Revilla attended the second day of his plunder trial where the Ombudsman field investigating officer Junelin Pagunsan testified about the conduct of a fact-finding investigation that led to the filing of plunder and graft information before the Sandiganbayan. At one point while the hearing was suspended, Revilla sat beside Mercado and put his arms around her. Also detained for plunder is Revilla’s colleague, former senator Jinggoy Estrada, who was denied bail while accused of pocketing P183.7-million kickbacks. Their plunder and graft charges were filed with the Sandiganbayan by the Office of the Special Prosecutor in June 2014. JPV/rgaRELATED STORYNo dismissal for Revilla plunder case, Sandigan affirms
June 29, 2017 04:46 UTC
Aquino said that based on investigation, Ibanez stabbed Dizon 35 times; Estrella, 45; Donnie, 15; Ella, 19; and Dexter, Jr., 5 times. Asked whether there were others involved in the crime, Aquino said the suspect claimed he could not remember although he admitted that he could have acted alone. When Ibanez saw Auring, Aquino said he immediately got one of the kitchen knives and stabbed her. Hearing the commotion, Estrella went down from the two-storey house and saw Ibanez raping her dead mother. When Ibanez saw Estrella, he stabbed and raped her also.
June 29, 2017 03:37 UTC
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Wednesday set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a “close” family or business tie to the United States. The move came after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims. The new rules take effect on Thursday, according to the cable, which was obtained by The Associated Press. Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the U.S. would be exempt from the ban. That hurdle may be a difficult one for those immigrants to overcome, as many visa lottery winners don’t have relatives in the U.S. or jobs in advance of arriving in the country.
June 29, 2017 02:01 UTC
SYDNEY: Vatican finance chief Cardinal George Pell has been charged with multiple child sex offences in Australia, police said. Pell, the country’s most senior Catholic cleric, was interviewed in Rome by Australian police last October over the allegations which he strongly denies. “Victoria Police have charged Cardinal George Pell with historical sexual assault offences,” Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton told reporters Thursday, local time.
June 29, 2017 00:11 UTC
OTTAWA, Canada — Canada’s top court on Wednesday ordered Google to remove a website from its worldwide search results, in what some experts are calling a landmark international copyright protection case. The original injunction, which the Supreme Court upheld, had been requested by Canadian telecommunications equipment manufacturer Equustek Solutions, which successfully sued another company for relabeling its products and passing them off as their own. Following that lower court ruling, Google de-indexed 345 webpages associated with the offending firm in Canada. ADVERTISEMENTBut the company fled the country and continued to market the counterfeit products from an unknown location. Google balked when Equustek asked it to go further and de-index all mentions of the offending company worldwide.
June 28, 2017 21:45 UTC
LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government on Wednesday defeated its first parliamentary challenge since a disastrous election earlier this month, in a vote on whether to maintain increasingly unpopular austerity measures. The Conservatives had expected to increase their majority in the election, but left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn energised voters with an offer of increased public sector investment. With 317 of the 650 seats in parliament, the Conservatives now need to be supported by the DUP’s 10 MPs. Ahead of the vote, Corbyn claimed austerity played a part in the blaze at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in London earlier this month, in which 79 people are presumed dead. But Labour wants to force the government to publicly defend public spending cuts, with an eye on the prospect of another election if May cannot hold on.
June 28, 2017 19:18 UTC
Several government-owned and -controlled agencies were allegedly used as conduits in channeling PDAF funds to ghost livelihood projects of the fake NGOs. In August of the same year, the Commission on Audit (COA) released a report that named government agencies that facilitated the release of P6.156 billion in PDAF funds to ghost NGOs from 2007 to 2009. This led to proposals in Congress to abolish the agencies linked to the pork barrel scam. The Aquino administration scrapped the government-owned and -controlled corporations as part of a crackdown on “nonperforming” and “unnecessary” state companies. Among those abolished were TRC, NLDC and Nabcor.
June 28, 2017 19:07 UTC
Bank security guard Dexter Carlos Jr. found five members of his family dead from stabbing inside their house at North Ridge Royal Subdivision. Four people, described as neighbors and tricycle drivers, had been classified as “persons of interest” because they frequented the Carlos house to buy tap water, said Supt. Fitz Macariola, city police chief. Carlos said his wife never talked about people in the community who may have been paying her extra attention. ADVERTISEMENTSpeaking earlier to Radyo Inquirer, Macariola said the persons of interest had not been detained but had been asked to cooperate in the investigation.
June 28, 2017 17:48 UTC
In a statement on June 24, the municipal health office said the children tested negative for dengue and Japanese encephalitis, both mosquito-borne illnesses. ‘Fear and panic’Asked what prompted the deployment of a DOH team to this town, Roca said: “Fear and panic. In one hospital here, vaccines against Japanese encephalitis, however, come in limited stocks. Japanese encephalitis, on other hand, is spread by culex mosquito. “We don’t call [Japanese encephalitis] rare because it is endemic to the Philippines, like dengue,” he said.
June 28, 2017 17:37 UTC
The local currency closed 21 centavos weaker at P50.50:$1 on Wednesday. “The peso depreciated today, after Fed Chair [Janet] Yellen affirmed the US central bank’s plan to hike interest rates gradually, despite declining inflation expectations,” said Land Bank of the Philippines market economist Guian Angelo Dumalagan. In a speech, Yellen has reiterated calls for gradual rate hikes, saying a tightening labor market will eventually trigger higher wages and overall prices. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the peso weakness is mostly externally driven. The peso first touched the P50:$1 level on November 24 last year as bets on an interest rate hikes in the US, which actually happened in December, favored the dollar.
June 28, 2017 17:26 UTC
The fund’s economists previously had factored in spending stimulus equivalent to 2 percent of the economy from 2017 to 2019, but that was removed. The IMF warned that “significant policy uncertainties imply larger-than-usual” risks to the US forecasts on either side, since spending cuts could lower growth, while tax cuts could provide stimulus and expand the economy. “It is unlikely this set of policies can generate an acceleration in growth of one percentage point,” said Alejandro Werner, director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department. The IMF called for policies to raise the potential growth rate of the US economy, including through investments in improved education and training programs, and policies to provide incentives to work, such as an earned-income tax credit. The United States “ought to be judicious in its use of import restrictions,” the IMF said.
June 28, 2017 17:26 UTC
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved 11 priority projects worth P305.6 billion, mostly infrastructure, including the proposed P211.43-billion Malolos-Clark railway, Malacañang announced on Wednesday. The biggest project on the list is the Malolos-Clark railway project, or the Philippine National Railway North 2, worth P211.43 billion. Transport policyThe NEDA said Duterte has also approved a National Transport Policy (NTP), which aims to unify all transport-related projects in the country. The NTP envisions a national transport system that is “safe, secure, reliable, efficient, integrated, intermodal, affordable, cost-effective, environmentally sustainable and people-oriented,” it added. “The NTP is a priority strategy reflected in the PDP as we seek to provide accessible social services through better connectivity,” he added.
June 28, 2017 17:15 UTC
“OFW bonds are something that we have to look into next year,” de Leon said. The OFW bond would be similar to the multi-currency retail Treasury bonds (RTBs) that were offered onshore to OFW families in 2010, raising proceeds of about $350 million for the government. “For the OFW bond, if [that’s what we decide to offer], that would have to be done offshore. Regulations at OFW host countriesFinance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said the government is looking to offer OFW bonds to Filipinos in Saudi Arabia and the United States. Earlier, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the expected proceeds from the proposed OFW bonds will also help fund the government’s ambitious infrastructure program.
June 28, 2017 17:15 UTC
Banks have until the end of 2017 to make necessary changes in systems and processes and comply with the central bank’s stiffer rules on reporting standards. In a statement on Wednesday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the Monetary Board approved a circular setting forth expectations on banks to establish an effective reporting system that will enable them to comply with the Bangko Sentral reporting standards. An effective governance process over the reporting system must be established by the bank’s board of directors, the central bank noted. This should be supported by a management information system and technology infrastructure that is commensurate to the bank’s level of activity and complexity,” it said. Formal corrective measures may also be required to be undertaken by the bank should there be significant deficiencies noted during the assessment of its reporting system, it said.
June 28, 2017 17:03 UTC
“The approval of Meralco’s PSAs would lead to 3,551-megawatt (MW) of coal entering the pipeline, which would pose great harm to the people’s health and livelihood, as well as the environment and the climate,” CEED Convenor Gerry Arances said in a statement. “But on top of this, Filipinos will end up paying more for electricity if Meralco would have their way,” he added. “About 70 percent of power projects to go online in 2019 will be from coal. This means that by 2021, coal will supply at least 50 percent of our energy needs,” he added. Thus, ERC must follow its own rules and throw out the midnight contracts so that a transparent and public bidding may take place,” he added.
June 28, 2017 17:03 UTC