News Briefs: February 7, 2017
Stories from across the Philippines on Tuesday, February 7

Trillanes to Duterte: Fire Leftists in gov’t


MANILA – If President Rodrigo Duterte is serious in his all-out-war declaration against communist rebels, he should fire the Leftist nominees in the government, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said on Tuesday, February 7.

Trillanes said in a statement that “it’s about time” for the Chief Executive to declare an all-out war against the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), following its abduction of soldiers and its attacks on government troops even while its ceasefire with the government was still in effect.

“But to prove that this is not another bluster, President Duterte must immediately fire the CPP officials whom he appointed to various high positions in government,” Trillanes said.

There are 3 nominees of the National Democratic Front in the Cabinet: Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, and National Anti-Poverty Commission Chairperson Liza Maza. –


DILG questioned for delay in dismissing Puerto Princesa mayor


MANILA – The complainant against Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron and his son, Bantay-Puerto VIP Security Task Force project manager Karl Bayron, formally complained why the regional office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) had not implemented the Ombudman’s order to dismiss the officials. 

Aldrin Madreo sought the assistance of DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno in a letter dated February 6, saying that DILG’s Mimaropa office had yet to act more than two weeks after receiving the order. The complainant cited reports that the regional office received the order on January 23, 2017.

The Ombudsman found the officials guilty of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service after they concealed their kinship. In his July 1, 2013, contract of service as head of the environment watch body of the city government, the younger Bayron said he “is not related within the fourth degree of consanguinity/affinity with the hiring authority,” the mayor.

The complainant’s counsel, Jeremiah Belgica, told the DILG that in administrative case, the Ombudman’s decision is immediately enforceable, even if the respondents file an appeal. –  


Knights of Rizal to SC: Check if Torre de Manila construction continues


MANILA – Has the developer of the Torre de Manila been complying with the Supreme Court order to temporarilystop the construction of the condominium? The Order of the Knights of Rizal (OKR) wants the SC to check.

On June 16, 2015, the SC issued a temporary restraining order on the project of DMCI Project Developers Incorporated, after the OKR said in its petition that the building was ruining the sightline of the Rizal Monument in Luneta Park, Manila.

While the TRO is still in effect, the OKR said in its motion on Monday, February 6, that “an inspection has become imperative in the light of persistent reports that finishing touches in the interiors of Torre de Manila are continuing and/or are nearly finished, if not already finished, by this time.” 

The DMCI-PDI has sought the lifting of the TRO. It says “condominium buyers have expressed their “extreme frustration and disappointment at the continued suspension of the Torre de Manila project,” and that the company has “incurred additional costs due to the stoppage of the project.” – 


Harry Roque faces libel, grave oral defamation cases


MANILA – The legal battle between Kabayan Representatives Ron Salo and Harry Roque continues, with Salo filing libel and grave oral defamation cases against his party mate.

In a statement on Tuesday, February 7, Salo said he filed a libel case against Roque before the Muntinlupa Prosecutor’s Office for the latter’s “false accusations” that Salo was indicted by the justice department over his alleged involvement in the P3.8-billion license plate standardization program.

Roque supposedly told media that Salo was indicted for plunder, estafa, and falsification of public documents. Roque also allegedly said Salo was issued a warrant of arrest.

Salo also filed a grave oral defamation case against Roque before the Taguig Prosecutor’s Office. The lawmaker said Roque allegedly linked him to the entry of illegal drugs and contraband at the New Bilibid Prison. – Mara Cepeda/

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