News Briefs: Feb. 28, 2019 | Inquirer News

News Briefs: Feb. 28, 2019

/ 05:20 AM February 28, 2019

PDEA urged to cooperate with foreign antidrug agencies

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) should beef up cooperation with its US counterpart and other foreign law enforcement agencies after several bricks of cocaine were found floating off the country’s eastern shoreline, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said on Wednesday.

According to Lacson, the recovery of the cocaine in waterproof packaging showed that the Philippines has become a transshipment point for drugs shipped by international syndicates.


“My concern is, what if we are not a mere transshipment point and that the Colombian drug cartel is now testing the Philippine market for cocaine?” Lacson said in a text message to the Inquirer.


Addressing a gathering of barangay officials in Pasay City on Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that Colombia’s dreaded Medellin drug cartel had already “entered the country.” —Marlon Ramos

Duterte: I will accept Rohingya refugees, give them citizenship

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night said he would accept Rohingya refugees from Myanmar (formerly Burma) and grant them Filipino citizenship.

“I am willing to accept Rohingya [refugees]. Those who have no place to go, I will accept them. I will make them Filipinos. I am ready to accept refugees from [Myanmar],” the President said at a national assembly of mayors at the Manila Hotel.

The President made the statement as he castigated European countries, which he said were interfering not only in Philippine affairs but also in Myanmar’s.

About 1.1 million Rohingya have been denied citizenship in Myanmar, which regard them as Bengali. —Christine O. Avendaño


7.5 million Filipinos don’t have birth certificates

Some 7.5 million Filipinos, including 2.6 million children, are unregistered, depriving them of much-needed access to social services, a children’s rights advocacy group said on Wednesday as it called on the government to come up with a comprehensive civil registration system. At a press conference, Child Rights Network (CRN) said the majority of children without birth certificates were indigenous people and Muslims. CRN representative Pauline de Guzman said many of the children were foundlings whose parentage is indeterminable. The lack of a birth certificate renders the child “invisible in the eyes of the government,” De Guzman said.  —PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU

SC raises to P400,000 limit for Metro Manila small claims cases

The Supreme Court has increased the limit for small claims cases in Metro Manila courts from P300,000 to P400,000 to help small-scale entrepreneurs resolve their disputes.

Beginning April 1, Metropolitan Trial Courts will handle money claims that involve amounts up to P400,000.

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Courts are required to resolve such cases within 30 days. Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, who chairs the committee on small claims cases, said the higher threshold would also help improve the country’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report of 124th in 2019.  —DONA Z. PAZZIBUGAN

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