DILG to file cases vs candidates ‘working’ with Reds
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday warned candidates they faced criminal cases if they campaigned with the support of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA). Jonathan Malaya, spokesperson for the DILG, said the department was studying intelligence reports from the Philippine National Police that some candidates paid “permit-to-campaign” fees to the NPA to allow them to campaign in rebel-infested areas. While Malaya said the number of candidates that paid campaign fees to the insurgents decreased this year compared to the last elections, some politicians still provided financial support to the NPA. Police Col. Bernard Banac, spokesperson for the PNP, said candidates who paid campaign fees to the rebels would be charged with conspiracy to commit rebellion and violation of the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act. —PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU
Ressa pleads not guilty to violating Anti-Dummy Law
Rappler CEO Maria Ressa on Thursday pleaded not guilty to violating the Anti-Dummy Law in connection with the online news portal’s issuance of Philippine depositary receipts (PDRs) to Omidyar Network, a foreign investment company, in 2015. Ressa was arraigned before Judge Acerey Pacheco of the Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 265, which is also handling the antidummy case against managing editor Glenda Gloria and five other Rappler board members. Ressa was arrested on March 29 on her arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport but subsequently posted a P90,000 bail. In filing the case against Ressa and the others, the Pasig City Prosecutor’s Office said the issuance of the PDRs granted Omidyar the right to “intervene in the management, operation or control of Rappler.” The trial of Ressa, Gloria, Manuel Ayala, Nico Nolledo, James Bitanga, Felicia Atienza and James Velasquez was scheduled for Aug. 27. —MATTHEW REYSIO-CRUZ
Navy’s first anti-submarine helicopters due this week
The Philippine Navy’s first antisubmarine helicopters are expected to arrive in the country this week from Britain. Capt. Jonathan Zata, spokesperson for the Navy, said the two Leonardo AW-159 “Wildcat” helicopters would be among the highlights of the service command’s 121st anniversary in the last week of May. Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad, the Navy’s flag officer in command, succeeded in convincing the helicopters’ manufacturer to push forward the delivery date so that the helicopters could be displayed during the Navy’s anniversary, Zata said. Empedrad, along with officials of the Department of National Defense, visited Britain last week for the predelivery inspection of the helicopters. The Navy acquired the two Wildcat helicopters for P5.4 billion after sealing the contract with Leonardo in March 2016. The cost includes the training of the Filipino pilots of the helicopters as well as logistics support and spare parts. —JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE
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