Magnitude 5.4 offshore tremor rocks Mindoro, parts of Luzon

A MAGNITUDE 5.4 earthquake northeast of the small island town of Lubang, Occidental Mindoro struck early Sunday morning, with tremors felt in Metro Manila and other parts of mainland Luzon. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), in its earthquake monitoring bulletin, recorded the tremor at 3:18 a.m. Intensity 4 was reported in several Metro Manila areas, including the cities of Manila, Makati, Navotas, Las Piñas, and Parañaque. Lemery and Taal in Batangas, which were among the towns affected by Taal Volcano’s eruption in January, also felt intensity 4. PHIVOLCS said damage was unlikely but aftershocks were expected. No strong aftershocks have been recorded as of Sunday early afternoon. — Gillian M. Cortez

Security adviser says post linking ABS-CBN with communists ‘fake news’

NATIONAL Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr. defended a social media post made by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) linking broadcasting firm ABS-CBN Corp. with the communist movement, saying it is “fake news.” In a message to reporters on Sunday, Mr. Esperon explained that, “If the left is exploiting the issue, which it is, then NTF-ELCAC must come in and at least warn and inform the people about the issues.” NTF-ELCAC made the post last week following ABS-CBN’s shutdown after its franchise expired and the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order. The Presidential Communications Operations Office and the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, in separate statements on Saturday, said the social media post is not an official statement from the Palace. — Gillian M. Cortez

Rights advocate calls for action on violence against children during quarantine

CHILDREN’S rights group Save the Children Philippines raised concerns over the 763 cases of crimes against women and 521 against children recorded by the police during the lockdown period that started mid-March to April 30. “We therefore call on the government to continue to fulfill its obligation to ensure the protection of all its citizens particularly the most marginalized such as the children,” the organization said in a statement. “The government should work together with civil society organizations and other actors to ensure that protection is mainstreamed in all sectoral interventions,” it added. Save the Children said primary protection concerns involve issues on interrupted care for children through lack of caregiver, exposure to violence and exploitation, negative effects on mental health and well being of children and their caregivers. Save the Children also called for more child-friendly information campaign, including tips and guidance on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

PRC sets new dates for licensure exams

THE Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) has released the new dates for board exams originally scheduled within March to June but canceled due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. The new schedule is contained in PRC Resolution No. 2020-1237 issued May 8. It can be accessed at M. Cortez

Filing of electoral complaints may be done by e-mail but all proceedings suspended

ELECTION-related complaints may still be filed through e-mail, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), but all proceedings are currently suspended in line with the quarantine protocols due to the health crisis. In guidelines published on May 10, Comelec said notarized complaints in PDF format may be e-mailed to Election hearings, preliminary conferences, and recounts will resume when Comelec goes back to regular operations upon government’s lifting of restrictions. — Gillian M. Cortez