In what critics described as a big step in the rehabilitation of the Marcos family, the House of Representatives passed on second reading a bill abolishing the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). On Tuesday evening, the 292-member chamber approved House Bill No. As of 2016, a total of P170 billion has been recovered by the PCGG from the Marcoses and their cronies. The PCGG estimates the Marcoses stashed between $5 billion and $10 billion during Marcos’ 20-year rule. “The Duterte administration’s moves to rehabilitate the Marcoses took another giant leap forward with … [the House bill],” said ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio.
March 21, 2018 23:26 UTC
ADVERTISEMENT830,000 childrenThe assistance for at least 830,000 children who have been vaccinated with Dengvaxia will cover expenses for hospitalization, as well as outpatient care. So-called Hepos (health education and promotion officers) will be deployed and medical kits will be distributed to the children under the program. The medical kits will cost P261 million. “[T]he medical kits, worth P300 per vaccine, include one thermometer, one mosquito repellent, two bottles of multivitamins and one package bag,” it said. Patient turned awayADVERTISEMENTDiokno said he expected the supplemental budget bill to be filed in May when Congress resumes sessions after the Lenten break.
“Nothing personal, politics is temporary,” megastar Sharon Cuneta said of her dinner on Tuesday with President Rodrigo Duterte who, on several occasions, had publicly berated Cuneta’s husband, opposition Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan. “As Tatay Digong said earlier, they respect each other even if they disagree on certain things … That’s why it’s nice that we live in a free country. And thank you, Mr. President. The megastar and the President shared an evening of music as well, as each of them performed a song number. She said, ‘I want to be with Sharon Cuneta,’” Mr. Duterte recalled.
It is to reward the good and to punish the evil,” Vallador said at the 39th Commencement Exercises of the PNPA on Wednesday. “As future public safety officers, we will always know what is right and not to do what is right is worse than corruption. Vallador said his mother had left for Spain to work as a domestic helper while he barely knew his father. Flowers, ringIn his valedictory address, Vallador also thanked a “special someone” whose “eyes and smiles” he said he would forever admire. Allabo, currently assigned to the PNP Special Action Force, said he and Bijuna went to the same Christian church in Novaliches even before they entered the police academy.
There have been multiple deadly road crashes involving passenger buses since 2002, including one that killed 42 passengers. On Christmas Day last year, 20 people were killed when a passenger bus collided head-on with a jeepney in La Union province. Two weeks earlier, on Dec. 9, a bus on the way to an athletic meet crashed in Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro province, killing two and injuring 26 others. On Feb. 7, 2014, a Florida Bus rolled off a cliff in Bontoc, Mountain Province, killing comedian Tado (Arvin Jimenez) and 13 other passengers, including two foreigners. On Aug. 18, 2010, a La Union-bound Eso-Nice bus plunged 45 meters down a ravine in Sablan, Benguet, killing 42 of its 50 passengers in one of the country’s deadliest road accidents.
The Mandaluyong-based company Globaltronics Inc. said it had shut down the billboard’s operation in compliance with an order from Makati Mayor Abby Binay, who gave the firm three days to explain why no legal or administrative action should be taken against it. A motorist, Mulong Sermonia, was able to record the clip around 2 p.m. Tuesday and later posted it on Facebook. Billboard shut downBinay said the billboard would remain closed pending the results of an investigation into the incident and the liabilities of Globaltronics. Sermonia, who said he also worked in the information technology (IT) industry, said he recognized the kind of software used on the billboard. He suspected that the person operating the computer that controlled the billboard didn’t realize that it was on “public viewing” mode while the pornographic clip was playing.
March 21, 2018 22:52 UTC
The death toll in the Manila Pavilion Hotel fire rose to six after another employee of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) died in the hospital on Wednesday morning. A statement from Pagcor identified the fatality as Jennilyn (not Jenifer as earlier reported) Figueroa, 28, an internal security staffer who had been working at the hotel casino for six years. She was brought to Manila Doctors Hospital on Sunday after fire hit the 22-story hotel on UN Avenue. ADVERTISEMENTThe five other fatalities were also Pagcor employees: treasury officer Edilberto Evangelista, assistant treasury officer Marilyn Omadto, security guard Billy Rey De Castro and closed-circuit television camera operators John Mark Sabido and Jocris Banang. Both were charred and one of them could only be identified by his wife through his wedding ring.
March 21, 2018 22:41 UTC
A 52-year-old drug suspect ended up in the hospital after he allegedly traded shots with policemen in an entrapment operation in Quezon City on Tuesday. Fedelito Calzado was hit in the right leg after he fired at the police team with a .38-caliber revolver on La Trinidad Street in Payatas. Five other people were arrested, including Calzado’s nephew, Ramil, 22 and his companion, Enrique Quiambao, 32. Guillermo Eleazar, Quezon City Police District director, said that Ramil and Quiambao, who were the targets of the drug bust, “sensed” they were dealing with policemen and ran to Quiambao’s house where Calzado and three other people were using “shabu” (crystal meth). Calzado, however, fired at the policemen and was wounded.
March 21, 2018 22:30 UTC
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he saw nothing irregular about the government allowing the development of casinos on Boracay Island, amid protests raised by environmentalists and the church. Macau-based casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. and its local partner, AB Leisure Exponent Inc., are building a $500-million integrated casino resort in Boracay. The Catholic Church in Aklan province also joined opposition to casino projects in Boracay. “We have been consistently opposing any move to put up a casino and we will continue to oppose it,” he said. Tala-oc said casino operations would “destroy the moral fiber” of families and could result in picking up other vices, like illegal drugs.
“We can’t consider evidence what Napoles would say because she is a polluted source and she has no credibility,” De Lima said in a statement from Camp Crame, where she is detained on drug trading charges. Now, she added, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre wanted the Sandiganbayan to throw away the evidence against Napoles in connection with the scam, and turn her over to the Department of Justice. De Lima also defended the filing of charges against several personalities in connection with the scam, saying these were based on evidence. He said Medialdea and Aguirre had instructed him to file a motion asking Sandiganbayan’s permission for Napoles’ transfer to a safe house. Aguirre confirmed the discussion between him, Medialdea and David on Napoles’ situation, but said the executive secretary gave his “opinion,” not legal advice, to David.
President Rodrigo Duterte is supporting the recommendation of Eduardo Año, officer in charge of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), to close Boracay Island for six months to fix its environmental problems. House backs closureThe House tourism committee has thrown its support behind the plan to temporarily close down the island. Committee Report No. 673 seeks the “temporary closure of Boracay Island to immediately eradicate or drastically reduce the dumping of wastewater into the beach,” without recommending a definite period. It also recommended that informal settlers on Boracay Island be moved to Barangay Caticlan on Panay Island.
Former President Fidel V. Ramos will be invited to a House inquiry to shed light on a “grossly disadvantageous” contract for the P1,000-a-year lease on a 5-hectare prime lot of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Pasay City during his administration. The House good government and public accountability committee approved on Wednesday a motion to call Ramos to its next hearing on the contract between DTI, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc., and Manila Exposition Complex Inc. The lease contract is valid for 50 years and renewable for another 25 years for a fixed amount of P1,000 per year, according to Eastern Visayas Rep. Ben Evardone. ADVERTISEMENTSigned on Jan. 23, 1996, the contract covers a prime 4.9-hectare lot located at the corner of Gil Puyat Avenue and Roxas Boulevard.
The fugitive former aide of former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada has been charged again in the Sandiganbayan, this time for allegedly failing to disclose her ownership of two condominium units. Pauline Therese Mary Labayen Cabico was charged with four counts each of perjury and violation of Section 8 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. Labayen was accused of omitting from her 2008 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) her ownership of a unit at The Manila Residences in Malate, Manila. Labayen was a coaccused of Estrada and alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles in the plunder case involving the senator’s alleged receipt of P183.79 million in kickbacks. She fled abroad and evaded detention for the nonbailable offense in 2014, as confirmed by the Bureau of Immigration in 2014.
The CIDG had filed the charges in the Department of Justice. The problem with prosecutors who handle criminal cases filed by the police is that most of them are too scared to question or berate officers who file cases against citizens either on a whim or with malicious intent. * * *As a radio ombudsman or host of the “Isumbong Mo Kay Tulfo” public service program, I’ve seen so many instances of policemen filing cases capriciously against persons who had offended them. The inquest prosecutors would then file the cases in court without asking the accused what brought about the charges. An example was this criminal case filed against a woman for drug pushing after a police investigator caught her taking a video inside the station.
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has denied an appeal by business owners from the tourist town of El Nido in Palawan province to defer the implementation of its order to demolish illegal structures built within the water easement zone of Bacquit Bay. DeadlineNatividad Bernardino, DENR regional director in Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), said her agency had required 32 establishments around the bay to leave and demolish their structures within 30 days. Owners of concerned establishments, represented by the Cottages and Resorts Association of El Nido, earlier asked the DENR to given them until July, the closing of this year’s tourist season, to demolish their structures. Even as the agency is pushing for the demolition of illegal structures, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Felizardo Cayatoc sought cooperation from business owners. ADVERTISEMENT“We are only talking here of a three- to six-month disruption, but the impact of cleaner El Nido beaches and waters will also mean better business for you in the long run,” Cayatoc said.