Villar: Pacquiao eyes presidency, but….
Boxer Manny Pacquiao, now a senator, could be setting his sights on the highest position of the land, according to one of his colleagues at the Senate, Cynthia Villar.
“I think he’s thinking about it,” Villar said at the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum on Tuesday.
On whether Pacquiao stood a chance as a candidate for President, Villar said she couldn’t be sure because sometimes the thinking of the masses was confusing.
“We have what we call the Filipino masses. What the masses would like, I think will happen in this country, right?” Villar said.
“They are majority in this country,” she added.
But Villar added that “you cannot predict the Filipino masses.”
“I am confused with them,” she said.—CATHRINE GONZALES
Army says elite US troops helping fight BIFF
The military on Tuesday said elite US Special Forces troops were helping the Philippines fight Islamic State-inspired homegrown terror groups behind a series of deadly bomb attacks in Mindanao.
Capt. Arvin John Encinas, regional military spokesperson, said American soldiers had been feeding vital information to help the Philippine military defeat Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a group of Moro rebels who broke off from the mainstream Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The Americans, Encinas said, “were providing us intelligence reports.”
“Our coordination is limited to only sharing of information,” he added. The Philippine Constitution prohibits the direct involvement of foreign troops in counterinsurgency and local security operations.—JEOFFREY MAITEM
Solon seeks DILG, PNP help vs Samar killings
Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento had sought the help of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to stop the spate of killings in Calbayog City.
Sarmiento, in a Facebook message, said the absence of peace and order in Calbayog was hurting the entire province of Samar.
According to records of the PNP in Calbayog City, 28 shootings and killings had been committed in Calbayog alone as of August. All the cases were unsolved.—JOEY GABIETA
Midas Marquez, CA justices apply for SC seat
Supreme Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez and 11 Court of Appeals (CA) justices were among 16 applicants for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Samuel Martires when he was appointed Ombudsman last July.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), said applicants from the CA were Justices Oscar Badelles, Manuel Barrios, Apolinario Bruselas Jr., Rosmari Carandang, Stephen Cruz, Japar Dimaampao, Amy Lazaro-Javier, Ramon Garcia, Edgardo de los Santos, Ramon Paul Hernando and Mario Lopez.
Monday was the JBC’s deadline for submission of application and recommendation forms for the position.—JEROME ANING
Vice mayor’s husband killed in resort he owned
The husband of a Bohol town vice mayor was shot dead on Sunday at a resort that he owned.
Police said Ricardo Loquias Aparicio, 44, was in 4JS Inland Resort in the village of Bacani, Clarin town, when a gunman wearing a hooded jacket arrived and shot him repeatedly.
Aparicio was husband of Clarin Vice Mayor Velden Aparicio.
PO2 Genesis Piezas, Clarin police investigator, said police were eyeing illegal gambling and politics as possible motives.
Police said Aparicio was known to finance illegal gambling in Clarin and neighboring towns.—LEO UDTOHAN
Incoming Malaysia PM: PH leaders should not abuse power
Incoming Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, a victim of political persecution himself, said the government should not “abuse power” against critics.
Anwar made the comment after he was asked about the Duterte administration’s decision to revoke the amnesty for Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of the leaders of the Oakwood mutiny, and have him arrested.
“My persistent view is that you cannot abuse power to victimize the opposition,” said Anwar, who spent years in jail as a member of the opposition in Malaysia.
He said he expressed his view on persecution because “in all those times when I was incarcerated, Filipino leaders and civil society were there for me.”—ROY STEPHEN C. CANIVEL
Smartmatic exec: No cheating in 2016 polls
Using a combination of manual and automated systems in Philippine elections would be a step backward, according to election technology provider Smartmatic International.
“It’s basically going back to manual elections,” said Elie Moreno, Smartmatic vice president for global services, in an interview with Inquirer.
Defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, had accused Smartmatic of involvement in massive cheating in the 2016 elections.
Moreno, however, denied Marcos’ accusation.
“What I can tell you is that there was no cheating in the system,” Moreno said. “You have the receipt, you have the ballot. Everything matched.—TINA G. SANTOS
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