BIFF blamed for bombing in Maguindanao

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - Bandits detonated on Monday night a bomb near the municipal hall of Talayan town just two hours before experts defused an explosive found beside a security checkpoint in Cotabato City. Senior Superintendent Agustin Tello, director of the Maguindanao provincial police, said no one was hurt in the bombing in Talayan but the incident triggered panic among residents. Officials of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division are convinced the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) was behind the attack. The group, which boasts of loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is known for bombing non-military targets to avenge losses in encounters with pursuing state security forces. The bombing near the Talayan municipal center preceded the deactivation at about 8:00 p.m. Monday by bomb experts of an improvised explosive device (IED) found near a joint Army-police security checkpoint in Tamontaka District in Cotabato City.

March 28, 2017 07:41 UTC

SC justice points out De Lima violation in notarized petition

Part of the requirement under the law is to attach a jurat on the petition filed by De Lima. The jurat is an act in which an individual appears in person before the notary public and presents an instrument or document. “So, the petition was already signed at the time she met Senator De Lima. She did not sign the petition before the notary public,” Velasco said. READ: Notary public in De Lima petition ‘imaginary’—SolGen“From the very affidavit alone [of Cabalo], there was non-compliance of our 2004 Rule on Notarial Practice,” Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco said.

March 28, 2017 07:34 UTC

SKorea ferry salvors find human remains

SEOUL: Salvage workers who raised South Korea’s sunken Sewol ferry may have found a body which had been missing since the disaster in 2014, the maritime ministry said Tuesday. The ministry said in a statement it would hold a briefing on “finding human remains suspected to be one of the missing victims”. The remains were recovered on board the semi-submersible carrying the ferry, Yonhap news agency said, without immediately giving further details or citing a source. Yonhap said officials from the National Forensic Service as well as ministry officials and police have been dispatched to the site to identify the remains. The 145-metre ship was brought to the surface in a complex salvage operation believed to be among the largest recoveries ever of a wreck in one piece.

March 28, 2017 07:18 UTC

Analyst: Trump in Manila could do more harm than good

MANILA, Philippines — The attendance of United States (US) President Donald Trump on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila on November might do more harm than good, an analyst said. The APEC and ASEAN summits are scheduled back-to-back in November and would require at least six days, including flights to and from the region. Trump may take interest in the APEC Forum's economic orientation but the ASEAN Summit will cover issues of less interest to him, Connelly said. Last January, President Rodrigo Duterte sent an invitation to Trump to attend the ASEAN summit that will be held in the country. Trump, however, has not yet committed to visiting the Philippines for the ASEAN summit in November.

March 28, 2017 07:18 UTC

Duterte, Misuari reaffirm commitment to lasting peace in Mindanao

President Rodrigo Duterte and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari have reaffirmed their commitment to bring lasting peace in conflict-torn Mindanao. Duterte and Misuari had a “warm and cordial” meeting on Monday at the presidential guest house in Panacan, Davao City. “Basically it was a reaffirmation of the importance of securing just and lasting peace and development for Mindanao,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella told reporters in a Palace briefing on Tuesday. Misuari emerged from three years of hiding when he met with Duterte in Malacañang in November last year. MNLF supporters carried out the attack to derail the government’s peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

March 28, 2017 06:11 UTC

Cavs to sit out Korver several games with foot injury

SAN ANTONIO — The Cavaliers plan to sit forward Kyle Korver for several games to see if rest and treatment helps his sore left foot. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. "I had soreness earlier," said Korver, who came back and played in three games after missing seven with the injury. Sportshub ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1Cleveland players have missed 169 total games due to injury, illness or rest. Cleveland's 103-74 loss at San Antonio on Monday night dropped the Cavs (47-26) a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for first place in the East.

March 28, 2017 05:48 UTC

Joma Sison wishes ‘best of health’ for ex-student Duterte

LUCENA CITY, Quezon – Self-exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison wished President Duterte, his former student in college, the best of health on his birthday, Tuesday (Mar. “I wish him the best of health so that he can serve the people as best as he can,” Sison said in an online interview. ADVERTISEMENTSison said Duterte should celebrate and enjoy his birthday in the company of his family and friends. Duterte was Sison’s student at the Lyceum of the Philippines. Duterte admitted that Sison played an important part in molding his political belief, which led him then to become a member of Kabataang Makabayan, a militant youth organization which Sison founded.

March 28, 2017 05:21 UTC

Arrest warrant out for Matobato over Makdum kidnap-slay

DAVAO CITY – A Regional Trial Court judge issued a warrant of arrest against self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato for the 2002 kidnapping of Turkish national Sali Makdum. In her order issued on Monday, Judge Dorothy Gonzaga of Regional Trial Court 4 in Panabo City in Davao del Norte said Matobato would not be allowed to post bail. Matobato admitted during the Senate hearings on the Davao Death Squad that he and Sonny Custodio abducted Makdum on Samal Island in 2002 on orders of President Rodrigo Duterte. ADVERTISEMENTHe said Makdum was a suspected terrorist.

March 28, 2017 04:30 UTC

Army denies link to killing of 3 ComVal farmers

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte – The military denied on Tuesday allegations it was behind the killing of three farmers in Laak, Compostela Valley, even as it dared its accusers to file charges. ADVERTISEMENTThe 45-year-old Lina was shot dead by an unknown assailant at her house in Kibaguio village around 3 p.m., Apiag said. He said Lina had been receiving threats from the military and had been summoned many times to the 60IB camp. “She had also been vilified as a sympathizer of the (New People’s Army),” the rights group spokesperson said. Apiag said they have documented 16 cases of political killings in Southern Mindanao under the nine-month old Duterte administration.

March 28, 2017 03:45 UTC

‘Duterte empowered by Constitution to appoint village execs’

In a statement, Surigao Del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers cited Article 10, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution which allows the President to appoint barangay officials. “The President is empowered by the Constitution in his plan to remove all barangay officials and appoint their successors pending new elections in May 2020,” Barbers said. “It is clear therefore that the President, through a law passed by Congress, may remove all barangay officials and appoint their successors. Barbers’ bill seeks to further postpone the village polls to the fourth Monday of May 2020, and every three years thereafter. IDL/rgaRELATED STORIESBarangay execs’ appointment reeks of Marcos – solonSolons alarmed by Duterte plan to appoint village execsDuterte eyes declaring all barangay posts vacant in October

March 28, 2017 03:45 UTC

Hungary ready to detain all migrants — ministry

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary said Monday it was ready to begin detaining asylum-seekers in camps on its southern border with Serbia after passing a law this month that has drawn criticism from rights groups and the UN. Hungary’s parliament approved on March 7 the systematic detention of all asylum-seekers in camps on the border composed of converted shipping containers. “The border protection agencies are fully prepared for the entry into force of the reinforced legal border closure on March 28,” said a statement by the interior ministry. Rights groups like Amnesty International have condemned the new rules for failing to meet Hungary’s international obligations to asylum-seekers. According to refugee rights group the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) some 400 asylum-seekers are currently housed in the country’s internal camp network, and now face relocation to the border camps.

March 28, 2017 03:33 UTC

Troops rescue ship engineer from Abu captors in Basilan

BASILAN, Philippines - Government troops rescued a tugboat chief engineer Monday night from the captivity of the Abu Sayyaf group in the coastal town of Basilan, according to security officials. Col. Juvymax Uy, chief of the Joint Task Force Basilan (JTFB), said Laurencio Tiro, chief engineer of Super Shuttle T/B 1, was rescued about 10:30 p.m. Monday at Sitio Sasa, Barangay Basakan, Hadji Mohammad Ajul town. Tiro was rescued barely three days when his tugboat captain, Aurelio Agac-ac, was rescued last Saturday dawn also near the area. Agac-ac and Tiro were seized aboard their tugboat steaming alongside Super Shuttle 9 last Thursday at the seawaters off Sibago Island, Basilan by a group of armed men suspected to be members of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group. Galvez also lauded the local government units for leading the rescue and offensive operations against the Abu Sayyaf group in their respective areas.

March 28, 2017 03:22 UTC

China can now deploy military assets to South China Sea

MANILA, Philippines — Beijing can now deploy military assets to the Spratly (Kalayaan) Islands in the South China Sea as wraps up construction of infrastructures on the "Big Three"—Subi (Zamora), Mischief (Panganiban) and Fiery Cross (Kagitingan) Reefs. Another facility on Woody Island in the Paracel Islands would allow Chinese military aircraft to operate nearly the entire South China Sea. China now has constructed hardened shelters with retractable roofs for mobile missile launchers on Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross Reefs. The arbitral tribunal ruled that Mischief and Subi Reefs are low-tide elevations while Fiery Cross Reef is a rock. The United Nations-backed tribunal also ruled that Mischief Reef is part of the Philippines' exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

March 28, 2017 03:00 UTC

Leonard leads as Spurs dismantle ailing Cavs, 103-74

SAN ANTONIO — Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night (Tuesday Manila time) in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions. LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight. Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. In addition to scoring a season-low 17 points, Cavaliers superstar LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

March 28, 2017 02:48 UTC

Cousin marriages in Pakistan ‘trigger disorder’

Treatment of LSD changes outcome from miserable death to a near normal but it is very expensive. The panel of speakers urged the government to take a step forward and support these patients by developing a policy for LSD. Dr. Hani Akbar Rao while presenting an overview about the recent advancement of LSD in Pakistan said that every year more than 250 children are diagnosed with the disorder. Prof Dr. Salman Ali said emphasis should be laid on creating awareness among people about LSD. Mr Shah said the Pak-Turk Health Week was observed at Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital, Muzaffargarh, and Nishtar Hospital, Multan, in connection with the Pakistan Day celebrations.

March 28, 2017 02:18 UTC

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