino people will not accept it." Senate President Vicente Sotto III said last week that charter change is not included on the to-do list of the chamber. In December last year, the House of Representatives approved a draft federal charter on third and final reading.
December 16, 2019 07:07 UTC
MANILA, Philippines — Banks have suspended lending money to embattled Maynilad Water Services, Inc. amid uncertainties over the future of its water supply contract with the government, the utility firm’s parent company said Monday. A Singapore-based arbitration panel has ordered the Philippine government to indemnify both Maynilad and Manila Water Company, Inc. for the losses they suffered from an unenforced rate hike, triggering angry responses from President Rodrigo Duterte. The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, the Philippines’ water regulator, has rescinded the 15-year extension of the water concession deals. “Banks have suspended lending money to Maynilad to finance its new capex (capital expenditure) program,” MPIC said. The MWSS’s decision to terminate utilities' extended water contracts comes at a time Duterte seeks more private capital to bankroll his ambitious infrastructure plan.
December 16, 2019 06:33 UTC
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo said Monday that she will push back the release of her report on the government’s "drug war" since rescue and relief efforts for those affected by the strong quake that rocked Davao del Sur on Sunday is more important. Robredo instead called for unity and for relief to be given to victims of the magnitude 6.9 quake that jolted parts of southern Mindanao. “For me, it is not the right timing to work on the report on ICAD when there is still time to talk about it. "The problem is not only the strong earthquake yesterday but the fact that these are successive strong quakes," she added. The vice president also said she ordered Christmas celebrations in their office to be “scaled down” and simple, stressing that helping the Davao and Soccsksargen regions is more urgent.
December 16, 2019 06:33 UTC
MANILA, Philippines—More than a week before Christmas, the Philippine Coast Guard is already on heightened alert as it beefs up safety and security measures for the Yuletide season starting Monday, Dec. 16 until Jan. 5, 2020. PCG Admiral Joel Garcia, in compliance with the directive of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, directed all PCG units to be on heightened alert and intensify safety and security measure on national ports and ferry terminals to “ensure orderly operations on sea transport facilities; safe and convenient travel of the riding public; and security at beaches and local resorts. ADVERTISEMENTA 55-meter multi-mission offshore vessel, nine 44-meter multi-role response vessels, six 30-meter monitoring control surveillance vessels, two 35m search and rescue vessels, and three 24-meter fast patrol boats were strategically deployed in major ports nationwide, the PCG said. PCG personnel, in coordination with the police and military, will also man help desks at major seaports across the country to ensure zero maritime incident or casualty. Read NextLATEST STORIESMOST READ
December 16, 2019 06:22 UTC
MANILA, Philippines — A patroller of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) died after sustaining a gunshot on his forehead in Calamba City, Laguna on Monday. The victim identified as El Marcelo Danoso was on his way to work when gunmen opened fire before fleeing the crime scene at 9:10 a.m. in Barangay Makiling, according to an initial police report. ADVERTISEMENTPolice have yet to identify the perpetrators and the motive behind the incident. Officers of the Calamba City Police Station are investigating the case. Edited by JERead NextLATEST STORIESMOST READ
December 16, 2019 06:22 UTC