MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Sen. Vicente Sotto III downplayed on Wednesday reports that they will be included in the next batch of respondents, which the justice department will soon file in connection with the pork barrel find scam. Sotto said he does not care whether he will be implicated in any pork barrel-related complaint in the near future because he believes that he has not misused his allocations. He also denied having any dealings with new prospective government witness Ruby Tuason, adding that the issue has gone out of proportion and that many innocent personalities have been dragged into the controversy. Sotto reiterated that he did not misappropriate his Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) in 2012.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison encouraged foreign nationals currently held at the BI Warden Facility (BIWF) to identify immigration personnel who are allegedly involved in irregular or illegal behavior. Mison urged members of the “Foreigners for Justice” to come out and identify the jail guards and personnel allegedly involved in extortion, cruelty, and brutality, assigned at the BIWF in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City. “Please give us the details so that the alleged erring bureau personnel will be dealt with accordingly,” Mison asked the members of the group. As of last December, there are about 168 foreign nationals temporarily held at the BI Warden Facility (BIWF). Topping the list of jailed foreigners are the Taiwanese with 44 detainees, the Chinese with 33; Koreans, 18; 16 Americans; and 10 Indians. The members of the “Foreigners for Justice” allege the reasons why they are afcing deportation is that BI officials denied them due process of law.
HONG KONG - announced Wednesday it was imposing sanctions on the Philippines because of its “unacceptable” failure to apologize for a deadly hostage crisis more than three years ago. The current visa-free arrangement for visiting Philippine diplomats and officials will be suspended from February 5, Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying said in a press conference. Currently they are able to stay 14 days without a visa. Officials at Malacayang Palace said the Department of Foreign Affairs would issue a statement, but DFA Spokesman Raul Hernandez said the office would do so on Thursday.
World leaders have expressed their support to the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) after the signing of a peace deal that hopefully would end decades-long violence in the southern part of the country. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs describes the signing of normalization annex, the fourth and last of the Framework Agreement of the Bangsamoro, as a “momentous milestone towards a long-lasting peace.”
MANILA, Philippines – The United Nations (UN) Friday has called for increased support for the victims of typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) citing that only 20 percent of funding has been provided so far to help people rebuild their homes. “I am particularly concerned that just 20 percent of funding has been secured to provide tools and materials so that people can rebuild their homes,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said in a statement posted on the UN website.