News Briefs: Nov. 28, 2018
More voting machines readied for Filipinos abroad
More Filipinos overseas will be able to vote using automated machines in the May 2019 midterm elections.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said 41 Philippine consulates and embassies would be using vote counting machines next year.
Comelec data show there are at least 1.9 million Filipino voters overseas. —Tina G. Santos
Customs chief warns BOC men vs political backers
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero has issued a memorandum warning Bureau of Customs (BOC) employees or officials against using political backers to get promoted or be appointed to choice positions.
In his memorandum, Guerrero also warned BOC men against soliciting favors from bureau clients.
“This administration is intent on applying the full force of the law and will not hesitate to apply all forms of penalties,” said Guerrero in the memorandum.
Guerrero’s order followed his promise to remove the “tara,” or bribery system, in the BOC. —Jovic Yee
Measles kill 21 B’laan children
At least 21 children belonging to B’laan tribe have died due to measles that hit upland communities in Sarangani province in the past three weeks, local and health officials said.
In a radio interview, Dr. Diomedes Remitar, health officer of Malapatan town, said the measles outbreak hit Kyogam, Mahayag, Lino, Datal Nai and Alna, all in the village of Upper Suyan.
Boyet Ogan, Uper Suyan village chief, said aside from 21 fatalities, at least 100 residents of the village caught the highly contagious but preventable disease.
Officials are now conducting a vaccination program. —Edwin Fernandez
Students, media in Bicol commemorate massacre
At least 170 students and local journalists had joined the commemoration of the ninth year of the Maguindanao massacre by lighting candles and reading poems pleading for an end to impunity.
Candles were lit and poems were read aloud at Bicol University grounds to mourn the slow pace of justice for 58 people killed in the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao province.
At least 32 of the dead were journalists.
Students arranged lit candles to form the words “Stop the Silence”, the date “11.23” and a map of Maguindanao in remembrance of victims of the country’s worst political killing. —Rey Anthony Ostria
DepEd bans off-campus activities after fatal crash
The Soccsksargen office of the Department of Education (DepEd) has banned all off-campus activities of schools in the region following the deadly road crash in North Cotabato that killed two teachers and injured 14 students on Sunday.
Allan Farnazo, DepEd Soccsksargen director, issued the ban on Sunday. —Edwin O. Fernandez
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