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News Briefs: July 16, 2019

/ 05:00 AM July 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Pump prices of gasoline went up for the fifth week straight as global prices spiked after a storm  in the Atlantic Ocean shut down many refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, paring down oil supply.

Petron, Shell, Seaoil, Phoenix, PTT Philippines and Eastern announced price hikes of P1.05 per liter of gasoline and 70 centavos per liter of diesel, effective 6 a.m. of July 16.

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Petron, Shell and Seaoil also raised prices of kerosene by 70 centavos per liter.

The price of Dubai crude oil climbed to $64.62 per barrel on July 10 from $61.65 per barrel on July 3. —Ronnel W. Domingo

PNP chief seeks abolition of fine for erroneous arrests

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde wants changes to the country’s antiterror law,  particularly a provision which imposes a fine of P500,000 a day on police personnel who make erroneous arrests.

Albayalde said that the Human Security Act of 2007 gave a “bit of a disadvantage” to law enforcers.

“If you make a mistake, you have to pay P500,000 a day to that person. So our law enforcers are pitiful,” he pointed out.

He described the prevailing Human Security Act as quite faulty. Albayalde said he hoped that lawmakers would remove the provision fining law enforcers P500,000 for every day that a suspect is wrongfully detained.

“Where would they [policemen] get P500,000 a day?” he pointed out. —Jeannette I. Andrade

More erring Customs officials face ax

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MANILA, Philippines — Some 60 erring Customs officials and employees are on Malacañang’s chopping block amid mounting complaints of widespread corruption at the Bureau of Customs.

These include ranking officials of the Port of Manila (POM) allegedly behind the mysterious disappearance of about 650 containers last year.

A former POM district collection chief and appraiser were among those cited for possible complicity in the irregularity.

This developed as a columnist of a Manila-based broadsheet issued a formal public apology for his “indiscretion” in writing about alleged anomalies involving the Import Assessment Service (IAS) that was published on May 3.

Columnist Ernesto Hilario issued the apology after a libel suit was filed against him by the IAS chief.

“I apologize to (IAS) Director (Yasser Ismail) Abbas who averred that he and his family were unjustifiably maligned and unduly suffered severe distress and anxiety,” Hilario said.

Abbas described the article which tainted his name and reputation as “evidently malicious.”

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