With an "unprecedented" budget of P2 billion, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will procure some 2,500 vehicles that will be distributed to police offices all over the country, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II announced Wednesday.
"This is the first time nagkaroon ng ganito kalaking pagbili," Roxas said at a press briefing in Camp Crame. "Unprecedented itong P2 billion na suporta para sa ating peace and order kaya lahat naman ay mapagbibigyan dito."
Roxas said of the budget, P1 billion will come from the PNP’s vehicle funds in 2012 and 2013, while another P1 billion will come from President Benigno Aquino III.
The Department of National Defence (DND) plans to acquire anti-aircraft guided missiles, which will be positioned in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) as part of the country’s first-ever missile defence system.
Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang disclosed late Saturday that this proposal had reached Philippine Palace and had been the subject of many discussions among cabinet members.
"It’s (the missile acquisition) that had been talked about but I don’t know if we’ve made a decision (yet)," said Carandang, who regularly attends meetings of the cabinet cluster on national security.
Amid fresh Chinese incursions into Philippine waters, Carandang said that what the Navy needed was "sea vessels." He did not elaborate.
Some areas in Cebu City were submerged by flash floods that reached up to waist level triggered by heavy rains that started pouring at 10 p.m. Wednesday night, prompting some residents to evacuate, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) said yesterday.
Heavy rains also triggered flash floods in Metro Manila yesterday which the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) attributed to the strong southwest monsoon.
Several thoroughfares in Manila and Quezon City were rendered impassable to light vehicles due to the flash floods triggered by heavy rains yesterday afternoon, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.
The Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has recommended the filing of criminal charges against the Filipino coast guards involved in the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman in the northern Philippine waters last month, the Daily Inquirer learned Tuesday.
A source, who has knowledge of the investigation of the incident but asked not to be identified because he has no authority to speak on the matter, declined to say whether murder or homicide charges had been recommended.
But the source said there was a debate on whether to bring murder charges against the coast guards, as "superior strength" was used "against an unarmed civilian", or homicide, as the shooting to death of fisherman Hung Shih-chen was "not premeditated".
The source said the NBI report on the investigation of Hung’s death had been submitted to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
"It is a thin report, because the annexes have yet to be forwarded to [Secretary De Lima]," the source said.
Who was the highest paid member of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino’s 37-member cabinet last year?
The COA revealed that Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala took home the highest amount of compensation in 2012.
In its latest Report of Salaries and Allowances (ROSA), the commission said Alcala received a total of P6.037 Million in salaries, allowances and bonuses.
COA explained that this included P2.515M in salary, P729,999 discretionary expenses, P267,729 bonuses, P341,000 allowances and P60,000 additional compensation.
Alcala also received P2.119M in allowances for serving as Council Chairman in the National Food Authority (NFA), it added.
But Alcala did not actually receive compensation for sitting in the governing bodies in 11 other government-owned and controlled corporations like LBP, SRA and National Agribusiness Corporation.
The Philippine Embassy has joined the Filipino-American community in the US mainland in questioning the use of a"disproportionate force" applied in subduing a Filipino-American woman who was fatally shot dead by the American police after she was reported to be creating a disturbance inside a wholesale store in Virginia, USA.
Mylene de Leon Scott, 38, was shot dead Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) by one of two US police officers who responded to a reported disturbance at the Costco Wholesale Store in Sterling, Virginia, USA.
In a statement the other day (Friday in Manila), Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said, "We share the concerns expressed by the family of the victim and the Filipino-American community that police officers may have responded with disproportionate force."
Southeast Asia, whose potentially-rich atolls and seas are among the most sought-after areas of the world, could also become one of the most likely flashpoints that could ignite a bloody naval war if the leaders of the richest and most powerful nations of the world fail to immediately resolve the potentially-explosive situation in the South China Sea.
This developed as Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario warned last Thursday that territorial rows in Asia are "causing considerable tension that could lead to conflict" as several countries face off with China over island claims.
Speaking at a Tokyo business conference, Del Rosario said China’s "nine-dash line claim encompassing almost the entire South China Sea is "excessive."
"In addition to the South China Sea, we have in Northeast Asia, home to Asia’s biggest economic powerhouses, several disputes that have adversely affected relations between and among Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.
"The competing territorial and maritime disputes are causing considerable tension that could lead to conflict," he warned.
This time, it’s the Taiwanese who had to be on the defensive, their erring media has to apologize to Filipinos being victimized by erroneous reports by their own journalists making up false claims in their print media outlet. The Taiwanese president himself had to make assurances that no such negative stories happened and that they would not tolerate such false claims.
These apologies only goes to show that the Taiwanese themselves are taking advantage of the adverse effects that the diplomatic impasse has been taking place not only in the disputed seawaters between China and the Philippines and lately, between the Philippines and Taiwan, but also in the streets and corridors of the two Chinese territories, victimizing Filipinos right in their jurisdictions where they used to be allies being workers in their factories and industries.
In an apparent show of military might and superior force, Taiwan conducted a military exercise Thursday in the waters near the northern Philippines, in response to the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman after having rejected repeated apologies from Manila.
President Ma Ying-jeon of Taiwan has reiterated his view that the Philippines should take formal responsibility for the death of the 65-year-old victim, shot dead by the Philippine Coast Guards who claimed that his vessel intruded into Philippine waters.
Amid outrage in the island, Taipei has recalled its envoy and slapped sanctions on Manila, including a ban on the hiring of new Filipino workers, a travel alert urging the Taiwanese not to visit the Philippines and the suspension of high-level exchanges.
Three reelectionists and three scions of political bigwigs have been proclaimed winners in the senatorial race only three days after the May 13 midterm elections.
The partial list of senators-elect was dominated by the administration’s Team PNoy, leaving only one spot for the opposition’s United Nationalist Alliance.