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Expert: Japan cautious on raising drug deaths with Duterte

Japan is likely to express a “general concern” over the drug-related killings in the Philippines but would be wary against being perceived as meddling with domestic affairs, according to a Japanese political analyst. Ken Jimbo, a policy management professor at Keio University, said if journalists ask the Japanese government about the drug deaths in the Philippines, Japanese officials would likely state a “general concern over the issues.” But Jimbo said Japan does not want to “intervene” as it recognizes the Philippines government’s efforts to address the drug menace and how majority of the Filipino people support such campaign. “We will, I think, take cautious steps to not to be perceived it as intervention of the administration of what Filipino government has been doing,” said Jimbo, also a senior research fellow at The Canon Institute for …

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Removal of gift certificate expiry proposed

Effectivity of gift certificates paid for by customers should be open ended, a Quezon City lawmaker insists. Rep. Winston Castelo filed House Bill 3091, which seeks to end the practice of imposing expiry dates for gift checks by department stores and supermarkets, saying it constitutes unfair trade. Now commonly used as Christmas presents, gift certificates are usually purchased from shopping malls, restaurants or supermarkets and paid for in cash. “It is purchased with money and money having no expiry dates, it follows that in the case of gift certificate, check or card, the same must bear no expiry date at all,” Castelo said. The lawmaker also said it makes no business sense for suppliers of gift checks to place an expiry date over what amounts to cash. “If the reason is the risk of such certificates …

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Duterte wants to rid PH of foreign military presence

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday, October 25 he looks forward to the time when there will be no other military troops in the country except Filipino soldiers. In a press briefing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) before departing for his three-day visit to Japan, Duterte said he is not keen on having a visiting forces pact with the Japan. “No. I don’t think so,” Duterte said when asked if the proposed PH–Japan VFA would be among the issues he will discuss with Japanese officials. “I do not believe that we have a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with Japan. To my mind, I may be wrong, but I have yet to come across an agreement or a piece of paper which says that we are… in this arrangement of Japanese troops,” he …

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Tuesday markets: Peso-dollar rate at P48.34; stocks down

The peso and stock market both ended lower Tuesday, October 25. The Philippine peso–US dollar exchange rate at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corporation (PDEX) closed at P48.34, weaker than Monday’s (October 24) rate at P48.19. At the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reference exchange rate bulletin, the exchange rate was pegged at P48.29 to the greenback. Likewise, the bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) shed 29.09 points (0.38%) to close at 7,580.22. The all-shares index also slipped by 7.86 points (0.18%) at 4,491.09.

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CA upholds arrest of 8 Navy men in Pestaño death case

The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the arrest warrants issued by the Manila City regional trial court (RTC) against eight Philippine Navy personnel who were charged with the 1995 murder of Ensign Philip Pestaño. In a resolution written by Associate Justice Nina Antonio-Valenzuela, the CA found no reason to reverse its April 29, 2016 decision. “As we stated in the decision of April 29, 2016, the respondent judge based her finding of probable cause and issued the corresponding warrants of arrest after personally examining the records of the case,” the ruling stated. Those who challenged their warrants of arrest before the CA were: retired Navy Capt. Ricardo Ordoñez Cmdr. Reynaldo Lopez Lt. Cmdr. Luidegar Casis Lt. Cmdr. Alfrederick Alba Lt. Cmdr. Joselito Colico Hospital Man 2 Welmenio Aquino Machinery Repairman 1st class Sandy Miranda Petty Officer 2nd Class Mil Leonor Igcasan. Retired …

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3 Maute members tagged in Davao blast to be indicted

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has given the go signal to indict the three alleged members of the Maute Group who were arrested and were suspected for their involvement in the September 2 Davao City blast, where 15 persons died and 69 others were wounded. In a 10-page resolution, the DOJ approved filing before the Cotabato City Regional Trial Court (RTC) one count of illegal possession of firearms and illegal possession of explosives against TJ Tagadaya Macabalang, the triggerman; Wendel Apostol Facturan, the bomb courier; and Musalli Mustafa, the documenter. “We find the all respondents liable for violation of R.A. No. 10591 (The Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) and violation of P.D. No. 1866, as amended by R.A. No. 9516),” read the resolution dated October 18, in connection with their arrest on October …

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Duterte en route to Tokyo to reaffirm PH-Japan ties

President Rodrigo Duterte flew to Japan Tuesday, October 25, for a three-day official visit aimed at deepening and broadening the country’s ties with one of its valued strategic partners. “I go to Japan with full trust that we can understand each other and Japan will understand my position vis-à-vis with the foreign policy that I want to implement. It’s just a question of a policy that is really truly Filipino,” Duterte said in a press briefing before his departure for Tokyo. According to the president, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s invitation extended at the sidelines of the ASEAN meeting in Laos last September paves the way for discussions on key issues of mutual importance to the Philippines and Japan. Duterte described his visit to Tokyo as “most-awaited” and a “valuable opportunity to further deepen …

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Deadline today for buses to apply for Undas out-of-line permits

Bus operators only have until 5:00 p.m. today, October 26, to apply for special permits for their units amid the expected influx of passengers on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), for the looming holiday, will allow more Metro Manila and provincial buses to go out of line for those heading to provinces to commemorate their dead loved ones. The agency, through a board resolution, has lifted its limit on the number of buses that may be granted with special permits. Unlike previous years, operators may now apply for more than 25 percent of the total number their authorized units. The LTFRB also extended the effectiveness of special permits; from October 30 last year, the permits will be valid from October 29 to November 3. LTFRB …

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3 Japanese firms bare PH investment plans

Ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Japan, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi met with top executives of three Japanese companies to tackle their proposed business plans in the country. “They see that our president really means what he says. They believe that the president would move the country forward so by making the reforms that is necessary to encourage them to relocate such as eliminating red tape, corruption,” Cusi said in a media interview in Tokyo. Japan’s Osaka Gas is looking into possible establishment of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) power generation project somewhere in Luzon and Mindanao, according to Cusi. The project would cost “billions of dollars,” he added. Another Japanese firm, Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing, is also considering the construction of a wire road manufacturing plant in the Philippines. The energy department has also …

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P20 M smuggled China rice seized

Some P20 million worth of smuggled imported rice from China were intercepted by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in the Port of Manila Tuesday, October 25. BOC foiled the attempted smuggling of illegal rice, in yellow sacks loaded in 12 shipping containers, after the shipment was alerted by the agency’s Command Center last October 4 based on suspicious images captured by closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the port. The illegal rice shipment was declared to contain leatherette upon arrival at the Manila Port last August 20. The BOC chief identified the shipment’s consignee as RPR International Trading, with Ibarra Tiangco as the broker. Faeldon has ordered the suspension of RPR’s accreditation. “When they knew we seized and alerted (the rice shipment), they abandoned it immediately,” Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon told reporters in the media viewing. The …

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