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EO needed to enforce no-casino policy in Boracay

AN EXECUTIVE order (EO) is needed to implement President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s “no casino policy” in Boracay, Malacañang said yesterday, confirming an earlier recommendation by the Justice department.

Analysts: Takeover at BoC testing waters on nationwide martial law

WITH his order for the Philippine military to take over the Bureau of Customs (BoC), President Rodrigo R. Duterte is “testing the waters” for the declaration of a nationwide military rule, analysts said.

Just joking, Malacañang again claims on Duterte tirade vs church

MALACAÑANG again came to the defense of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, asserting that his most recent statement about the Catholic Church was just a joke.

11th Foreign Investment Negative List bares ‘modest’ gains in easing restrictions

MALACAÑANG on Wednesday finally issued the government’s closely watched list of sectors in which foreign participation is regulated, showing sectors where restrictions have eased including teaching in “higher education levels.”

Palace stands by Finance chief

MALACAÑANG on Wednesday said Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III of the Department of Finance (DoF) “continues to enjoy the trust and confidence” of President Rodrigo R. Duterte amid calls for his resignation.

Memorandum order out on regulation of sale of firecrackers

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other concerned agencies to “strictly implement” existing laws, rules and regulations on firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

Duterte issues EO on coordinating antidrug campaign

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed an order institutionalizing the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS), which the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) formulated to address the drug problem in the country.

EO establishes council to oversee Mindanao barter

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has issued an executive order (EO) regulating the barter trade in Mindanao, in part to “strengthen trade and commerce between and among the member states of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).”

Gov’t aims to complete Marawi rehabilitation in three years

THE GROUNDBREAKING ceremony for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City finally pushed through on Oct. 30, with the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) head promising completion by 2021.

Palace: Military overseeing Customs is constitutional

MALACAÑANG ON Tuesday maintained that President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s order for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to take over the Bureau of Customs (BoC) is constitutional, saying that soldiers will only be “assigned” to the bureau to “oversee” the operations there and “will not be appointed nor designated to civilian positions.”

Palace: Facebook to help investigate online harassment of journalists

FACEBOOK has agreed to “coordinate” with the Presidential Task Force on Media Security to address online attacks on media practitioners in the country, according to Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco.

Palace backs Dominguez but he is ‘driving his own TRAIN’

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Sunday reiterated his support for Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, while also suggesting that Mr. Dominguez was ultimately responsible for the effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

Malacañang orders abolition of Philippine Sugar Corp.

MALACAÑANG has ordered the abolition of the Philippine Sugar Corp. (PhilSuCor) because “it no longer performs the objectives and purposes for which it was originally created.”

Duterte vows no martial law in remainder of term

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte said he will not declare martial law in the second half of his term, but he will use the “strongest tools” to deal with crimes in the country, especially drug trafficking.

NDRRMC on full alert with 2.4M families seen at typhoon’s path

THE OPERATIONS Center (OC) of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) was placed on red alert status on Monday as typhoon Rosita (international name: Yutu) was expected to make landfall in parts of Isabela and Aurora provinces on Tuesday morning, Oct. 30.

Duterte tags Bacolod officials in drugs

AT THE CELEBRATION of Bacolod City’s 39th MassKara Festival, President Rodrigo R. Duterte gave village chiefs and policemen there a stern warning against drug trafficking, saying he will have them killed.

Customs officials fired, Lapeña moved to TESDA

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte on Thursday fired on the spot all Bureau of Customs (BoC) officials and moved controversial Customs Commissioner Isidro S. Lapeña to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Dureza, Tulfo appointed special envoys to EU, China

MALACAÑANG on Thursday announced the appointments of Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza and newspaper columnist Ramon T. Tulfo, Jr. as special envoys to the European Union (EU) and the People’s Republic of China, respectively.

AFP, PNP to weigh martial law extension

THE ARMED FORCES of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are set to begin their assessment of the implementation of martial law in Mindanao next week, according to AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito G. Galvez, Jr.

Spokesman clarifies Duterte’s tirade vs online gambling

MALACAÑANG ON Thursday clarified President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s latest remarks on “online gambling,” saying the leader was only referring to operations that do not have permits.

Duterte orders arrest of ex-customs agent

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday said he has ordered the arrest of former customs intelligence officer Jimmy S. Guban.

Duterte honors first batch of National Artists

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday formally conferred the Order of National Artist on seven veteran artists, all renowned in their respective fields. They constitute the first batch of National Artists under his administration.

Nationwide round-up

THE NEWLY-FORMED coalition of groups opposed to the present administration formally launched yesterday its eight-member senatorial slate for the 2019 midterm elections, with Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo urging voters to correct the “mistakes” made in the 2016 polls.

LTFRB to issue special bus permits for Nov. 1-2 holidays

THE LAND Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday said it has been accepting applications for special permits for bus units that will be operating during Undas, the observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days on Nov. 1-2. LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III, in a press briefing, said his agency has already received a total of 436 applications for 1,072 bus units.

Facebook shuts down pro-Duterte accounts

THE FACEBOOK Newsroom said it has taken down “95 pages and 39 accounts” on the social media site, including accounts identified with Rodrigo R. Duterte’s supporters, for violating the site’s spam and authenticity policies.

DoJ set to appeal decision on Trillanes

THE Department of Justice (DoJ) is set to file, "not later than Friday" this week, a motion for partial reconsideration before the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC)-Branch 148, which earlier denied its motion to issue an arrest warrant and travel ban against opposition Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV.

Palace signs telco franchise law for Villar firm

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed Republic Act (RA) No. 11089 granting the Villar Group’s Streamtech Systems Technologies Inc. a telecommunications franchise for 25 years.

31 Ati families to get Boracay land before Christmas

THE GOVERNMENT is set to distribute about 7.8 hectares of agricultural land in Boracay to 31 families belonging to the Ati indigenous community before Christmas, according to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Jonas R. Leones.

Palace threatens to take over ‘3rd player’ selection

MALACAÑANG said the selection of a so-called “third player” for the telecommunications industry will be taken over by the Office of the President if a new entrant is not named by November.

Court denies DoJ’s motion on Trillanes’ arrest

THE MAKATI City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 148 has dismissed the motion of the Department of Justice (DoJ) seeking the issuance of a warrant of arrest and hold-departure order against Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV, in connection with his coup d’etat case.

PNP looks at NPA angle in massacre of farmers

THE PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) is exploring the possible involvement of communist rebels in the massacre Saturday night of nine sugar farmers at a village in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.

Arroyo to recommend to Senate withdrawal from Inter-Parliamentary Union

SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Monday recommended the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) after it expressed its intention to visit the country to determine the “political persecution” of opposition Senators Leila M. De Lima and Antonio F. Trillanes IV.

Palace against PDEA’s proposal to test candidates for drugs

MALACAÑANG on Friday opposed the proposal of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to conduct a surprise drug test for candidates of the 2019 midterm elections, saying that it is “violative of the Constitution.”

PHL, China hold ‘productive’ talks on South China Sea — DFA

THE Philippines and the People’s Republic of China on Thursday tackled steps to enhance maritime cooperation in the disputed South China Sea (SCS) waters, especially in the areas of “search and rescue, safety, environmental protection, scientific research, and fisheries.”

Duterte on daughter: ‘Be careful with that woman’

“BE CAREFUL with that woman. She can oust even the Speaker. She operated in Davao.”

Palace: DDB wants Duterte to name narco-candidates

THE Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) wants President Rodrigo R. Duterte to make public the names of candidates involved in illegal drugs, according to his spokesman.

Nationwide round-up

Duterte still ‘open to reconciliation’ with Reds, says Panelo PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte, despite the suspended peace talks with the country’s communist groups, is still...

Gov’t eyes cuts in ‘non-infra’ spending

THE GOVERNMENT will cut spending on non-infrastructure items to weather the impact of billions of pesos in revenues to be foregone from the suspension of an oil excise tax hike scheduled in January and to keep the fiscal gap in check, the Finance chief told reporters on Monday.

Price caps for rice in force by late October

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY Emmanuel F. Piñol on Monday said the suggested retail price (SRP) scheme for rice will be implemented by the end of October.

Duterte assures integrity of 2019 polls

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) should “stay neutral” as the 2019 mid-term elections draw near.

Duterte appoints new CHEd chairman

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed J. Prospero “Popoy” E. De Vera III as Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), according to the commission’s OIC-Executive Director Cinderella Filipina S. Benitez-Jaro.

Oil tax hike suspension looms

PRESSURE is building on the Executive and on Congress for suspension of an oil excise tax hike set in January, which a Finance official said will likely happen given current world crude price forecasts.

Andanar says transition team ready for new press secretary

PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin M. Andanar said a transition team is ready anytime if Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesman Salvador S. Panelo takes over the Office of the Press Secretary.

Panelo named new spokesman

CHIEF PRESIDENTIAL Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo was appointed the new presidential spokesperson, according to Mr. Panelo himself and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence T. Go.

Bersamin, Peralta accept nomination for SC top post

SUPREME COURT (SC) Associate Justices Lucas P. Bersamin and Diosdado M. Peralta have formalized their bid for the position of chief justice by accepting their nominations.