Swede in terrorist list denied entry
A SWEDISH national whose name is included in an international list of suspected terrorists was denied entry into the country, the Bureau of Immigration reported on Thursday. His three companions on a flight from Singapore were also barred from entering through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last February 5. Grifton SP. Medina, the BI’s port operations division chief, said the passengers were booked on the first flight back to their port of origin. The alleged terrorist’s identity was not disclosed for security reasons, Mr. Medina said. “He is just one of thousands of international terrorists whose names were included in the shared database containing information supplied by the various law enforcement and intelligence agencies here and abroad,” he said. State agents said the four were of Iraqi descent from Iraq’s Kurdistan region. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas
Retired Justice Buena, 87
THE RETIRED supreme Court Associate Justice Arturo B. Buena passed away at the age of 87 on February 13 due to a “lingering illness,” the court announced. Mr. Buena was appointed to the high court on January 5, 1999, and served until his retirement on March 25, 2002. Prior to this, he was an associate justice at the Court of Appeals starting in 1986. He started his work in government in 1956, two year after passing the 1954 Bar exams, as liaison officer in the Office of the Speaker at the House of Representatives and as legal and technical assistant at the Senate Electoral Tribunal. He was also an assistant to former Justice Jose P. Bengzon in the turnover of supervision of the lower courts to the high tribunal. He also worked as acting deputy court administrator, deputy court administrator, and acting court administrator before his appointment to the appellate court. A native of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, Mr. Buena earned his pre-law and law degrees at the University of Santo Tomas, where he also taught law. One of the SC rulings he penned was the October 2000 decision dismissing the petitions filed against the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas
Retired cops with drug trade links can still face criminal charges
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL Police (PNP) Chief Archie Francisco F. Gambo said on Thursday that cops who will take the offered early retirement option amid an investigation on illegal drug trade links can still face criminal charges after they leave the service. “Kapag nag (If you take the) optional retirement kayo hindi ibig sabihin na (it does not mean that you are) off the hook,” he told reporters in Camp Crame. By availing of the optional retirement, Mr. Gamboa said the police officers are still entitled to their benefits, but they could still be charged criminally if there is evidence against them. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo, in a briefing at the Palace, made a similar statement saying, “Giving them the retirement option doesn’t mean that they will not be prosecuted if there’s evidence they’ve been involved.” Mr. Gamboa also appealed to the media to refrain from focusing on naming the prominent personalities among the 357 cops under investigation, saying all of them are entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Of the total, 15 officers have taken early retirement while 43 are marked AWOL, or absent without leave, after they skipped a drug test ordered by the police chief. — Emmanuel Tupas, PHILSTAR and Gillian M. Cortez
Agri chief calls on private sector veterinarians to help battle ASF spread
AGRICULTURE SECRETARY William D. Dar called on veterinarians in private practice to volunteer their services in the government’s program to stop the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) that is threatening the country’s P400-billion hog industry. “This is the time to unite and be part of a national movement to eradicate the African Swine Fever,” Mr. Dar said during the International Farmers Summit held February 12 in Pasay City. He said private sector veterinarian can team up with the Department of Agriculture’s ASF Crisis Management Task Force for monitoring and surveillance, information dissemination, and planning on how to manage, contain, and control the deadly disease. The first ASF outbreak in Rodriguez, Rizal was confirmed in August 2019, and later spread in various parts of Luzon. Most of the cases have been addressed, except in some towns in Pangasinan where infected swines were reported in January. A new outbreak, this time in different parts of the Davao Region in Mindanao, is currently being managed.