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News Briefs: October 5, 2018

05:00 AM October 05, 2018

Poll bets linked to corruption, drug dealing ‘can still run’

President Duterte is unlikely to support the proposal of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to disqualify candidates suspected of involvement in illegal drugs and corruption. Malacañang pointed out that candidates could not be disqualified from running in the elections unless a court had convicted them of a crime with finality. “Point well taken, but the President is a lawyer,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said at  a press briefing. “[Mr. Duterte] knows that they cannot be disqualified unless they have been convicted with finality, and that the accessory penalty for disqualification from public office has been decreed by the court.” The DILG earlier asked the Commission on Elections to disqualify candidates in the 2019 midterm elections who are in the government’s “narcolist,” or who have links to corruption. —JULIE M. AURELIO

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PH embassy in Norway seeks custody of slain Pinay’s kids

The Philippine Embassy in Oslo, Norway, said it would hire a lawyer to see how the parents of the murdered 28-year-old Filipino wife of a Swedish actor-director could take custody of her two young children. Consul General Maria Elena Algabre said the embassy would study its legal options so the Cebu-based mother of victim Mailyn Sinambong could take custody of her 10-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. Algabre said Sinambong’s son was staying with his paternal uncle while her daughter had been with a foster family since birth. The embassy reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that Sinambong died allegedly from severe beating inflicted by her husband, Steve Abou Bakr Aalam, in their home in Kista, Sweden, last Sept. 23. Police have reportedly arrested and are preparing murder charges against Aalam. Sinambong’s mother, Maria Monato, earlier asked the DFA’s help in the repatriation of her remains.  —DONA Z. PAZZIBUGAN

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St. Padre Pio’s heart relic arrives on Friday night

The heart relic of Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina will arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 10:15 p.m. on Friday night, according to the Archdiocese of Lipa, the first diocese to be visited by the relic. From the airport, there will be a motorcade to National Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, where a welcome Mass to be presided over by the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The sacred relic can be viewed at University of Santo Tomas on Oct. 8. The next day, the relic will be transferred to Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, where it will stay for three days. The Archdiocese in Cebu will host the relic’s Visayas visit on Oct. 11 to 13, with the Archdiocese of Davao taking its turn to host the Mindanao visit on Oct. 14 to 16. —TINA G. SANTOS

Lito Lapid joins NPC in bid to rejoin Senate

Former senator and actor Lito Lapid has joined the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in preparation for his bid to rejoin the Senate. Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Lapid and his son Mark both took their oaths as NPC members on Thursday and shared photos of the event to reporters. Sotto, the NPC’s senior council leader, said yes when asked if the elder Lapid would return to the Senate. As for Mark, Sotto said he was planning to run as mayor of Porac, Pampanga. Lapid served two terms as senator from 2004 to 2016. Prior to his stint in the legislature, he served as governor and vice governor of Pampanga. Sotto also said Sen. JV Ejercito, who is seeking reelection, was set to join the NPC. Ejercito confirmed this and said he would take his oath next week. This means Ejercito would leave the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino party of his father, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. —LEILA B. SALAVERRIA

CDO Mayor Moreno wins dismissal of 2 more graft charges

The Sandiganbayan has dismissed two more cases against Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno in connection with his office’s alleged anomalous heavy equipment lease deals. Citing unreasonable delays in the Ombudsman’s investigation, the antigraft court, in separate resolutions dated Aug. 22 and Sept. 25, said the Ombudsman violated Moreno’s right to the speedy disposition of his cases. The resolutions were both penned by Associate Justice Geraldine Faith Econg. One of the cases took two and a half years while the other took three years from the filing of the complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman until the cases reached the Sandiganbayan. The court noted that the Ombudsman itself adopted in its rules of procedure Rule 112, Section 3 of the Rules of Court, which required that each phase of the investigation take only 10 days. —VINCE F. NONATO

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