Other media exempted from divulging sources

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed into law a measure that exempts broadcast and online media — apart from print journalists — from revealing their confidential sources.

Under the new law, a news publisher, owner, journalist, writer, reporter, contributor, opinion writer, editor, columnist, manager and media practitioner from any print, broadcast, wire service organization or electronic mass media, including cable TV cannot be compelled to reveal the source of any news item related to them in confidence.

Only the court, the Senate and the House of Rep-resentatives can compel them to reveal their sources if they “find that such revelation is demanded by the security of the state.” — ALB

Customs sues trader for smuggling

THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) has filed charges against an official of a trading company for trying to smuggle P53 million worth of food products from China, it said in a statement yesterday.

The bureau sued the owner of Shinerise Trading Service and the broker in charge for unlawful imports under the Customs law and anti-smuggling law, it said.

Customs seized 16 containers loaded with misdeclared agricultural goods worth P53 million, consigned to Shinerise Trading Service. It was initially declared as fishballs with only P2.54 million in duties and taxes. — BML

Company officials sued for estafa

THE NATIONAL Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed a syndicated estafa complaint against 39 officers of Alabel Maasim Mining Corp, Alabel-Maasim Small Scale Mining Cooperative and/or Alabel Maasim Credit Cooperative over their involvement in an alleged illegal investment scheme.

In a 15-page complaint, the NBI, helping two complainant-investors, said the organization committed “deceit through false pretenses and fraudulent acts” when it collected investment money from the public in the guise of deposits.

The officials also promised 35% perpetual monthly interest.

“Such transactions clearly fall in the realm of investment contracts,” according to the complaint.

“This is an act of deception intended to defraud the public as well as the government. By failing to disburse the investors’ capital and interest, its victims suffered damages equivalent to their respective investments,” it said. — VMMV

Law addresses court backlog

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed a law creating new regional and municipal trial court positions to ease the overload of cases.

The law creates 100 positions for regional trial judges-at-large and 50 positions for municipal trial judges-at-large.

Both positions have no permanent court branches. Regional judges-at-large may be assigned by the Supreme Court as acting or assisting judges to any regional court in the country, while municipal judges-at-large may be assigned as acting or assisting judges at any first level court. — ALB

Congressman seeks Lacson apology

CAPIZ Rep. Fredenil H. Castro on Wednesday demanded an apology from Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, who accused him of “pork” insertions in the 2020 national budget approved by the House of Representatives last week.

Mr. Lacson on Tuesday said the House had abandoned an attempt to allot P1.5 billion “in pork” for each of the 22 deputy speakers and at least P700 million for every district representative.

“There is no truth to this pork barrel,” Mr. Castro, adding that the senator had damaged the House as an institution. “Everybody knows that there is no truth to this pork barrel as inserted in the General Appropriations bill.”

Mr. Lacson said It is Mr. Castro who should apologize. “He is the one who should apologize to the Filipino people for abusing their hard-earned tax money in all the years that he has been in Congress,” he said in a mobile-phone message.

“His whining and howling will not deter my vigilance in performing my mandate of scrutinizing the budget measure.” — VACF

Few Filipinos use condoms

ONLY one of 10 Filipinos use contraceptives, according to a study by health provider Philcare, Inc.

Majority of its 1,350 respondents were sexually active but few used protection during sex, Philcare said in its report.

“Of those who said they had sex, only 13.23% said they always used protection to prevent sexually transmitted diseases,” according to the report.

About 13% said 33% said they used protection very frequently to prevent pregnancy and 42% said they did so to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, according to the report. — GMC