Category Archives: Health and Environment

Manila Bay reclamation project stopped

By: Omer Oscar Almenario
IN lauding the move of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) stopping the Manila Bay reclamation project, Sen. Cynthia Villar said that volunteers scored a victory for the protection of the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Eco-Tourism Area (LPPCHEA).
“This is a welcome development to the cause I’m pursuing along with residents of Las Piñas, Parañaque and Cavite, as well as groups in religious, private and environmental sectors. We hope the Manila Bay reclamation project, which experts see as detrimental to the environment and livelihood of 300,000 fishermen, will be permanently shelved,” the woman senator said.

PH official: No whitewash in Korean slay

By: Oscar Omer Almenario
THE People’s Palace (Malacanang) on Sunday expressed resentment over the abduction and slay of Hanjin executive Jee Ick Joo inside the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame.
“We are outraged by the abduction and slay of a South Korean executive inside Camp Crame,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a text message to Palace reporters.
The Palace official assured that there will be no whitewash in the investigation of Jee’s killing reportedly involving rogue cops.

Fake news on FB alarms PH senator

By: Omer Almenario
SEEKING to stop the alarming spread of misinformation online, Philippine Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan wants to penalize Facebook for fake news item it allows to be propagated on its pages.
In Senate Resolution (PSR) 271 filed late Wednesday afternoon, the new Liberal Party president said: “The propagation of fake news stories has become an effective weapon of several political operatives to influence public opinion and national discourse. As a result, the level and quality of public discourse have suffered. Discerning the truth from the lies has become more difficult every day as manipulation of information and blatant fabrication of stories have become increasingly rampant.”

Rome to witness PH-NDF bilateral ceasefire

By: Omer Oscar Almenario
DESPITE the complexities in the ongoing peace negotiations between the Philippine government and communist rebels, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed confidence a bilateral ceasefire will be signed during the talks in Rome, Italy next week.
The DND chief added some of his people and those from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año met with Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza at the OPAPP headquarters in Pasig City, on what inputs they want to be placed in the agreement.
“What they are going to accomplish in Rome is to discuss the terms of a bilateral ceasefire agreement. That’s why some of my people at DND went to OPAPP. Gen. Año met with Sec. Dureza at OPAPP because they asked us what inputs do we want to be place into this agreement,” Lorenzana said.

PH Senate to probe 2016 killings

By: Omer Oscar Almenario
PHILIPPINE Senator Richard J. Gordon is considering conducting an inquiry into the reasons for law enforcers being slow in investigating the killings, particularly those committed in Caloocan City during the last few days of 2016.
Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, pointed out that the committee can conduct a motu proprio investigation when misfeasance, malfeasance or non-feasance is committed.
“I am contemplating conducting an investigation into these recent killings. The Blue Ribbon Committee can conduct a motu proprio inquiry into these killings. What is taking the police so long to finish the investigations? If they are not conducting an investigation then they are not doing their job. That is non-feasance. If they did their job but did not do it properly, that is malfeasance,” he said.

PH bans all trade in sharks, rays

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO
A BILL has been filed in the Philippine Senate seeking to prohibit, under pain of imprisonment and fine, all trade in sharks and rays, both of which are being threatened by unchecked overfishing, including bycatching.
Authored by Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate Bill 1245 proposes to forbid “the catching, sale, purchase, possession, transportation, and exportation of all sharks and rays or any part thereof” all over the country.
“No effort must be spared to protect the biodiversity of our waters as well as the natural balance of our marine ecosystem, for the enjoyment and economic benefit of future generations of Filipinos,” Zubiri said.

PH to pursue peace process

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO
A PHILIPPINE official confirmed on Wednesday that President Rodrigo Duterte and National Democratic Front (NDF) chief political consultant Jose Maria “Joma” Sison talked over the phone at dawn last Tuesday.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said President Duterte and Sison agreed to pursue the peace process.
“It did go on. It went through at about 3 a.m. dawn of that particular day. From the sources, it was a warm conversation between old friends,” Abella said.

PH senators support war on drugs

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO
WHILE a lady lawmaker is calling on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct an investigation into the killing of a four-year-old girl during a police drug bust, Sen.
Juan Miguel Zubiri is in favour of increasing the 2017 budget of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), specifically for capital outlay such as purchase of firearms – long and short, protective gear like vests, helmets, night-vision goggles, and vehicles.
Zubiri will support to increase PDEA’s budget from P1,014,236,000.00 to P1,217,521,000.00, or at 2.04% increase.
He also recommends increasing the budget for intelligence gathering and operations. He called on the PDEA “to hire more agents as stated in PDEA’s mandate wherein an anti-drugs team should be formed on a per province and city basis nationwide, not like the current practice of assigning a team per region only.”

PH leader to meet Ban Ki Moon

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO
PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson Ernesto Abella dismissed speculations that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte refused to meet United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, saying “There was nothing personal and it should not be given negative connotation”.
Abella’s statement came in reaction to accusations that President Duterte refused to meet Mr. Ban when he goes to Laos PDR (People’s Democratic Republic) during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit next week.
“It was a matter of scheduling,” Abella told reporters in a press conference Friday at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City. Abella emphasized on the tight schedule of the President, who could no longer find ample time for Mr. Ban.
He said the President was scheduled to meet with 11 heads of states and Mr. Ban’s request for appointment came late.
The President was accused of rejecting a meeting with the UN head after a UN rapporteur strongly criticized his anti-drug war. Mr. Duterte lambasted the UN official for lack of diplomatic protocol, indicating lack of respect to a leader of a sovereign state.