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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).

US, PHL affirm defense treaty

DEFENSE SECRETARY Defin N. Lorenzana and US Department of State Secretary Michael R. Pompeo reaffirmed the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty between the two countries in a meeting on Wednesday in Washington D.C.

Senator flags increasing presence of Chinese workers

SENATE MINORITY Leader Franklin M. Drilon flagged the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) over the growing number of Chinese nationals working in the Philippines in a budget hearing for the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) on Wednesday.

Senate’s rice tariffication bill reported out to plenary

SENATOR Cynthia A. Villar reported out to the plenary on Monday the rice tariffication bill, which seeks to liberalize rice imports while imposing a tariff system on the commodity.

Amid bombings, what’s the point of martial law? asks Senator Pangilinan

SENATOR Francis N. Pangilinan on Monday questioned the imposition of martial law in Mindanao amid the series of bombing incidents in the region in the span of two months.

De Lima flags anew drug war to ICC, UN Human Rights...

SENATOR Leila M. De Lima has reiterated calls to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to take “urgent actions” on the human rights situation in the Philippines, citing the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Trillanes still in Senate

OPPOSITION Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV on Friday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte may order his arrest the minute he leaves the Senate premises despite pronouncements from the military that no arrest will be made.

Second Makati court defers Trillanes’s arrest

MAKATI CITY Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 148 has deferred the issuance of a Hold-Departure Order (HDO) and arrest warrant against Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV.

Gatchalian says fuel excise freeze should be last resort

SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian on Thursday said the suspension of fuel excise taxes under the tax reform law should be a last resort in dealing with rising prices of goods and services.

DFA: Chinese Foreign Minister to visit Manila

CHINESE STATE Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Manila from Sept. 16 to 18, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Wednesday.

Trillanes moves for inquiry into projects linked to Go’s family

SENATOR ANTONIO F. Trillanes IV on Wednesday filed a resolution calling for an investigation into the public works projects allegedly secured by firms owned by relatives of Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence T. Go.

Former PNP chief Dela Rosa to run for senator

BUREAU of Correction (BuCor) chief Ronald “Bato” M. Dela Rosa on Wednesday said he will run for senator in the 2019 midterm elections.

SC denies Trillanes’ petition for TRO

THE SUPREME COURT (SC) En Banc on Tuesday denied Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV’s petition for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order (TRO) against President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 which voided his amnesty and directs his arrest.

PNR to validate Dalian MRT train repair findings

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) has directed the Philippine National Railways (PNR) to supervise the testing of train sets manufactured by China’s CRRC Dalian Co. for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).

Palace: Gazmin may be liable for Trillanes amnesty

MALACANANG ON Monday said former defense secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin may be held liable for usurpation of authority when he approved the amnesty for Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV in 2011, which he himself recommended to then president Benigno S.C. Aquino III.

Congress moves for resetting filing of candidacies to Oct. 11-17

CONGRESS ON Monday adopted resolutions in its respective chambers calling on the Commission on Elections to reset the filing of certificates of candidacy for next year’s midterm elections.

LP leaders rebut Duterte on supposed ouster plot

VICE-PRESIDENT Maria Leonor G. Robredo and Senator Francis N. Pangilinan, leaders of the opposition Liberal Party (LP), on Sunday denied President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s claims that the LP is among the groups plotting to have him ousted.

Senators call for measures to ease inflation

SENATORS on Thursday called on the government to implement measures to counter inflation, which rose to 6.4% in August.

Trillanes dares Duterte: Declare revolutionary gov’t

OPPOSITION Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV on Thursday dared President Rodrigo R. Duterte to declare a revolutionary government so he could eliminate legal hurdles to his possible arrest.

Trillanes to challenge voiding of amnesty

OPPOSITION Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV said on Wednesday he will file before the Supreme Court a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the presidential proclamation voiding his 2011 amnesty.

Lacson on drug war: Time to go for the big fish

WITH THE six-year Duterte administration on its way to the halfway mark, Senator Panfilo M. Lacson pressed officials of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) to now go after the “big fish“ in the illegal drug trade.

Duterte voids amnesty for ex-mutineer senator

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte has signed Proclamation 572 revoking the amnesty for Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV, in connection with his acts of mutiny and sedition against the government of then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Bill seeking to prevent TROs vs extrajudicial foreclosure of real estate...

A BILL seeking to prohibit courts from issuing restraining orders or preliminary injunctions in certain extrajudicial and judicial foreclosure cases of real estate mortgages has been filed at the Senate.

Lacson threatens to remove right-of-way funds from 2019 DPWH budget

SENATOR Panfilo M. Lacson on Monday said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) cannot proceed with projects without settling right-of-way issues, as required by law.

Drilon says ‘Build, Build, Build’ must address agricultural infrastructure shortcomings

SENATE MINORITY LEADER Franklin M. Drilon on Sunday urged the government to provide infrastructure support to the agriculture sector under its Build, Build, Build program to prevent rice shortages and deter rice traders from taking excessive profits.

Chinese province to send business delegation to explore opportunities in the...

HARBIN, HEILONGJIANG, CHINA — The Heilongjiang provincial government in China is planning to send a delegation to the Philippines next year or in 2020 to explore business opportunities.

Boracay may reopen with as little as 30% of firms compliant

THE government hopes up to 50% of businesses will be operational by the time the resort island of Boracay reopens as scheduled on Oct. 26, but may have to settle for 30%.

Gov’t considering penalties against XiamenAir

THE CHINESE AIRLINE whose disabled passenger jet caused the closure last Friday, Aug. 17, of a runway at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) apologized for that incident, even as Philippine officials mulled possible penalties against the company.

Urgent tag sought for bills liberalizing construction industry

SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian said he is seeking certification as urgent for three of his bills lifting restrictions that would allow foreign firms to more broadly participate in the construction industry.

MIAA general manager: Airlines urged to help stranded passengers

THE MANILA International Airport Authority (MIAA) said airlines are not obliged to serve food and water to stranded passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), but hoped they would acknowledge their “moral obligation.”

Labor advisory out on workers’ pay on Aug. 21

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) issued Labor Advisory No. 12 on Thursday, advising employers to pay their employees accordingly on August 21, a regular holiday falling on a special non-working holiday in observance of the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice or Eid al-Adha and Ninoy Aquino Day.

1.125M kilos of smuggled sugar recommended for auction

THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has recommended to the Bureau of Customs (BoC) that it auction the 1.125 million kilos of smuggled refined sugar in the bureau’s custody.

Former top diplomat cautions against silence on Chinese presence in disputed...

FORMER Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario on Friday reiterated that the Philippines should not remain silent on China’s “non-adherence to the law” in the South China Sea.

Sara Duterte named among possible PDP-Laban senatorial candidates

THE PARTIDO Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has named 24 possible candidates for its senatorial slate in the upcoming 2019 midterm elections.

Cayetano: Chinese radio warnings on other aircraft ‘routine’

FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano on Thursday described as “routine” the reported Chinese radio warnings against Philippine and American military aircraft operating in the South China Sea.

Quality of life, prospects still ‘excellent’ — SWS

OPTIMISM over quality of life and the economy’s prospects in the next 12 months remain “excellent” despite a decline in some categories from the previous survey, Social Weather Stations said Thursday.

Executive-House budget impasse elevated to Duterte and Arroyo

IT may take a sitting President and a former president-turned Speaker to break the current deadlock between the Executive and the House of Representatives over the P3.757-trillion national spending plan proposed for next year.

Gordon: Tulfos, PTV4 execs liable for graft

FORMER tourism secretary Wanda T. Tulfo-Teo and her brother Ben T. Tulfo, as well as a number of PTV4 officials may face graft charges in connection with a controversial advertising deal involving the Department of Tourism (DoT), PTV4, and the Tulfo-owned Bitag Media Unlimited, Inc.

MMDA stands pat: Test run of driver-only ban on EDSA starts...

THE METROPOLITAN Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Tuesday that the test run of the ban on driver-only vehicles along EDSA will be enforced starting today, Aug. 15.

Former Tourism chief Tulfo, brother may face graft charges —...

By Camille A. Aguinaldo Senator Richard J. Gordon on Tuesday, Aug. 14, said former Tourism Secretary Wanda T. Tulfo-Teo, her brother Ben T. Tulfo, and...

Budget spat puts in doubt Palace clout in House

OPPOSITION of the House of Representatives majority bloc to the P3.757-trillion proposed 2019 national budget caught Malacañang by surprise, at a time a newly installed leadership has just settled down in the chamber and with preparations for the May mid-term elections next year soon under way.

Hugpong joins forces with NP, NPC, Imee Marcos, others

DAVAO’s regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) on Monday, Aug. 13, sealed an alliance with three national parties and six local parties led in part by political personalities of national prominence.

DBM studies prospect of reenacted 2019 budget

THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) has raised the possibility of having a reenacted budget for 2019 in order to break the impasse with lawmakers on a new spending plan that will allocate funds only for projects or tasks that can be completed within next year.

Business chambers caution on federalism

BUSINESS GROUPS in a joint statement on Sunday, Aug. 12, supported the call by economic managers of the Duterte administration to “weigh carefully” the costs and risks in the government’s planned shift to a federal system.

House rejects cash-based funding, stalling 2019 budget

THE House of Representatives is planning to recall the budget reform bill for review amid fears that a shift to a cash-based budgeting system will reduce government funding overall, appropriations committee chair and Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles said.