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Caution raised on Israel, Russia help vs terrorism

THE INVOLVEMENT of Israel and Russia in the Philippine government’s counter-terrorism efforts, especially in Mindanao, will be advantageous to the military, but analysts cautioned against the potential for corruption in defense-related contracts.

CHR calls out police over De Lima handling

THE COMMISSION on Human Rights (CHR) has called out the Philippine National Police (PNP) over what it deems an excessive handling of detained opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima.

Gov’t unlikely to protest Chinese rescue center in PHL-claimed area

MALACAÑANG ON Thursday said the Philippines should "perhaps be thankful" to China for the reported maritime rescue center it constructed in the Philippine-claimed Kagitingan Reef in the West Philippine Sea because it will be beneficial to seamen in distress.

DoF pins hopes on tobacco tax passage before Congress break

THE Department of Finance (DoF) on Wednesday said it is still hoping to pass measures raising the excise tax on tobacco and alcohol products before Congress goes on break in early February for the May 13 midterm elections, adding that it will be “re-filing” the other remaining tax reform packages.

NEDA submits to Duterte report on sexual harassment complaint

THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Wednesday said its report on the sexual harassment complaint filed against one of its officials has been transmitted to President Rodrigo R. Duterte for his action.

Jobs fair set for displaced Hanjin workers

A JOBS fair for at least 3,000 affected workers of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Corp. Philippines (HHIC-Phil), which has declared a debt default, will be held on Feb. 9 at the Subic Gymnasium.

House panel to issue show-cause order to DBM’s Diokno

THE House committee on appropriations on Tuesday agreed to the motion of Leyte 3rd district Rep. Vicente S.E. Veloso to issue a show-cause order to Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), allowing him to explain why he should not be cited in contempt for failing to appear in the hearings on alleged anomalies in the proposed 2019 budget.

Suicide bombing angle seen in Jolo blast

AUTHORITIES INCLUDING President Rodrigo R. Duterte himself are considering the possibility of suicide bombers involved in Sunday’s twin blasts at the Jolo Cathedral, according to their updates on Tuesday.

Palace defends martial law after Jolo blast

MALACAÑANG ON Monday defended the continued implementation of martial law in Mindanao, in the wake of Sunday’s twin blasts at the Jolo Cathedral in the predominantly Muslim island and municipality of Jolo.

Dismissed official rehired to DoLE

AFTER firing him in October last year, President Rodrigo R. Duterte has reappointed Joel B. Maglunsod to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).

Jolo church bombed a week after BOL plebiscite

AT LEAST 18, including soldiers, were killed and about 80 were wounded on Sunday morning, after two bombs exploded at Jolo Cathedral in the predominantly Muslim island and capital of Jolo, about a week after the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

For some businessmen: Duterte’s leadership style remains a concern

MOST BUSINESS LEADERS agree that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has fared well when it comes to things that matter — continued economic growth and higher foreign direct investments (FDIs).

Misuari ‘not a threat’ to BOL’s success — Palace

MALACAÑANG on Thursday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte does not see Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari as a threat to the success of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), despite the rejection of Sulu province, Mr. Misuari’s turf, of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) on Monday’s plebiscite.

Palace-House relations turn complex in twilight of Speaker’s career

THE coup at the House of Representatives that catapulted Pampanga (2nd District) Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the speakership, on that very day of July 23 last year, when President Rodrigo R. Duterte was scheduled to deliver his State of the Nation Address, was a signal even to the surprised reporters covering the House that Mr. Duterte did not have a sure grip on his allies.

House revises bill on age for criminal liability

AMID the backlash to its bill on criminal liability, the House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading an amended version of that bill lowering the age of “social” responsibility to 12 years old, from the originally proposed age of nine years old the chamber had earlier passed.

Police ordered to solve ambush on Cebu town mayor in 2...

THE LOCAL police have been directed to resolve the failed murder attempt on the mayor of San Fernando town in Cebu last Tuesday, which is suspected to be politically-motivated.

PHL workers removed from US visa eligibility

MALACAÑANG ON Tuesday said it is open to appealing the US government’s imposing a one-year ban on hiring workers from the Philippines.

Charter change seen to top Congress agenda amid pending priority measures

IT IS reasonable to expect that charter change will be the predominant theme in the agenda of this year’s 18th Congress.

Duterte signals readiness to amend charter’s economic provisions only

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte is now open to limiting Charter change to just economic provisions, noting that Congress is “taking too long” to act on it.

NBI ordered to probe former Cebu City prosecutor’s murder

MALACAÑANG on Sunday condemned the murder of a former assistant prosecutor in Cebu City as it ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe the killing.

Fourth quarter hunger levels decline, SWS study shows

FILIPINO FAMILIES reporting that they experienced “involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months” fell by 2.8 points to 10.5%, equivalent to about 2.4 million families, according to the fourth quarter Social Weather Survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Arroyo tells Palace budget saga almost over

MALACAÑANG on Thursday said there is no need to apply pressure on Congress to pass the proposed 2019 National Budget because it will be passed in February.

Lorenzana: Funding for Reds a challenge to government

DEFENSE Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said funding for the underground communist movement remains a challenge to the government in its objective to end the insurgency.

Sri Lankan leader hails Duterte’s drug war

SRI LANKAN President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s drug war is “an example to the whole world.

Holiday declared for BOL plebiscite

MALACAÑANG has issued Proclamation No. 646 declaring Monday, Jan. 21, a special non-working day in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Isabela City in Basilan, and Cotabato City for the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Tax amnesty bill due at Palace

A TAX amnesty measure was set to be transmitted on Wednesday to the office of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Joselito G. Lambino II said.

Duterte, Sri Lanka leader witness signing of 5 agreements

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte and Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday witnessed the signing of five bilateral agreements at Malacañang Palace, including cooperation on defense, agriculture, education, and tourism.

RTC judge appointed to Sandiganbayan

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed Makati City Regional Trial Court Judge Ronald B. Moreno as Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan.

Duterte says dismissed Bacolod police chief a drug lord ‘protector’

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday said that dismissed Bacolod police chief Senior Supt. Francisco B. Ebreo “might not be” in the illegal drug trade, but revealed that he is a protector of a certain drug lord in the city.

Duterte to join campaign for BOL approval

COTABATO CITY — Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim expressed confidence in the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) given the vigorous campaign that various sectors have been conducting in the past weeks.

Palace to look into passport data breach

MALACAÑANG SAID on Monday it will look into the alleged passport data breach, together with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Presidential Communications Operations Office(PCOO), and the United Graphics Expression Corporation (UGEC).

Sri Lanka leader on state visit to PHL

MALACAÑANG on Monday said the President Maithripala Sirisena of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is scheduled to arrive in Manila today, Jan. 15, for a five-day state visit to the country.

Duterte fires Bacolod City police chief, 4 others

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has fired Senior Supt. Francisco B. Ebreo as Bacolod City police chief and four other officials for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

Duterte tops Pulse Asia trust ratings survey

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte remains the most trusted among the four top national officials, according to Pulse Asia’s December 2018 Nationwide Survey on the performance and trust ratings of key government officials.

Anti-Corruption Commission gets anti-red tape recommendatory powers

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed an executive order mandating the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to recommend complaints of violations of the Anti-Red Tape Act to the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).

President Duterte appoints Ramos-Samaniego as BoI governor

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed Board of Investments (BoI) Management Service Group OIC-Executive Director Marjorie O. Ramos-Samaniego as BoI governor.

Duterte signs Telecommuting Act into law

A MEASURE institutionalizing telecommuting as an alternative work scheme has been signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, as confirmed on Thursday by Malacañang and also by Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, one of the measure’s principal authors.

Duterte signs law on 300% increase in pension for war veterans

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed a law increasing the monthly pension of war veterans to “300%” beginning this year.

Palace denies red-baiting journalist group members

MALACAÑANG on Thursday denied that the government, through the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), is red-baiting members of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

Duterte signs into law HIV and AIDS Act

MALACAÑANG ANNOUNCED on Wednesday that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed into law the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018.

Local holidays declared in 3 cities for festivals, anniversary celebration

MALACAÑANG HAS declared special non-working days in three cities for their respective local celebrations. These are:

Palace approves urgent certification for P60 tobacco tax

MALACAÑANG on Tuesday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved a proposal of the Department of Health (DoH) and the Department of Finance (DoF) to impose a P60 tax per pack of tobacco and P40 per liter of alcohol.

Palace calls Andaya bluff on 2019 gov’t salary hike

MALACAÑANG on Tuesday dismissed House Majority Leader Rolando G. Andaya, Jr.’s threat to seek Supreme Court intervention if the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) fails to implement a scheduled salary increase for government employees by Jan. 15.

Palace: Give officials under investigation chance to respond

PRESIDENTIAL Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo on Tuesday said the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) should give officials under investigation for alleged corruption a chance to respond.

Palace assures Duterte’s support for HIV law awaiting signature

MALACAÑANG on Tuesday assured the public that President Rodrigo R. Duterte supports the proposed HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018.