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- Binay camp: Ombudsman pressuring COA
The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay accused the Ombudsman of “exerting pressure” on the Commission on Audit (COA) for the release of an incomplete special audit report on an allegedly overpriced city hall building. Binay’s camp claimed that the Ombudsman “has been personally calling up COA officials” to demand that they release the report even if it “does not include the replies or comments” of Makati officials. But the Ombudsman calls this allegation a “deliberate lie.”
Read more on the Ombudsman’s response.
- Valenzuela’s Gatchalian secures TRO
Valenzuela City Mayor Rexlon “Rex” Gatchalian secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Court of Appeals following the Ombudsman’s decision to dismiss him from office. Gatchalian was ordered dismissed over the deadly blaze that hit the Kentex footwear factory in his city last year. He and several other officials were found guilty of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty.
Get more details about the Ombudsman’s order against the Valenzuela mayor.
- 80% of voters likely to pick pro-CCT bets
A new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that 80% of Filipino voters would “probably vote” for candidates who will continue the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program. The program provides poor families with cash grants, sources of livelihood, and scholarship opportunities. Administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II earlier vowed to expand the program if he is elected president, while Roxas’ rivals Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe said they would continue it, but will introduce reforms.
- Republican Ted Cruz takes Kansas
US Senator Ted Cruz emerged victorious in the presidential nomination contest in Kansas, getting around 49% of the vote compared to 25% for billionaire Donald Trump. Senator Marco Rubio was in third, followed by Ohio Governor John Kasich. The Republicans also faced off in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Maine on Saturday, March 5.
Monitor this story for the latest developments in the White House race.
- Palace: Local groups not getting ISIS support
Malacañang maintains “there are no verified reports” that terrorist groups in the Philippines are getting support from the Islamic State (ISIS). The military previously dismissed claims that ISIS may soon declare a “province” in the southern Philippines, and the Palace said it believes “theirs is an accurate assessment.” Local terrorists behind recent attacks, however, have been claiming links to ISIS.
Read more about the threat of terrorism in the country.
- Pope Francis: Yemen attack ‘diabolical’
Pope Francis condemned the attack on an elderly care home in Aden, Yemen that killed 16 people, including 4 nuns. The Vatican said the pontiff was “shocked and profoundly saddened” to learn of the shooting rampage. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but one official blamed the Islamic State (ISIS), which has been gaining ground in Aden in recent months.
Here’s more on the deadly Yemen attack.
- UN rapporteur: Lumad murders ‘systematic’
United Nations Special Rapporteur Michel Forst describes the murders of Lumad leaders as “systematic” and no different from the aggressions “suffered by human rights defenders.” Forst recently met with Michelle Campos, daughter of slain Lumad leader Dionel Campos, on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council’s 31st regular session in Geneva, Switzerland.
Read more about the meeting between Forst and Campos.
- Artists pay tribute to Wenn Deramas
Comedian-host Vice Ganda and other performers paid tribute to the late director Wenn Deramas in a necrological service at ABS-CBN on Saturday, March 5. Vice, along with Tetay and Kiray, sang several songs, including “Hindi Kita Malilimutan” and “Without You.” Wenn’s funeral is on Sunday, March 6.
- 700 MHz band’s future unclear
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has yet to respond to Globe and PLDT’s requests for the “fair” reallocation of the 700 megahertz (MHz) spectrum band mostly held by San Miguel Corporation (SMC). It’s already been 7 years since the telcos aired their pleas. PLDT now plans to go to the Office of the President if the NTC fails to act this year.
Check out this story on the 700 MHz band and why telcos want it.
- PH clinches Davis Cup semis berth
The Philippines advanced to the semifinals of the 2016 Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group II tournament after trouncing Kuwait in their doubles matchup, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. Team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier said Treat Huey and Francis “Niño” Alcantara “played unbelievably well,” adding that he believes the team will return to Group 1 next year.