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News Briefs

/ 07:00 AM February 16, 2019

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 President was referring to Alvarez’ ouster as House Speaker in July 2018, an incident which he earlier said was orchestrated by his oldest daughter.—JULIE M. AURELIO

5 Filipino seamen missing off Falkland


The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday said it was still ascertaining the fate of five Filipino seamen who were reported missing after a fire engulfed their vessel off Falkland Islands on Monday. In a statement, the DFA said it “remains hopeful” that the five Filipinos would be found eventually. The DFA quoted Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo saying that the Filipinos were among the 69 crew-members of a Taiwanese fishing vessel that caught fire off the islands on Feb. 11. Lagdameo said the Philippine Embassy in London was still trying to get more information about the incident. A British overseas territory, the Falkland Islands is an archipelago off the southeastern tip of South America.—JEROME ANING


PDEA seizes P3M worth of marijuana in San Juan, La Union

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) announced on Friday the seizure of P3 million worth of dried marijuana leaves in Barangay Urbiztondo, San Juan, in La Union province. Four drug suspects were also collared in the operation conducted before dawn on Feb. 12 by a joint team from the PDEA Regional Office II, La Union Provincial Intelligence Branch and San Juan Police Station. The suspects were identified by PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino as Marty Razon, Mark Dennis Norega, Gary Gerela and Ruenze Santos. The marijuana leaves which were packaged into nine bricks weighed about 25 kilograms. The four suspects will be charged with multiple violations under Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.—MATTHEW REYSIO-CRUZ

Misuari seeks Sandigan nod to attend Islamic summits

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari has sought the permission of the Sandiganbayan third division to travel to Abu Dhabi and Rabat, to attend pan-Islamic council summits. In his urgent motion to travel, Misuari said he intended to travel to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from March 1 to 2 for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) composed of 52 Islamic states, and to Rabat, Morocco, on March 13 and 14 for the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States. Misuari said  the MNLF was the “sole representative” of the Bangsamoro people in both summits, and that his attendance would be beneficial to the peace process in Mindanao.  However, the prosecution opposed the motion to travel. Misuari faces two counts each of graft and malversation for allegedly defrauding the government in connection to a P77.26-million “ghost textbooks” contract.—PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU

BI personnel warned vs using mobile phones at work

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente warned on Friday his personnel assigned at the country’s international airports that they face “stiff disciplinary actions” if they continue to violate the bureau’s regulation against the use of mobile phones while on duty. Morente said his office had been receiving reports that some immigration officers, especially at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, were using their mobile phones while at work.—JOVIC YEE

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TAGS: Alvarez, Cell phones, Falkland, Fishermen, Misuari, PDEA, Rodrigo Duterte

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