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NEWS BRIEFS: Sept. 8, 2019

/ 05:15 AM September 08, 2019

DSWD takes custody of infant seized at airport

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has taken custody of the infant seized from an American woman.

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In a statement on Friday, the DSWD said the infant would be temporarily housed in a DSWD shelter and would be given medical care.

“The baby is now temporarily sheltered at a DSWD center for children where appropriate intervention and medical care are being provided,” the DSWD said.

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The male infant was found inside the oversized belt bag of Jennifer Talbot, 43, an American citizen, who was about to leave the country for the United States.

The baby was not declared nor presented to the immigration inspector during departure, the Bureau of Immigration said. —Patricia Denise M. Chiu

Reconstruction of 19-km Marawi roads starts

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) began on Friday the reconstruction of Marawi’s nearly 19-kilometer road network, seven months after the foreign-aided project broke ground and nearly two years since the city was liberated from Islamic State-linked terrorists.

Public Works Undersecretary Emil Sadain said it was “all systems go” for the rehabilitation of Marawi’s 18.97-km transcentral roads, which would “ensure better mobility that would propel economic activity” to the war-ravaged city.

In February, the DPWH said it was only awaiting the completion of the bidding process so it could commence works for the Japan International Cooperation Agency-funded project.

Sadain said the project costing P970 million was divided into three contract packages. —Jovic Yee

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Sandiganbayan junks graft case vs ex-NIA exec

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division has dismissed the graft case filed against former National Irrigation Administration (NIA) regional manager Julius Simbajon Maquiling after the prosecution withdrew the case for lack of evidence.

The case stemmed from Maquiling’s reportedly anomalous purchase of fertilizers and pesticides in 2009.

From July to September 2009, Maquiling reportedly gave unwarranted benefit to 3K and C Enterprises, when he awarded them a P1.38-million contract to supply fertilizers and pesticides, despite a lack of public bidding.

According to the prosecution, Maquiling allegedly resorted to an alternative mode of procurement, even though there was no justifiable reason for it.

He also failed to obtain at least three price quotations from suppliers.

However, the prosecution filed a motion for leave to withdraw on the grounds that the evidence was lacking to effectively prosecute the case. The antigraft court granted the motion. —Patricia Denise M. Chiu

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