News Briefs: February 28, 2017

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Stories from across the Philippines on Tuesday, February 28

Soon: Reloadable card for Manila’s senior citizens

MANILA, Philippines – Manila’s senior citizens will soon receive financial benefits via a free, reloadable prepaid card, the city government said Tuesday, February 28.

The card, the local government said in a press release, is “designed to be a secured and faster means for Manileños to receive their benefits from the city government.”

The card is issued by OmniPay, and co-branded with the city of Manila, under the UnionPay brand, the press release added.

Among the benefits they can get through the card are the P500-cash gift during birthdays; P6,000-annual social pensions for indigent senior citizens; and special cash gifts for centenarians, ranging from P10,000 to P100,000.

The card can be used at automated teller machines, and for cashless payments. It can also be reloaded at OmniPay partner outlets nationwide, and can also be used to receive remittances.

There is no need to open a bank account for beneficiaries to get the Manila City Card, the statement said.

After senior citizens, next in line to get the cards are city personnel, teachers, law enforcement personnel, and hospital patients, and eventually, all qualified city residents, the statement added. –

Imelda lawyer cited in contempt for snubbing trial of 25-year-old graft case

MANILA, Philippines – The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division has cited in contempt the lawyer of Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos for not attending her trial for a 25-year-old graft case.

Lawyer Robert Sison snubbed the hearing on Tuesday, February 28. He also did not attend the last hearing on January 17.

Sison has to pay P2,000 in fines and has effectively waived the right to present additional evidence. 

The 10 counts of graft filed against Marcos in 1991 stemmed from allegations that she created private foundations in Switzerland from 1978 to 1984 while she was governor of Metro Manila.

The prosecution had rested its case in 2015. It said that the defense’s only evidence so far had been the transcript of court hearings from Marcos’ dollar-salting case before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC), for which she was acquitted in 2008.

Dollar salting refers to the removal of dollars from Philippine banks and transfer to an overseas account without the approval of the Central Bank of the Philippines. 

Prosecutors are moving for the anti-graft court to issue a judgment on the case, 25 years since it was filed. – Lian Buan

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