Rent-a-car syndicate busted

Director General Ronald dela Rosa presented 107 of the 407 cars that had been recovered by the PNP with the busting of the syndicate engaged in the so-called “Rent-Sangla” swindling scheme. “Maybe the suspects have contacts in the banks,” dela Rosa told a news briefing. Were bank people not alarmed when one person was asking for a loan to be used for buying 16 cars]?” dela Rosa said. He ordered the Highway Patrol Group to expedite the processing and release of recovered vehicles to their rightful owners. Dela Rosa said the group’s operations even reach southern Mindanao.

February 20, 2017 10:52 UTC

3 lady judges of Muntinlupa RTC to handle De Lima drug cases

Three lady judges in Muntinlupa will handle the drug charges against Senator Leila De Lima. ADVERTISEMENTSection 26 (b) on the other hand refers to the sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of any dangerous drug and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical. Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 Judge Juanita T. Guerrero will handle Criminal Case No. Branch 205 Judge Amelia Fabros-Corpuz will handle criminal case no. Branch 206 Judge Patria Manalastas-De Leon will handle criminal case no 17-167.

February 20, 2017 10:32 UTC

Global arms trade highest since Cold War

STOCKHOLM: Worldwide arms trade has risen to its highest level since the Cold War in the last five years, driven by a demand from the Middle East and Asia, a study said Monday. “Transfer of major weapons in 2012-16 reached their highest volume for any five-year period since the end of” the Cold War, the independent institute said in a statement. The share of Asia and Oceania in international imports was slightly higher (44 percent) between 2007 and 2011. Sipri said worldwide arms imports and exports over the last five years have reached a record level since 1950. The United States and France are the main weapons providers for the Middle East while Russia and China are the main exporters to Asia.

February 20, 2017 10:18 UTC

Duterte rethinking veto on BI’s express lane fees

Express lane charges are additional costs being paid by a foreigner who wants to fast- track processing of his documents. “The deposit of express lane charges to the general fund will automatically result inthe displacement about 1,000 or 73 percent of the bureau’s workforce by next week. The only source of income of these BI personnel is the express lane fees. Without the express lane fees, they will automatically lose their jobs and will join the unemployed population of the country, ” the letter of appeal said. Use of express charges collected by the bureau is allowed under the DOJ-BI Special Provision No.

February 20, 2017 10:07 UTC

UPDATE: 14 students dead in PH bus accident

MANILA: Fourteen college students on a camping trip were killed and dozens injured on Monday when their bus slammed into an electricity post in a mountainous area of the Philippines, police said. The impact with the concrete post caved in the front of the bus and scattered parts of the engine on the roadside. Almost 40 others including the bus driver were injured in the accident, said Bong Bati, the civil defense officer at Tanay in Rizal province east of Manila. “There were some victims who are seriously injured that need to be transferred to a bigger hospital,” he added. Some students said they smelt burning before the crash but the cause of the accident is still undetermined, police said.

February 20, 2017 09:56 UTC

Israeli PM Netanyahu on historic Asia trip

SYDNEY: Benjamin Netanyahu will become the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit Australia on Wednesday on a historic Asia trip that also includes Singapore, but faces protests Down Under. The right-wing Israeli leader will meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney. Australia and Israel have traditionally enjoyed friendly ties but this is the first time that a serving Israeli prime minister has visited the country since the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948. Netanyahu on Monday met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the city-state, also on a first-time visit. Netanyahu said both countries were “kindred spirits” being “small nations that have become in many areas global powers”.

February 20, 2017 09:47 UTC

Hundreds of migrants rush border at Spain’s Ceuta

MADRID: Some 300 migrants stormed the border between Morocco and Spain at Ceuta on Monday, authorities said, days after one of the largest rush of arrivals over the frontier in more than a decade. The young migrants climbed over the high border fence into the Spanish North African territory, ecstatic to have finally crossed into a European Union state. Ceuta and Melilla, also a Spanish territory in North Africa, have the EU’s only land borders with Africa, so are entry points for migrants who either climb the border fence, swim along the coast or hide in vehicles. The last such massive attempt took place on New Year’s Day when more than 1,000 migrants tried to jump a high double fence between Morocco and Ceuta in a violent assault that saw one officer lose an eye. The six-metre high fence also has rolls of barbed wire.

February 20, 2017 09:45 UTC

We cannot trust Malaysian investigation – N. Korea

KUALA LUMPUR: Pyongyang cannot trust the Malaysian police investigation into the sudden death of a North Korean, the country’s ambassador said Monday, after officers identified the victim as the half-brother of the North’s leader. Kim Jong-Nam was traveling under the alias of Kim Chol when apparently poisoned by two women at Kuala Lumpur International Airport a week ago. Malaysia had earlier in the day summoned Kang over his accusation that the investigation was politically motivated and that Kuala Lumpur was conspiring with “hostile forces”. The Malaysian foreign ministry rejected the claim and announced it was recalling its envoy to Pyongyang. Malaysian police initially told the North Korean embassy that a diplomatic passport-holder had died of natural causes, according to an English transcript of Kang’s speech handed to journalists.

February 20, 2017 08:37 UTC

Norwegians abducted in Yemen – minister

ADEN: Yemeni rebels have abducted a dozen local staff working for the Norwegian Refugee Council in the Red Sea district of Hodeida, a minister and local sources said Monday. Monday’s news comes amid a push by forces loyal to Hadi, backed by the Arab coalition, to close in on Hodeida, located on Yemen’s western coast. Yemen’s conflict escalated in March 2015 when the Saudi-led coalition began air strikes to help forces loyal to Hadi to take large parts of the country back from the rebels. More than 7,400 people have been killed and nearly 40,000 injured in two years of fighting in Yemen, according to the World Health Organisation. UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen James McGoldrick in January said more than 10,000 civilians had been killed since 2015.

February 20, 2017 08:37 UTC

Iran says Saudi, Israel working to damage country

TEHRAN: Iran on Monday criticized what it said was coordination between Israel and regional rival Saudi Arabia, describing attempts to create an “international atmosphere” against Tehran. Israel and Saudi Arabia accuse Iran of fuelling regional conflicts by supporting armed Shiite movements in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain. Iran rejects the accusations and says Riyadh must stop its support for Sunni “terrorists” like the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda. Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar do not have diplomatic relations with Israel—although that does not prevent them from sharing informal links. US President Donald Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has gone on record pushing for cooperation between the Jewish state and Sunni Arab nations to oppose Iran.

February 20, 2017 08:18 UTC

China’s huge debt poses big headache for central bank

Although a dozen municipalities have recently tightened rules on apartment purchases, overheating persists, with home loans accounting for a record one-third of bank lending in January. It injected additional liquidity into the financial system before the Lunar New Year, when demand for cash is traditionally strong. Then in early February the bank raised short-term rates in the money market by 10 basis points for the first time in four years. These unregulated schemes include company-to-company lending, which jumped 20 percent in 2016 to $1.92 trillion, according to data firm CEIC. Under these conditions, analysts say, it will likely take a long time to get China’s debt monster under control as the country attempts to re-balance its economy.

February 20, 2017 08:18 UTC

Death squad 'leader' admits hand in killing own brothers

MANILA, Philippines — Retiring SPO3 Arthur Lascañas, self-confessed member of the so-called Davao Death Squad, admitted that he was involved in the killing of his two brothers who were involved in illegal drugs. At a televised press conference at the Senate compound, Lascañas claimed that he was blinded by his loyalty and obedience to then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. READ: Davao Death Squad 'leader' resurfaces, retracts denialsThe self-confessed hitman said that his two brothers, Cecilio and Fernando, used illegal drugs. "Tanggap ko po kung anong mangyari sa akin dahil po sa sobra kong loyalty sa kanyang campaign nagawa ko po ito. The self-confessed hitman said that President Rodrigo Duterte was directly involved in the so-called DDS, which executed drug offenders in Davao City.

February 20, 2017 08:15 UTC

Lascanas allegation part of plot to unseat Duterte – Palace

MANILA — Malacañang on Monday claimed the shocking revelations of SPO3 Arthur Lascanas regarding the existence of the dreaded Davao Death Squad was part of a plot to unseat President Duterte. Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar dismissed Lascanas’ statements as part of a “demolition job” against Mr. Duterte, who previously owned up to killing criminals. ADVERTISEMENT“The press conference of self-confessed hitman SPO3 Arthur Lascanas is part of a protracted political drama aimed to destroy the President and to topple his administration,” Andanar said in a statement. “Our people are aware that this character assassination is nothing but vicious politics orchestrated by sectors affected by the reforms initiated by the Duterte administration,” he said. The Duterte administration has disturbed/disrupted the establishment.

February 20, 2017 07:01 UTC

13 students, 1 driver killed in Tanay bus accident

(Updated) Thirteen college students and a bus driver were killed after a tourist bus carrying around 50 people bound for a research field trip in a resort in Tanay, Rizal, bumped into an electrical post, according to the Tanay Police. The fatalities, four of them female, were college students from Bestlink College of the Philippines in Quezon City. ADVERTISEMENTIn a separate interview, Carlos Inofre of the Tanay town government said the bus was traversing the downhill road when the driver reportedly lost control of the bus after its brakes failed. The students were bound for a camping activity at Sacramento Adventure Camp in Tanay, according to Berlito Bati Jr, training officer of the Tanay MDRRMC. Bati said the injured were brought to following hospitals: one was brought to Camp Mateo Capinpin, six to Tanay General Hosptial, one to Tanay Community Hospital, 17 to Tanay Provincial Hospital and 13 others to another hospital.

February 20, 2017 03:56 UTC

Another self-confessed death squad member implicates Duterte in killings

A former police officer who claimed to be part of the infamous Davao Death Squad (DDS) on Monday accused President Rodrigo Duterte as the one responsible for a number of unsolved murders in Davao City during his term as mayor. Lascañas narrated some operations carried out by the DDS against a number of individuals including the massacre of the Patasahan family that included a five-year-old boy and a pregnant woman. He also bared details on the killing of radio broadcaster Jun Pala, the bombing of a mosque in Davao City and the murder of a suspected drug lord. Lascañas said his testimony could back some of the claims earlier made by confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, who had testified in a Senate inquiry. Lascañas said Duterte would pay them after accomplishing their missions, and the biggest reward he received was when the DDS killed Pala.

February 20, 2017 03:50 UTC

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