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‘Don’t invite candidates to graduations’

Inquirer Breaking News - 3 hours 58 min ago
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) urged government agencies and public schools to steer clear of inviting to their events candidates who are running in the May midterm election.   Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said on Friday that while there was no specific provision prohibiting candidates from being invited to speak in functions or in graduation ceremonies, it would be prudent to avoid tapping them so these agencies and schools would not be accused of engaging in partisan activities.   "If you were to force your staff to listen to someone speak and be political at that event then you might be imposing your political views on them. It's the appearance o...

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Duterte: I don’t know about Ressa’s arrest

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 59 sec ago
CITY OF SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, BULACAN --- President Duterte has distanced himself from the cyberlibel case of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa that had led to her arrest, saying he had nothing to do with it.   The President on Thursday said he did not even know businessman Wilfredo Keng, who filed the complaint in the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Ressa and former Rappler researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr.   "I don't know Keng. Frankly, I do not know him or what prompted him to file a case," Duterte told reporters after rallying support here for 11 senatorial candidates he endorsed in May's midterm elections.   "I really don't know about [Ressa's case and arre...

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Reelectionists, pro-admin candidates in top 15 – survey

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 1 min ago
Reelectionist senators and those seeking to regain their Senate seats, many of them supporters of President Duterte, dominated the list of candidates likely to win in the midterm elections in May, according to results of the latest Pulse Asia survey released on Friday.   An independent, Sen. Grace Poe, remained on top of the list of 15 candidates with a "statistical chance of winning" if the elections had been held during the Jan. 26-31 survey period, Pulse Asia said.   Administration bet and former presidential aide Bong Go showed the biggest gain, landing in eighth spot.   In addition to Poe, the top six candidates were Sen. Cynthia Villar followed ...

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California may sue Trump over emergency wall declaration

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 1 min ago
SACRAMENTO, California --- California is likely to sue President Donald Trump over his emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, the state attorney general said Friday. Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Gov. Gavin Newsom, both Democrats, told reporters there is no emergency at the border and Trump doesn't have the authority to make the declaration. "No one in America is above the law, not even the president of the United States," Becerra said. "The president does not have power to act frivolously." Trump declared a national emergency earlier in the day to bypass Congress to use money from the Pentagon and counterdrug efforts to fulfill his promise of ...

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MWSS urges masterplan for cleanup, rehabilitation of Manila Bay

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 3 min ago
The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has called for the crafting of a masterplan for Manila Bay not only to clean up the polluted bay but also to ensure that sewerage and wastewater problems are addressed over the long term.   The MWSS also directed its two concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad Water, to reengineer and fast-track their wastewater treatment projects to arrest the deterioration of the waters of Manila Bay.   "We welcome all efforts of collaboration to clean up and rehabilitate Manila Bay. However, I strongly recommend that a masterplan, which should have been done long time ago, is needed right now to properly address the se...

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Flawed policies blamed for lack of skilled labor

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 3 min ago
Malacaang on Friday said the government was doing its best to address the lack of skilled workers which had affected the implementation of its flagship "Build, build, build" program.   Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after President Duterte blamed the delays in the ambitious infrastructure program on the lack of skilled workers in the country.   In a press briefing, Panelo said the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), through its director-general Isidro Lapea, was on top of the situation.   "That's why the President told the Tesda, you should do something so we will have a deep bench of carpenters,...

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Digong: Jinggoy, Bong request for endorsement came too late

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 8 min ago
President Duterte said he did not endorse the candidacy of former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and two other pro-administration senatorial aspirants because it was already "too late" when they sought his backing.   Estrada, former Jinggoy Estrada and former TV journalist Jinggoy Estrada were absent at the proclamation rally of the administration party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) on Thursday in the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan province, where the names of only 11 administration senatorial candidates were announced.   "They gave me the signal too late," Mr. Duterte told reporters after the rally. "Actually, almost a year ago I was alread...

Keep on reading: Digong: Jinggoy, Bong request for endorsement came too late
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Plump Trump still in very good health

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 9 min ago
WASHINGTON---President Donald Trump is technically obese and has put on weight since last year, but his official doctor declared him on Thursday to be in "very good health."   The presidential physician, Sean Conley, said Trump, 72, passed his medical exam last week with flying colors.   "It is my determination that the president remains in very good health overall," he said in a brief statement.   Trump, who has confounded health experts with his penchant for junk food and avoidance of strenuous exercise, weighs 110 kilograms (243 pounds), the report said.   A little bulkier   This is a little bulkier than the 108 kg recorded la...

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Duterte watches concert of Sergio Mendes

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 12 min ago
President Duterte and some of his Cabinet members took time off to unwind on Valentine's Day by watching the concert of Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes on Thursday night at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Paraaque City.   The President himself told reporters that his partner, Cielito "Honeylet" Avancea, was there waiting for him and that they would go to the concert together.   "I'm greeting my first wife, Elizabeth, Happy Valentine's. Honeylet, Happy Valentine's. To my daughter Sara, Veronica, Happy Valentine's. To all the women involved in my life..." he said in an interview.   Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte arrived late fo...

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Court denies Rappler motion to dismiss tax evasion case

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 12 min ago
The Court of Tax Appeals has denied the motion of Rappler Holding Corp. and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa to dismiss a P70.2-million tax evasion case over their alleged incorrect declaration of tax returns.   In a 13-page decision dated Feb. 7 and written by Presiding Justice Roman del Rosario, the court's First Division said the charges sufficiently indicated the dates and location of the alleged crimes, the amounts of income tax and value-added tax deficiencies ... that constituted violations of the National Internal Revenue Code, making the charge against Rappler and Ressa valid.   In November 2018, Department of Justice prosecutors filed charges against Ressa and Rapp...

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DOH wants dengue outbreak declared in Central Visayas

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 14 min ago
CEBU CITY---With 3,076 cases and 24 deaths from dengue in Central Visayas in just over a month's time, the Department of Health (DOH) has recommended the declaration of a dengue outbreak in at least nine towns and cities in the region.   Dr. Ronald Jarvik Buscato, the DOH dengue program coordinator for Region 7, urged local governments in the affected areas to declare a dengue outbreak since they had already "exceeded the epidemic thresholds for the number of cases" involving the mosquito-borne illness.   Among the areas that exceeded the thresholds are Lapu-Lapu City and Sibonga town in Cebu province; Tagbilaran City and the towns of Trinidad, Cortes, Dauis, Clarin...

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Duterte to Manny Villar: Run, I’m with you

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 18 min ago
President Duterte promised to support former Senate President and House Speaker Manuel Villar Jr. should he decide to run for President again.   The President made the vow during the PDP Laban's proclamation rally of its senatorial bets, which included Villar's wife, Sen. Cynthia Villar, as a guest candidate.   Duterte said it was the Villars who convinced him to run for the presidency in 2016.   "As the campaign drew near, ma'am (Cynthia) and Speaker called to me a hotel suite, a large one with a sala. We talked. They said: 'Rody, you should run. You might be able to help the country,'" the President said.   He added: "Speaker was one of t...

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News Briefs

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 20 min ago
President apologizes to Alvarez for his ouster   President Duterte has apologized to Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez for his ouster as House Speaker in July last year. The President said he was prevailed upon by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, whom he describes as "the one who dictates" on him, which he found hard to resist as she was his eldest daughter. "I am really antidynasty... But I really cannot handle Inday. She's the one who dictates... Maybe she saw that I am already old," the President said. He added: "That's why when the party was in shambles... You know, the Speaker and I have been friends way back. I am very sorry that it had to happen that way." The...

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Spain to get 3rd gov’t in 4 years amid fragmenting politics

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 35 min ago
MADRID --- Spain will elect its third government in less than four years after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's fragile socialist government acknowledged Friday its support had evaporated and called an early general election. Sanchez's eight-month-old administration met its end after failing to get parliament's approval for its 2019 budget proposal earlier this week, adding to the political uncertainty that has dogged Spain in recent years. "Between doing nothing and continuing without a budget, or giving the chance for Spaniards to speak, Spain should continue looking ahead," Sanchez said in a televised appearance from the Moncloa Palace, the seat of government, after an urgent ...

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Europeans fire back at criticism from US over Iran

Inquirer Breaking News - 4 hours 50 min ago
MUNICH --- Germany's foreign minister on Friday slammed U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist trade measures as creating a "lose-lose" situation and defended Europe's attempts to keep a nuclear deal with Iran alive after the unilateral American withdrawal. Heiko Maas fired back after harsh criticism from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence of some of Washington's closest European allies. Maas told a conference of world leaders and top diplomats and defense officials that Germany, Britain, France and the European Union as a whole were committed to preserving the 2015 deal meant to prevent Iran from obtaining a bomb. "Without it, one thing is clear, the region would be no saf...

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IC: Insurers can now invest in big infra projects

Inquirer Breaking News - 5 hours 21 min ago
To support the Duterte administration's ambitious "Build, Build, Build" program, the Insurance Commission (IC) has issued rules to guide insurance firms when investing in big-ticket infrastructure projects.   Circular Letter No. 2018-74 issued by Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa late last year said insurance and reinsurance companies could invest either in debt or equity instruments for projects covered by the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the country's medium-term socioeconomic blueprint.   The PDP included the following types of infrastructure: airports, highways, nonrail-based transit facilities, port infrastructure, airports and railways as well as env...

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Federalism is a riot in ‘Charot!’

Inquirer Breaking News - 5 hours 24 min ago
The tricky thing about "Charot!"---Philippine Educational Theater Association's (Peta) 51st season ender---is that it functions more as a primer on federalism than as a proper narrative.   Set in 2020, this story of eight people stuck in traffic on their way to vote for a crucial charter change is messy, shamelessly didactic, but still somehow riotously entertaining. It points its drama toward overtly pedagogical ends, but by totally embracing its nature as a theatrical lecture, only becomes more successful.   At the outset, "Charot!" is impressively stubborn. It begins not by introducing characters and plot, but by simulating a noontime show that is immediately...

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DOH expects measles surge in Calabarzon

Inquirer Breaking News - 5 hours 25 min ago
The number of people infected with measles is expected to rise, at least for the next two weeks, in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region, according to the Department of Health (DOH).   As of Friday noon, the number of cases in the region had risen to 2,194. The DOH recorded 54 deaths from January to Feb. 15. A measles outbreak was earlier declared in the region.   "We expect more [cases] in the next [two] weeks. The [number] may start to go down by mid-March," Dr. Eduardo Janairo, DOH regional director, said in a telephone interview on Friday.   Incubation period   Janairo said this was because some of those infect...

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Bourse OKs follow-on offering of PH Resorts

Inquirer Breaking News - 5 hours 30 min ago
The Philippine Stock Exchange has approved a follow-on offering worth as much as P11.99 billion planned by PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc. (PHR), the gaming business firm led by Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy.   PHR plans to offer 2.054 billion common shares at between P3.65 and P5.84 a share. The base offer is composed of 1.786 billion shares but another 267.94 million shares are earmarked for stabilization-related option.   Based on an offering circular posted by the PSE, the follow-on offering of PHR would run from March 4 to 8 this year after a price-setting on Feb. 26.   The shares are tentatively set for listing on March 18.   This offe...

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